Millions of Britons will soon have to pay for calls from the EU

Two of the four major UK operators have already announced the reinstatement of roaming charges for their customers traveling within the EU.

This is a new concrete effect of Brexit. Millions of Britons will soon have to pay roaming charges if they want to use their phones in the EU. The four main operators of the channel promised to still maintain free “roaming” following the divorce between London and Brussels. But the two of them eventually decided to back down.

Earlier in the week, Vodafone announced the reinstatement of these “roaming” charges from January 2022 for its new customers. If they are living in the EU (except the Republic of Ireland), they will have a choice between paying £2 per day or taking an 8 or 15-day package at £1 per day.

To justify the refund of roaming charges, Vodafone Great Britain boss Ahmed Essam pointed out that most customers rarely use their phones outside the UK. In addition, the fees would allow his company to “invest”, specifically in the “ultra-fast deployment of 5G”, in mobile coverage in rural areas as well as in fiber networks, the report. the cross.

O2 and three on the roof

In announcing the end of free roaming, Vodafone is following a movement launched by EE, a subsidiary of British Telecom, to bill its 32 million customers in the EU for telephone use at £2 per day. Has decided. Operator O2, for its part, has indicated that it will levy additional charges if its customers use more than 25 GB of data per month. Three eventually lowered its limit from 20 to 12 GB, with a charge of £3 per additional gigabyte.

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In the European Union, billing customers for roaming charges has been banned since 2017, which has enabled travelers from 27 member states to make significant savings in recent years. This free roaming, however, is not part of the Brexit agreement concluded between London and Brussels in late 2020 to seal their divorce. UK operators are therefore free to decide to re-invoice these costs to their customers.

But what about the Europeans who travel across the Channel? In France, operators assured at the end of 2020 that the restoration of roaming charges was not envisaged. A position confirmed again this week on the Orange side, the main operator indicated BFM Business that “no additional billing is required for roaming in the United Kingdom”.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

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