How leaving the EU has affected mobile roaming in EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
Mobile roaming in EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries
The UK has now left the EU. This means that surcharge-free roaming when you travel to EU and EEA countries is no longer guaranteed. This includes employees of UK companies travelling in the EU for business.
A number of mobile operators have stated that they have no current plans to change their mobile roaming policies, however this could change in future. You should check your mobile operator’s roaming policies before travelling abroad.
The government has legislated to protect consumers from unexpected charges. This ensures that obligations on mobile operators to apply a financial limit on mobile data usage while abroad is retained in UK law.
The limit has been set at £45 per monthly billing period (currently €50 under EU law). This means you cannot continue to use mobile data services when roaming unless you actively chose to continue spending. The government has also legislated to continue to ensure that consumers receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.
If you live in Northern Ireland
The government has passed legislation to ensure that operators continue to make information available to their customers on how to avoid inadvertent roaming in border regions. Operators will also continue to be required to take reasonable steps to protect their customers from paying roaming charges for inadvertently accessing roaming services.
Surcharge-free roaming in the EU, known as Roam Like at Home, is underpinned by the EU Roaming Regulation - (EU) No 531/2012 - and its subsequent amendments - (EU) No 2015/2120 and (EU) No 2017/920.
This Regulation also regulates what mobile operators can charge each other for providing roaming services and extends to the wider European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.