Vodafone has become the second mobile network operator in the UK to reintroduce roaming charges in Europe for tourists and travellers. From January 2022, new and upgrading customers will have to pay at least £1 a day to use their mobile phone allowance in EU destinations.
This follows a similar announcement made by Vodafone’s rival EE in June despite all mobile network operators initially stating they would not reintroduce roaming charges after Brexit.
Vodafone intends to limit those that include roaming in Europe to ‘selected plans’, including its more expensive offerings.
The change will be implemented from 11 August 2021 for new and upgrading customers, though the charges will not come into effect until January next year. Once the charges are brought in, affected users will have to pay £2 per day to use their allowance in Europe, or can alternatively pay £8 for 8 days of allowance or £15 for a 15 day bundle. Fair usage limits will also apply at 25 GB of roaming data per month.
Ernest Doku, a mobile analyst at the price comparison service Uswitch said: ‘In the aftermath of Brexit, the UK's biggest mobile providers all said that they had no immediate plans to change their charging models for consumers roaming within the EU’. Doku went on to say ‘It's disappointing for consumers to see that the situation looks to be shifting, with a risk that roaming at no additional cost could soon be a distant memory for UK residents’.
Vodafone has said that ‘Existing customers will not be impacted by these changes while they remain on their current price plan, and roaming in the Republic of Ireland will still be included for all customers’.
EE became the first mobile network operator to reintroduce roaming charges in Europe following the agreement of a trade deal between the UK and the EU in December 2020. The trade deal stated that mobile network operators would be encouraged to maintain ‘transparent and reasonable rates’ for roaming, but did not ban the introduction of roaming charges outright.
Three has also lowered its EU roaming data limit from 20 GB to 12 GB per month. Customers will be charged £3 per gigabyte above this limit.
For more information about Vodafone’s changes to roaming charges in Europe, click here.