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For several years, Brits were able to use their mobile phones relatively freely while visiting the European Union (EU), just like they would at home. However, the signing of the Brexit deal in December 2020 signalled a change, with mobile phone providers able to decide whether to reintroduce roaming charges or not. After Brexit, Vodafone, EE, o2 and Three said they had no plans to bring back roaming charges in Europe.

But two of the UK’s biggest mobile network providers have now opted to bring charges back.

Earlier this year, EE was the first of the main mobile network providers to announce roaming charges would be reinstated for its customers visiting Europe.

This week, Vodafone also announced it would be bringing back roaming charges.

Limits on data usage apply for o2 and Three customers visiting Europe.

When will Vodafone bring in roaming charges?

The rules will change for new and upgrading Vodafone customers from Wednesday, August 11.

However, the charges will not apply to Vodafone customers who visit EU destinations until January 2022.

Affected customers can pay £2 per day to use their monthly allowance of calls, texts and data in Europe, and fair usage limits of 25GB of roaming data per month will apply.

Vodafone customers will be able to reduce the cost to £1 per day, by purchasing a multi-day pass for eight or 15 days.

Customers on the Xtra plan with Vodafone will have their roaming charges included in their tariff.

A spokesperson for the company said: “Rather than have all of our customers affected by including the additional costs of roaming into all of our tariffs, customers will be able to choose a plan that comes with roaming included or purchase an additional roaming pass.

“Our ambition is to ensure customers don’t ever experience ‘bill shock’ when roaming with Vodafone, because all of our plans and passes will have clear usage caps, and customers will also be able to set their own limits via Vodafone Spend Manager, which is free to set up via the My Vodafone App.”

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When will EE bring in roaming charges?

EE will soon charge customers £2 per day when using their phones in several European destinations.

The decision to reintroduce roaming charges was announced in June 2021, but the charges will not apply until January 2022.

EE, which is part of the BT Group, said the decision is designed to “support investment into our UK-based customer service and leading UK network”.

What about other mobile network providers?

To date, Three and o2 have not announced roaming charges in Europe will be introduced again.

However, both providers have implemented data roaming limits in Europe.

O2 presently allows a roaming limit of 25GB, with any data used over that charged at £3.50 per gigabyte.

Three also lowered its fair-use data limit of 20GB to 12GB per month when customers visit Europe, with £3 charged per gigabyte after the threshold.

The operator 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.

“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.

“There is no change to our surcharge, so data usage over 12GB (up to the customer’s allowance), will remain subject to a small fee of 0.3p per MB.”

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