Categories: BroadbandNetworks

Brexit Means Brits Won’t Benefit From End Of EU Roaming Charges

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.

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Steve McCaskill

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.

View Comments

  • Does this mean at least one UK based telecommunications provider will be changing its deals ? At the current time, February 2017, it is possible to be signed up to a deal that includes calls and texts when in the EU to the UK and EU. It even applies when in the Channel Islands. There is, however, a little extra up-front cost that could be classed as a 'roaming charge' but at least it is fixed.

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