O2 Roaming Charges Jumping Dramatically Outside Europe

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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O2 roaming costs outside Europe will more than double on 28 November

O2 customers who want to use their phone outside of the European Union will find it a bit more expensive this Christmas after the network announced a massive rise in roaming charges.

From 28 November, customers could pay as much as £1.50 a minute to make calls and £1.25 a minute to receive calls in countries such as Turkey, Tunisia and Croatia.

The cost of making a call in the US or Canada has risen from 90 per minute to £1.10 and receiving calls has more than doubled from 39p a minute to 90p. Texts from any country now cost 40p per message, up from 25p.

O2 roaming charges increase

O2 said it had made the changes to simplify charging and align itself with its competitors.

“This is the first time we have changed these prices in over five years and we’ve ensured they remain competitive,” a company spokesperson told TechWeekEurope. O2 said its prices were below T-Mobile in all territories and below Vodafone in all but three.

There will be no changes to data charges outside Europe, which means customers can use up to 50MB for under £40, which is the roaming cap.

Roaming in Europe has become more affordable in Europe since July after new EC regulations limiting charges came into force. These restrict how much operators can charge for calls, texts and mobile internet services and from July 2014, customers will even be able to sign up for an alternative roaming price plan.

O2’s parent company Telefonica was a vocal critic of the plans, arguing the proposals were too strict and could reduce competition.

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