Tesco Mobile is the latest mobile network to scrap free data roaming across Europe, in a move that could leave travellers with big bills when using their phones abroad
Since the UK left the EU, several mobile companies brought back data roaming fees - which were banned under EU law.
Vodafone, EE and Three already scrapped free EU roaming and now Tesco Mobile is set to join them from May. However other phone networks like O2, Virgin Mobile and BT have not.
Below is a breakdown of which mobile networks have reintroduced data roaming charges for customers.
EE customers can use their minutes texts and data allowances in EE’s European roaming zone for £2 a day or for £10 a month with Roam Abroad active.
Customers will have one low fixed daily payment of £2 a day in 47 European countries. If customers go over, they can buy more data if needed. However, if customers have a plan with Smart Benefits, they can choose EE’s Roam Abroad pass as a Smart Benefit and won’t have to pay the £2 daily charge in the EU.
Alternatively, customers can take Roam Abroad as an add-on to their plan for £10 a month and won’t have to pay the £2 daily charge in the EU.
Vodafone has reintroduced roaming charges for their customers who travel to Europe. Users will have to pay up to £2 per day to use their monthly allowance of data, calls and texts.
Customers can reduce the cost to £1 a day, by purchasing a multi-day pass for eight or 15 days.
Three have a flat £2 per day charge for all Three customers. Three’s fair use limit is 12GB and customers will be charged £3 per GB above that.
Three’s Go Roam will allow customers to use their plan or add-on allowances in over 70 destinations around the world at no extra cost. However, if users go over their plan they will be charged.
However, there is also an option for a Data Passport for £5 a day. Customers can benefit from unlimited unrestricted data (up to fair usage limits).
Sky Mobile offers a Roaming Passport for customers, where they can use their phone or tablet in over 40 European (EU / EEA) destinations at no extra cost. When customers travel abroad Sky will text them information about the roaming charges at the destination they are visiting.
Alternatively, Sky has also set up a worldwide data roaming spend cap of £45 per month for each SIM. For Pay As You Use customers roaming in the EU/EEA, the cost of sending a text message to standard EU/EEA mobiles and landlines is 10p per minute or per text (and it won’t cost anything extra to receive calls either).
There is also an option for Roaming Passport Plus which gives customers access to their UK plan in 12 roaming destinations outside the European Union for £6 a day which are: Australia, Canada, Christmas Islands, Cocos Islands, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey (incl Northern Cyprus) and USA.
This will be automatically activated and lasts for 24 hours, with customers only being charged for the days their use.
Tesco Mobile has reintroduced data roaming charges, which will come into force from May 2023, money/21117919/mobile-network-scrap-free-data-roaming-europe-tesco-mobile/">reports The Sun.
Customers will be charged an extra fee, but Tesco is yet to confirm the rate. However, customers will still be able to use their UK minutes and text allowances at no extra cost when in Europe.
All existing pay monthly customers who joined or upgraded before 16 June 2022 won’t face an extra charge to use their data abroad. Customers who joined or upgraded their contract after 16 June 2022 will have to pay for data roaming charges abroad.
Tesco is still yet to make a formal announcement regarding the changes.
Which mobile networks don’t charge for data roaming?
There are five mobile networks which still allow customers to use their UK data allowance while abroad, which are: BT Mobile and Plusnet, iD Mobile, O2, Virgin Mobile and Smarty.
BT Mobile and Plusnet
These two carriers allow customers to use all of their data abroad without any international fees, under their Roam like Home policies. However, customers will be charged if they use up all their data allowance.
This carrier comes with inclusive EU roaming, and minutes, texts and data comes out of the remaining monthly allowances.
Data allowances will work abroad as they do in the UK, but it is subject to a roaming limit. If customers have a data allowance of over 25GB, there will be a roaming limit of 25GB.
However, if customers use all of their limit, they will have to buy a data “Bolt On”, which starts at £3.
Virgin Mobile customers can use their data in the EU as they do in the UK. If they use all their data, they will be charged £4.79 per extra GB. However, customers will be informed when they have reached around 80% of their usage.
Smarty’s fair usage limit means customers can use up to 12GB of data each month when in the EU. If customers need more data, they can purchase a data add-on which will be between £1 and £14 to get an extra 15 GB of data.