Mobile operator EE has reportedly planned to reintroduce roaming charges to its UK customers using its services in Europe. Previously, the company had no plans of bringing back roaming charges following the Brexit deal on Christmas.
Starting January, new customers availing EE’s services or the ones upgrading post-mid-July will be charged £2 daily when users use their phones across 47 European nations.
EE will be the first British operator to restore roaming costs. However, O2 apparently stated that it plans to charge an extra ‘fair use’ price if customers utilize over 25GB of data inside a month.
Since 2017, mobile networks operating in EU nations have been legally disallowed to impose extra charges on customers using their services in member nations. After multiple ‘bill shock’ cases where tourists were billed thousands of pounds for their mobile internet usage in foreign countries, legislation was introduced which scrapped roaming charges within a market.
An expert on mobile at Uswitch.com, Ernest Doku, apparently stated that major mobile providers in the U.K. had no plans of introducing roaming charges for customers using services within the EU. Unfortunately, the situation has changed drastically and is considered regressive from a customer’s point of view, given that when one major provider makes such an audacious decision, it could encourage others to follow suit.
In January, O2, EE, Vodafone, and Three all confirmed that they had no plans of restoring roaming costs even when the Brexit allowed them to do so.
The EU-UK trade deal states that when it comes to roaming, both sides expect mobile operators to charge reasonably and transparently.
EE’s new roaming charges, however, are inapplicable to U.K customers using its service in the Republic of Ireland. The company reportedly stated that it will use the fee revenue to bolster its U.K-based customer service network.