Calls and texts to non-UK numbers are still charged at standard roaming rates, but Three says the addition of the five new countries, including France, which is visited by 17.1 million Brits every year, can enjoy their summer holidays without the fear of bill shock when they return home.
“Roaming charges are a rip-off and Three is tackling the issue head-on,” says Dave Dyson, CEO of Three. “We haven’t just reduced charges; we’ve now scrapped them in 16 destinations, making it fairer, easier and more enjoyable to use your phone abroad.
Feel At Home is now available in 16 countries – USA, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Macau, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong King, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland – having launched last year. The service is available to all pay monthly, mobile broadband and pay-as-you-go customers, although the latter category require an add-on, and tethering is not permitted.
Earlier this year Dyson said that Three customers were using 53 times as much data abroad as they did before Feel at Home was introduced and said it had been cited by a third of customers as being an important factor in staying or joining the operator.
He added that Three was working to add more countries to the service, with Spain and Germany mention as possibilities but warned some nations were out of reach because of prohibitive wholesale charges which makes launching a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in some countries a cheaper option.
The European Union is working to eliminate roaming charges entirely across member states, with the European Parliament recently approving the Telecoms Single Market Regulation, which could result in charges being scrapped by December 2015.
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