Not so long ago the major UK mobile operators said they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges after Brexit. At the beginning of the year he declared unanimously that nothing would change in the United Kingdom even if he left the European Union. But now the first company doesn’t want to know anything else. Provider EE, which belongs to the BT Group, announced that charges for phone calls, SMS and data usage in other European countries will be charged for contracts concluded July 7. From 2022 onwards, UK customers will have to pay £2 a day for using their mobile phones in the EU and some other European countries.
After Brexit, the return of roaming charges is one of the most significant changes in British life so far. So now comes back what the EU abolished in 2017. Until recently, the fact that you don’t have to pay anything extra when calling other EU countries also applies in the UK, which still follows EU rules until the end of the Brexit transition phase . But since the beginning of the year, companies in Great Britain no longer have to comply. The Free Trade Agreement signed by London and Brussels in December 2020 simply states: “To promote the development of trade between the Parties and to promote transparent and fair tariffs for international mobile roaming services for the benefit of the Parties.” Will try to work together to make consumer improvements.”
The fact that mobile communications providers EE, O2, Vodafone and Three initially announced that they would voluntarily waive roaming charges was surprising from an economic point of view. After all, wireless service providers made a lot of money with it for years. From a business perspective, EE’s decision to raise the fee again is understandable. The decision is not likely to benefit the “consumer welfare” set forth in the trade agreement; However EE claims that roaming revenue will now contribute to “an investment in our UK-based customer service and our leading UK network”.
EE is alone with this. However, competitor O2 announced an upper limit for free roaming in EU countries. Anyone who needs a data volume of more than 25 gigabytes per month should pay an additional fee. How other providers Vodafone and Three react to this should become clear soon. German customers advise consumer advocates to find out with their mobile operator the extent to which roaming charges are reinstated when traveling to Great Britain.