Brexit: EE to bring back roaming charges for UK users in the EU

LONDON — From Jan. 2022, some Brits may have to begin paying to use their cellphone in European Union international locations once more.

On Thursday, Britain's prime cell community operator EE introduced it could bring back cell roaming charges, beginning subsequent 12 months.

The BT-owned provider will introduce a brand new flat payment of £2 ($2.78) a day for prospects utilizing their information, minutes or texts whereas touring to EU international locations — with the exception of Ireland, which is included in EE's home plans.

"This will apply only to new and upgrading customers signing up to EE from the 7th July 2021 and will support investment into our U.K. based customer service and leading U.K. network," an EE spokesperson advised CNBC.

There can even be a 30-day "Roam Abroad Pass" for which prospects pays £10 to use their cellphone in the EU for longer intervals of time.

What are roaming charges?

Roaming charges are extra charges charged for making calls, sending texts and utilizing web information whereas abroad. They apply as quickly as a cellphone connects to a overseas community.

But since 2017, cell phone users in Europe have been in a position to use their common name, textual content and web allowances whereas touring wherever in the EU at no additional price.

That was thanks to new guidelines which abolished information roaming charges throughout the bloc — a part of efforts to forge a "Digital Single Market" throughout EU member states.

After the Brexit vote in 2016, there have been fears that roaming charges could also be reintroduced as the U.Ok. would now not be a member of the EU.

The main British carriers — which embody EE, Vodafone, Three and O2 — had mentioned that they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges in Europe, regardless of the indisputable fact that they might achieve this underneath the U.Ok.-EU commerce settlement signed in Dec. 2020.

But this week, EE got here out as the first cell operator to bring back roaming charges.

'Poisonous time period'

Kester Mann, director of shopper and connectivity at CCS Insight, mentioned the transfer mirrored a "failure by U.K. telecom operators to stem the long-term decline in average customer spend amid heavy investment in future fixed-line and mobile networks."

"Roaming is a poisonous term for consumers after travelers were hit by exorbitant prices for years," he added. "The company knows it will not be well received by its customers, and that it has handed on a plate a clear marketing opportunity to rivals."

Vodafone, Three and O2 advised CNBC that they had no plans to bring back roaming charges. However, Three is decreasing a "fair use" restrict on how a lot information their prospects can use whereas in an EU nation.

From July 1, Three's truthful use restrict will go down to 12GB from 20GB. Customers that go over these restrictions may have to pay a surcharge based mostly on how a lot additional information they use. Vodafone and O2 have each imposed limits of 25GB.

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