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Travelers could be caught out by expensive mobile data roaming charges this summer.


If you’re planning a holiday abroad this summer, you should definitely check your mobile provider’s data roaming policy before you go, or you could be caught out with hefty fees.

Mobile phone and passport

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Since the UK left the EU, there have been changes to the way our mobiles work abroad.

Some mobile networks have reintroduced roaming fees for using your phone in Europe.

These fees can vary depending on your provider and when you signed your phone contract – and add up fast!

Why you need to be careful with data roaming

Using your mobile data abroad seems like the norm for things like translating, getting directions, playing Candy Crush (anyone still play?!), scrolling through TikTok, or keeping in touch with friends and family. .

However, turning on data roaming without checking the fees can lead to unexpected and hefty bills, which you may not realize before you go.

UK phone providers used to offer free data roaming in the EU, but things have changed since Brexit.

Networks such as O2, SkyMobile and IDMobile have not reintroduced roaming fees, but most others have.

To help you manage your costs, Go.Compare has examined the policies of major phone providers and highlighted what they charge for data roaming.

Current roaming charges by provider

EE

If you have a pay monthly plan with EE that started after 7 July 2021, you’ll be charged £2.47 a day to use your minutes, texts and data in its European roaming zone.

You can check. EE roaming charges.

O2

O2 does not charge extra for using your normal allowance within the EU.Up to 25GB limit.

After that, it’s £3.50 per day for data used.

Find details here. Using your phone abroad with O2.

Vodafone

Charges depend on your destination and plan.

In Europe, it’s £2.25 per day for contract users (or £10 for 8 days), with an additional £3.13 per GB beyond the 25GB limit.

No charges apply if you are on a pay monthly plan in ‘Zone A’ countries such as the Republic of Ireland and Norway.

Vodafone data roaming charges can be found here.

Three

If you signed or upgraded a contract after 1 October 2021, it’s £2 a day within the EU and £5 for some countries outside the EU.

Three offers Go Room Passes with reasonable usage limit of 12GB for different durations or a Data Passport £5 for a day.

You can know. Roaming costs of three Here

Tempted to travel abroad this summer? Find the cheapest time to book a holiday.

Tips to Avoid High Roaming Charges

Catherine Healy, mobile and broadband expert at Go.Compare, shares several ways to avoid unexpected charges:

  • Use an alternative SIM.If you need to use a lot of data, an eSIM or local SIM may be cheaper.
  • Download content in advance.: Save music, books or movies before leaving home.
  • Set spending limits.: Most networks allow you to set spending limits to avoid huge bills.

Whether you have a new contract or an old one, knowing your provider’s data roaming rules can save you from unexpected charges.

New mobile roaming alerts for UK holidaymakers

Starting from 1 October 2024, New rules from Ofcom It will help protect UK holidaymakers from unexpected roaming charges.

It’s a bummer that it’s not in place before the summer, but at least it’ll help going forward.

When you travel abroad, mobile phone providers may:

  • Notify customers when they start roaming.: This will ensure that you know the costs involved.
  • Provide clear, free access information.: This will help you make informed decisions about using your mobile abroad.

Stop accidental roaming – even in the UK!

Sometimes, your phone can connect to a network in another country even if you’re not there.

It happens to an incredible 1 in 7 people!

It is more common in border areas and coastal areas.

People see it happening a lot in Northern Ireland, with thousands of people living close to the border, as well as people living on the English coast caught surfing French networks.

Ofcom’s new rules will be:

  • Notify users of inadvertent roaming.: Providers should provide clear information on how to avoid inadvertent roaming.
  • Enable measures to limit roaming costs.: This may include the treatment of mobile use in Ireland as in the UK.

Ofcom’s director of telecoms consumer policy, Cristina Luna Esteban, said:

“Our new protections will mean you’ll be told what roaming will cost when you start, so you can be sure there are no surprises when it comes to your mobile bill on holiday. Will be.”

Naomi WillisNaomi Willis
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