Cellular corporations have ‘no plans’ to convey again EU roaming prices – what it’s essential to know

In 2017, the current ‘Roam Like At Home’ rules were introduced by the European Union across the EU (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). These meant that when travelling in the EU, you could make calls or send texts to anywhere else in the EU, or use data, and it would come out of your UK allowance (or you’d pay UK pay-as-you-go rates) just as you would at home, subject to ‘fair usage’ rules.

However, from 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free mobile roaming will stop as the transition period after Brexit ends. This was already set to be the case before a trade deal between the EU and UK was agreed on 24 December, and means mobile providers are able to charge if they wish. The trade deal simply confirms this stating that neither the EU or UK has to “regulate rates or conditions for international mobile roaming services”. 

But of the major providers we’ve spoken to, EE, O2, and Vodafone all said they had “no plans” to end current free roaming arrangements, although this isn’t an indefinite guarantee and they could always change their approach in the future. Meanwhile, Three said it “will retain” free roaming “regardless of Brexit negotiations”. See below, as well as our 22 Brexit Need-to-Knows for more on this.

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