Mobile phone bills could increase for many this year due to the re-introduction of EU roaming charges across a number of UK networks.
Charges will come into force at the end of March on selected network providers which are ranging on average of £2 per day to use a mobile phone in an EU country.
Vodafone were one of the big networks to announce last year that they would be bringing back the charges – meaning new and upgrading customers have had to pay up to £2 per day to use their monthly allowance of data, calls and texts in the EU.
Three and EE are also getting rid of free roaming for their customers, while others are allowing customers to still roam for free.
Selected networks will operate differently so it’s important to know the details before you sign up and use your phone abroad.
Roaming is when a mobile is used outside of its home network, and connects to another available cell network.
Before the UK left the EU, Brits could use their monthly allowances of calls, data and texts while in 28 destinations in the EU for no extra charge but not anymore.
We have compiled a guide below of some of the mobile networks in the UK that have brought back fees, with information on when the charges will begin and at what cost.
Customers on three have a bit more time before roaming charges take effect.
Three will apply a flat £2 daily charge to all new and upgrading Three customers from October 1 – customers will see the changes come into effect from May 23, 2022.
Three’s fair use limit is 12GB and customers will be charged £3 per GB above that.
Three has introduced go roam which lets customers use their plan or add-on allowances in over 70 destinations around the world at no extra cost.
However, if users go over their plan they will be charged.
for £5 a day, customers can benefit from unlimited unrestricted data (up to fair usage limits) which can be used exactly as customers like, whether that’s to upload pictures, stream TV shows or create a personal hotspot.
If you use a lot of data or just want the best internet experience, Three says their Data Passport is made for you.
Find out more about it here.
Roaming charges are back on at Vodafone.
New and upgrading customers will have to pay up to £2 per day to use their monthly allowance of data, calls and texts, unless they signed up before August 11, 2021.
However, those using Vodafone will be able to reduce the cost to £1 per day by purchasing a multi-day pass for eight or 15 days (Vodafone will charge £3.13 per GB over its 25GB limit).
Those on the firm’s more expensive Xtra plans will still have roaming included, while the Republic of Ireland will be exempt for all customers.
Lebara currently has no EU roaming charges.
the SIM only company also have some great deals on offer too so this network could be the key solution to saving a bit of money on your bills this year.
Their 30 days 5G SIM only plan comes with 2GB of data, 1000 minutes and 1000 texts for just 99p per month for the first three months with code LEBARA5 – find out more about it here.
O2 say they have no plans to re-introduce roaming charges in Europe as they will be part of customers’ monthly plans (O2 customers have a monthly data limit of 25GB and will be charged £3.50 for each GB after that).
However, those who are traveling outside of a Europe zone and do not have them O2 Travel Inclusive Zone Bolt On will incur a charge.
They recommend customers get the O2 Travel Bolt On as they say it’s the perfect way to stay connected when you’re on holiday – it costs £4.99 a day in selected destinations outside Europe.
Customers can pay a single, fixed daily rate which will give you 120 minutes, 120 texts and all the data you need. There’s no upper usage limit on data, but data speeds might vary.
Find out more about it here.
Lycamobile users have free data roaming with a 20GB cap.
Rates will vary if that threshold is broken, find out more here.
There are currently no EU roaming charges at SMARTY.
Users who are with the company have a 12GB data cap for roaming in the EU.
Their cheapest SIM-only plan starts from £6 per month – see their deals here.
Roaming charges will be back in place with EE from March 3, 2022.
Those who have taken out a pay monthly handset or SIM plan with EE from July 7, 2021 onwards, will incur a daily charge (£2 per day if you go over your allowance) for using their phone in the European roaming zone.
See the list of destinations where the charge will apply here.
Sky Mobile customers can use their phone or tablet in over 30 European (EU / EEA) destinations at no extra cost with a Roaming Passport.
Sky say when customers travel abroad they will text them information about the roaming charges in the destination they are visiting.
Sky has also set up a worldwide data roaming spend cap of £45 per month for each SIM so customers will never spend more than they want to on data. You can remove this cap here.
Find out more here.
Plusnet has introduced a Roam Like at Home bolt-on which can be added to their mobile plans.
It means customers can use their monthly plan allowance in more than 40 EU destinations, including; France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
If you have used all of your plan allowances, you will be charged for any additional usage outside of your plan like you would be whilst in the UK, unless you take out a bolt-on.
For more information on these charges, see their mobile price guide.
There’ll be no extra roaming charges for BT customers using their phones in Europe.
Roam Like Home is available to all BT Mobile customers at no extra cost.
It lets you use your minutes, texts and data allowances within BT’s Roam Like Home zones without paying extra roaming charges.
You can benefit from Roam Like Home in the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (including Azores and Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Vatican City
As well as; Canary Islands, French Guiana, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Martinique, Mayotte, Norway, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino and Switzerland.