Brexit

Using Your Mobile Phone Abroad after Brexit

Things have certainly improved over the last few years when it comes to costs for using your mobile phone in EU countries, but what is likely to happen after Brexit?

Using your phone in the EU

The EU "Roam like at Home" rules mean that if you use your mobile phone when you travel outside the UK you don't need to pay any additional roaming charges (if you have a contract with a UK operator which includes roaming services).

This covers:

  • Calling Mobile calls
  • Calling Landlines
  • Sending Text Messages (SMS)
  • Receiving calls
  • Receiving text messages (SMS)

The caveat is that the “Roam like at Home” is meant for people who occasionally travel outside of the UK.

Note: Check with your Mobile Operator to ask what their fair use policy is, as some may apply extra charges after excessive usage.

Data limits are normally covered under the “Roam like at Home” policy but again check with your operator as some restrict the data usage on some lower-priced contracts.

What will happen if Brexit goes ahead?

All EU rules and regulations will continue to apply up until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 (which could be extended), including the “Roam like at Home” policy.

If the UK leaves without a deal, mobile operators will be able to charge for roaming outside of the UK.

It remains to be seen if this will change anytime soon, but there is optimism that operators will not implement the extra charges, O2 recently stated "We currently have no plans to change our roaming services across Europe. We will be working closely with the government and other European operators to try and protect the current arrangements, so our customers can continue to enjoy free EU roaming once Britain officially leaves the EU."

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_roaming_regulations

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/mobile-roaming-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

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