Leaked documents confirm suspicions that end of EU roaming wont apply to UK mobile users unless government agrees deal
A leaked document has confirmed the UK will not benefit from the abolition of roaming within the European Union once Brexit is completed -possibly in 2019.
Last week, the European Parliament, Council and Commission finalised regulations for wholesale mobile prices – one of the final barriers to the EU’s longstanding ambition to eliminate additional charges when making calls, sending texts and using data in the EU’s 28 member states.
The regulations are due to come into effect on 15 June and will benefit UK mobile users until the country leaves the bloc.
EU roaming UK
However this new information, obtained by the Guardian, confirms suspicions that the status quo will be restored after departure from the EU unless the government is able to secure a favourable deal in departure talks.
“Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming will no longer apply with respect to the UK, impacting business and other travellers to and from the UK,” the document reportedly says. Transitional arrangements will be necessary.”
The regulations have been opposed by the mobile industry, which fears a loss in revenue.
It is estimated that roaming revenues within the EU could fall by 28 percent from 2017, but Juniper Research says income will recover in the medium term once people start to become more comfortable using their phone abroad.
Other studies suggest fear of bill shock means many travellers turn roaming off and use Wi-Fi or even switch their phone off entirely when abroad, meaning no revenue is generated for operators. Some, most notably Three, have made inclusive roaming a feature of their contracts.