Three is the latest UK operator to announce that they will be reintroducing roaming costs for customers, despite promising not to in 2019
Today, Three has become the third UK operator to renege on their pre-Brexit promises to retain EU roaming at no extra cost, instead preparing to reintroduce fees from May 2022.
Back in 2019, at the height of Brexit discussions, the four major UK mobile operators unanimously agreed that they would not reintroduce roaming charges in Europe, regardless of the outcome of Brexit talks.
Now, post-Brexit and no longer subject to EU law, the UK operators have been gradually taking the plunge, announcing the ignominious return of roaming charges over the next few months.
BT (EE) was the first operator to break the promise
, announcing in June that any new or upgrading customers would face roaming charges of £2 per day to use their data, voice, or text allowances when traveling to the EU. The charges are set to come into effect at the start of 2022.
soon afterwards, in August announcing that they too would be introducing charges of £2 per day, or £1 per day if purchased as part of a weekly or bi-weekly bundle. These charges will be applied from January 6th 2022.
Now, Three has announced that they too will reintroduce roaming fees, matching the £2 per day for EU roaming stipulated by the other operators, as well as £5 per day charges to roam outside of Europe.
In a statement, Three said they wanted to keep the roaming pricing as “simple and affordable for customers as possible”.
The operators have jointly justified the return of these fees as a result of their own rising costs, including the widespread rollout of expensive network equipment throughout the country.
This announcement leaves O2 as the only major UK mobile operator who has not reintroduced roaming fees, but how long this will remain true is yet to be seen. Currently, the operator says it has no intentions of following the crowd and reintroducing the fees.
What does the return of roaming fees mean for the UK mobile industry? Find out from the experts at this year’s live Connected Britain conference
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