EU Exit and mobile roaming
Information on the impact EU Exit has had on Mobile data roaming charges.
Since 1 January 2021, the guarantee of free roaming for UK mobile users in 47 destinations in the EU including Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein has ended.
It is up to each mobile provider to decide what they will charge for cross border calls and data usage. You should find out from your provider if you will experience roaming charges when travelling in the future.
Since 1 July 2022, the UK mobile roaming rules as set out in UK legislation no longer apply. These rules covered things like data roaming spending limits and automatically receiving a welcome message when entering a different country. Providers may still offer these services, however we recommend that you check for charges before travelling.
If you are travelling abroad, you can limit any roaming charges by turning off your mobile data roaming and using Wi-Fi where possible. Streaming live television or sending video clips (MMS) could be expensive since they use large amounts of mobile data.
What happens if my provider decides to change its charges?
Phone providers may change the terms of your contract with them but they must give you at least one month's notice and a right to exit the contract without penalty if the change does not benefit you.
Current EU data roaming charges
EE changed its roaming charges on 3 March 2022. Customers who joined or upgraded from 7 July 2021 will pay £2.29 per day to use their usual allowances while roaming in EU countries. This charge will not apply if you travel to the Republic of Ireland (ROI) unless you exceed your allowance. EE also offer a £15 Monthly Roam Abroad Pass, which allows you to access your plan’s minutes, text and data allowances like you would at home.
O2 roaming charges are included in a customer’s allowance, so you can use your normal data allowance and texts at no extra cost when travelling within the EU (including ROI). If your UK monthly data allowance is over 25GB, however, you’ll have a Roaming Limit of 25GB when using your device in Europe. You can still use all of your total UK monthly allowance of data if you exceed this limit, but you will be charged £3.50 per GB used above 25GB.
Three have introduced roaming charges to their customers. These charges apply for any customer who have taken out a new contract or upgraded their contract after 1 October 2021. Three customers will now be required to pay a daily rate of £2 per day to access their monthly allowance of minutes, texts and data while travelling in the EU. This charge excludes travel to the Republic of Ireland.
Vodafone now charge for mobile roaming while in the EU. If you have joined Vodafone or upgraded from 11 August 2021, you will pay £2.25 per day to use their usual allowances while roaming in EU countries. This charge will not apply if you travel to the Republic of Ireland. Vodafone also offer European roaming passes which allow you to use you your mobile data while travelling in Europe. These passes can cost £10 for 8 days or £15 for 15 days.
Virgin Mobile roaming charges are included at no extra cost within your data allowance. You can use your device wherever you go in the EU (including ROI) and pay no more for your texts, data and minutes than you would in the UK.
Giff Gaff customers can continue to use their devices in the EU (including ROI) at no extra cost. However a fair use roaming limit does apply up to 5 GB of data. Additional charges will apply if this cap is exceeded.
Sky Mobile have now introduced roaming charges to their UK customers. Sky mobile customers will be required to pay £2 per day to access their UK data plan. This charge excludes travel to the Republic of Ireland.
BT Mobile customers can use their devices in the EU (including ROI) with no additional charge. ‘Roam Like Home’ is available to all BT Mobile customers at no extra cost. However, a surcharge may be applied if you use more than 15GB while roaming in a single bill cycle.
Tesco Mobile customers can use their devices in the EU (including ROI) at no extra cost. Roaming usage will continue to be free throughout 2023.
This video explains what you need to know when using your mobile phone aboard.