Vodafone to restore roaming charges in Europe from January

The move follows a similar EE announcement in June (Photo: Getty / Rex)

Vodafone has confirmed that it will become the latest mobile network to reintroduce roaming charges for Britons traveling to Europe after Brexit, despite its promise not to do so.

The U-turn means some customers will have to pay up to £ 2 a day to use their monthly allowance for data, calls and texts in other European countries, starting in January.

Roaming charges for tourists ended in June 2017, meaning mobile phone users could continue to use their devices in EU countries at no additional cost – as long as they stick to it. a “fair use” limit.

The Brexit trade deal said the two sides should “cooperate to promote transparent and reasonable tariffs” for mobile phone charges, but did not guarantee that free roaming would continue.

Although network providers were able to recoup the charges once the UK left the EU, four of the biggest providers – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – have said they have no plans to do so.

But, in June, BT-owned EE became the first to announce the reintroduction of roaming charges.

Vodafone following their desire to raise concerns that other suppliers would do the same.

A Vodafone store in the center of Markt Schwaben, Bavaria.

Vodafone previously said it would not reintroduce roaming charges (Photo: Getty Images)

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

Subscribers to the company’s more expensive Xtra plans will still have roaming included, while the Republic of Ireland will be exempt for all customers.

Vodafone said less than half of its customers were roaming beyond the Republic of Ireland in 2019.

A spokesperson said: “Rather than affecting all of our customers by including additional roaming costs in all of our tariffs, customers will be able to choose a plan with roaming included, or purchase an additional roaming pass.

“Our ambition is to ensure that customers never experience a ‘bill shock’ when roaming with Vodafone, as all of our plans and plans will have clear usage limits, and customers will also be able to set their own. limits via Vodafone Spend Manager, which is free to configure via the My Vodafone app. ‘

Those who remain on their existing tariff plan will not be affected until they make changes.

Paolo Pescatore, analyst for PP Foresight, said consumers should expect other providers to do the same.

He said: “Phone users will now need to be more savvy when traveling on board.

“Some will have roaming included on more expensive plans and premium devices, while others will be forced to consider switching to wifi and subscribing to local e-sim options.”

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