Virgin Media O2 phone users will not face roaming charges this year after other networks announced the extra fee, which is allowed to be reintroduced because of Brexit.
Three of the UK’s biggest networks – EE, Vodafone and Three – will reintroduce roaming charges for customers travelling to Europe later this year.
However, customers on both O2 and Virgin Mobile deals will maintain their inclusive roaming in the region, so they can travel and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.
All four companies said last year they wouldn’t reintroduce fees after Brexit.
Gareth Turpin, of Virgin Media O2, said: ‘We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty.
‘We will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.
‘Unlike all the other major mobile networks who are bringing back roaming fees, we will not be following suit.
‘With many Brits now looking to plan a trip abroad, we’ve got our customers covered and extra roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about.’
The firm said a family of four going abroad for two weeks could see an extra £100 on their bill, based on analysis of rates from other providers.
The return of roaming fees follows the UK’s departure from the EU, with the bloc having removed the charges for people moving around Europe in 2017.
Customers who joined or upgraded with EE after July 7 2021 face a £2 daily charge for using their data, making calls, or sending text messages in EU countries in March.
The same fee will apply to Vodafone customers who joined the network after August 11 2021, or upgraded or renewed their contract and will start at the end of January.
Three will bring in the £2 daily charge on May 23, applicable to customers who joined the network or upgraded after October 1 2021.
Both EE and Vodafone will offer alternatives to avoid the fee, with EE customers able to buy a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass for £10 and Vodafone users able to pay £1 a day for an eight or 15-day multipass.
Anti-Brexit Best for Britain group calculated in 2018 the average business customer could expect to pay £778 more per month if the charges were reinstated after Brexit.
The group argued this would put British businesses at a competitive disadvantage over our neighbours, whose workers would pay nothing.
Previously, the only countries to enjoy free data roaming without being part of the EU were those who were part of the single market – such as Norway.
Vodafone, EE and Three were contacted for comment.
WHAT IS FREE ROAMING?
Roaming is the word used to describe using your phone while you’re overseas. You’re ‘roaming’ the moment your phone is detected on an overseas network
Before Brexit, EU roaming regulations meant you could use your monthly allowances of calls, data and texts while you were in 28 destinations in the EU for no extra charge.
Since the UK is now no longer part of the EU, these roaming regulations don’t apply to Brits, so now you’ll get roaming charges added to your bill if you use your phone abroad, depending on your provider.
Source: Thanks msn.com