Mobile roaming charges: How much different providers cost in Europe

Millions of Britons now face roaming charges in the Europe for the first time in four years following Brexit.

Roaming charges were banned within EU countries back in 2017 – but this no longer covers UK users.

So, for those using your data to navigate yourself while abroad, or wanting to post a holiday snap to your Instagram story, how much will you have to pay?

Here are the roaming charges for major service providers.

EE

Existing EE customers won’t see any changes for now.

At the moment, customers can use up to 50GB of data (depending on their plan allowance) per month for free in EE’s ‘Europe Zone’.

But people who signed up for new or upgraded contracts from July 7 will face new rules.

EE will charge these customers £2 a day to use their existing allowances in the EU (excluding Ireland).

Users travelling for extended periods of time will be able to buy 30-day packages that may work out cheaper.

O2

O2 is not bringing back roaming charges.

However, the company will start charging customers who use more than 25GB of data per month in Europe.

From August 2, 2022, users will be charged £3.50 per GB over this limit.

This change will only affect customers with data limits above 25GB.

Three

Three cut its European data cap from 20GB to 12GB per month from July 1, 2022, after which users are now charged 0.3p per MB.

The company says this will bring its Go Roam in Europe policy more in line with its Go Roam Around the World rules.

Under the World policy, many Three customers currently get free data, texts, and calls to UK numbers when they travel to several destinations including the US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Its Europe and World policies will still differ, however.

Rather than incurring a fee, data usage above 12GB per month is not permitted in World destinations.

Users can also only send up to 5,000 texts and make up to 3,000 minutes worth of calls for free to UK numbers.

The company says changes to its fair use policy are intended to prevent customers who live abroad from using Three plans.

A Three spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘The new fair use limit is still more than enough for holidaymakers to use their phone like they would if they were in the UK.’

Vodafone

Vodafone is now charging roaming fees for pay monthly customers who joined after August 11, 2021.

Charges are £2 a day when you’re travelling in EU countries, not including the Republic of Ireland.

Vodafone still provides plans that have roaming included across SIM-only and alongside a new smartphone with Vodafone EVO.

Roaming passes, lasting eight and 15 days, are also available from Vodafone for the equivalent of just £1 a day.

Tesco Mobile

The free roaming enjoyed by Tesco Mobile customers on its ‘Home from Home’ contract will no longer be available for new customers as roaming charges are reintroduced.

From the start of 2023, new sign-ups and upgrade customers will lose this benefit, though existing customers will continue to enjoy this perk provided they don’t change their device or move to a sim-only contract.

The roaming charges will be 10p an MB of data, 20p a text, and 55p a minute for calls.

Giffgaff

Though Giffgaff is not fully introducing roaming charges, there will be a cap on free data usage, calls, and texts while in the EU.

From July 26, 2022, Giffgaff customers can only use up to 5GB of data a month in the EU. Above that level they will be charged 10p an MB.

In a statement on its website, Giffgaff said it had ‘taken the decision to mitigate some of that cost, so that we can at least give our members up to 5GB to roam in the EU, at no extra cost’.

The change comes as data from 2019 showed 90% of Giffgaff customers used less than that figure when roaming in the EU.

Sky Mobile

If you’re a Sky Mobile customer, you will need to buy a Roaming Passport Plus to roam when in the EU.

The pass costs £2 per day when you’re out of the country and lets you access your UK data, calls, and text allowances in 55 different destinations.

The full list of countries covered by the passport can be found here.

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