No longer under the mantle of EU law, EE will begin charging customers £2 a day to use their data, texts, and minutes while abroad in Europe

‘Roam like home’ was the motto adopted by the EU following changes to roaming laws across the bloc back in 2017, effectively eliminating roaming charges for customers travelling throughout the EU.

Now, post-Brexit, the UK is no longer subject to EU law. As a result, EE is now free to announce that it will be reintroducing roaming fees for its customers, the first UK operator to do so.

EE said that any new and upgrading customers from July 7th would be subject to roaming charges of £2 per day to use their data, voice, or text allowances when travelling to EU countries. The charges will come into effect at the start of 2022.

Customers who keep their existing contracts will be unaffected and the Republic of Ireland will be exempt from the charges.

For those intending on taking longer trips abroad, EE will also be making available 30-day roaming passes for £10.

The operator has said that the money raised from reintroducing these charges will “support investment into our UK-based customer service and leading UK network”.

Of course, back when the issue of European roaming charges were raised in relation to Brexit in December 2020, EE, alongside the other UK operators,  said that they had no plans to reintroduce the charges.

Now that EE has broken rank to reintroduce roaming charges, there are fears that the other operators will do likewise. 

The timing of EE’s announcement is very interesting, seeing as O2 has in fact come under fire earlier this week for introducing a 25GB roaming limit and subsequent “fair use” charges on customers that exceed that limit during travels in a month period.

However, the media storm that followed this announcement seemed broadly unwarranted, with most operators having a similar policies in place. 

“Less than 1% of our Pay Monthly customers reach anywhere near 25GB during occasional travel to Europe,” said an O2 UK spokesperson. “If a customer’s UK monthly data allowance is over 25GB, from August 2 they will have a roaming limit of 25GB in our Europe Zone. This means they can use up to 25GB of their allowance at no extra cost – we’ll text them if they get close to the limit, and again if they reach it.  A customer can still use data if they reach our roaming limit, but will be charged £3.50/GB.”

For EE, however, their reintroduction of roaming is earning them the ire of many a disgruntled customer on social media, with many suggesting that the operator is profiteering off the back of Brexit and discouraging existing customers from upgrading their plans.

Will these new roaming revenues have a significant impact on the UK operator’s bottom line? Find out all the latest telecoms news from the UK at this year’s live Connected Britain event 

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