Watch out for mobile roaming charges if holidaying in EU

Here's our rundown of some of the changes that have been announced so far.

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If you’re planning a holiday abroad now that that more countries have joined the government’s ‘green’ list, you could face steeper costs for using your mobile while you’re away.

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Some mobile providers have started to announce changes to their roaming charges post Brexit, which could mean holidaymakers face a nasty ‘bill shock’ when they get back home.

Stacey Lowman, financial coach at digital financial coaching app Claro Money, said: “In the rush to get away this summer, British holidaymakers may end up spending more than they bargained and budgeted for, following Britain’s exit from the EU. Mobile phone providers have announced this week that mobile data roaming charges are to return from August, which has the potential to sting smartphone users who might be unaware of the changes.”

Here’s our rundown of some of the changes that have been announced so far.

O2

O2 has reviewed its roaming charges, so that if you go on holiday after 2 August this year, and exceed a ‘roaming limit’ of 25 gigabytes (GBs) of data, you’ll be charged £3.50 for each subsequent gigabyte of data you use.

EE

If you take out a pay monthly or SIM plan with EE on or after 7 July, you’ll have to pay a £2 daily charge to use your phone in the European roaming zone, which includes countries such as Italy, France, Spain and Portugal.
However, this daily charge won’t come into effect until January 2022, so you shouldn’t face any additional charges yet if you’re holidaying in Europe this summer. If you go abroad from January 2022 onwards, you can add a roaming pass to your plan for £10 a month and you won’t have to pay the £2 daily charge in the EU.
If you’re an existing EE customer with a pay monthly plan and your contract started prior to 7 July this year, these changes won’t affect you.

Three

Three won’t be introducing roaming charges this summer, but it has amended its ‘fair usage’ cap for data if you’re going on holiday in the EU.

A spokesman for O2 said: “Following a review of our fair use policy, we are making some changes to our Go Roam policy in the EU to bring it in line with our Go Roam Around the World fair use policy. This means from July 1 our fair use limit for data while in the EU will reduce from 20GB per month to 12GB.”

You’ll be charged a fee of 0.3p per MB for any data you use in excess of the 12GB limit.

Vodafone says it hasn’t got any current plans to amend its roaming charges in the EU.

Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Regardless of where you’re going, it’s still worth making the most of the hotel Wi-Fi, as it will help you save on data.”

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