UK's Virgin Mobile and O2 Network Users Won't Face EU Roaming Charges When Traveling Abroad

Users of Virgin Mobile and O2 networks based in the UK will not face EU roaming charges when traveling abroad, the company that owns both networks has announced (via BBC News).

virgin media o2
Based on an analysis of rates from other provides, Virgin Media O2 said a family of four going abroad for two weeks could see an extra £100 on their bill. As such, the company said it would not be re-introducing EU roaming charges, post-Brexit.

"We're starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile," said Gareth Turpin, chief commercial officer.

"With many Brits now looking to plan a trip abroad, we've got our customers covered and extra roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about."

In 2021, Three, EE, and Vodafone announced the return of roaming charges to come into effect later this year.

Before the U.K. formally exited the European Union, mobile customers generally didn't have to worry about roaming charges when using their phone in the EU, with most phone tariffs counting calls, texts, and data used in EU countries as equivalent to domestic use.

When the UK-EU trade deal was signed in December 2020, mobile operators were once again able to charge customers when traveling in Europe with "transparent and reasonable rates."

Originally, EE, Three, and Vodafone stated they had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges after Brexit, but all have since announced changes, some under a "fair use" clause.

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Top Rated Comments

Deej Avatar
33 months ago

You have wanted Brexit? ?
Not all of us...!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
addictive Avatar
33 months ago
I've been with EE for over five years probably longer but they are re-introducing roaming fees. First of all it was meant to be this month now it's March. If they don't change their policy (and they still might) then I'll be switching from EE to O2.

The mobile phone networks are going to face such severe backlash for gouging their customers. They came out last year at the beginning of the Brexit transition promising there would be no re-introduction of price increases now EU roaming was no more. Then several months later one network says they will increase charges. Then another network, then a third network.

I hope Vodafone, EE and Three all lose millions of customers to O2 who are the only network to resist the gouging of their customers.

These are all trans-national companies, their costs are not increasing because of Brexit. It's simple profiteering and given their stupidity in first announcing no price increases were coming the networks deserve the PR nightmare some of them will experience this year.

They have a few weeks/months to go back on their policy because if there is mass tourism in Europe from the UK this summer people are gonna have huge phone bills again and it's gonna be an apocalyptic show of negative news stories for these greedy networks.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Deej Avatar
33 months ago
This is A.Good.Thing! We in the UK need to do more with the other telcos to 'encourage' them not to reintroduce the roaming charges.. Most of them are part of another group which own the networks in Europe (and beyond) too, so any noise around interconnect costs is just rubbish..
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krspkbl Avatar
33 months ago
don't think we should have left the EU at all but here we are... scotland dragged out against its will. anyway, good on VMo2 doing this. any company that reintroduces charges is doing it out of greed. VMo2 will gain a lot of customers and hopefully force others to rethink their approach. i assume MVNO's like Giffgaff who run on o2 are included?

brexit is a mess but this is one small tiny glint of positivity but the whole situation could've been avoided. **** brexit and anyone who voted for or supports it.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TwoBytes Avatar
33 months ago
I am hopeful EE will follow this, otherwise, they are going to lose a hell of a load of customers. They need to mitigate damage soon to avoid upcoming damage as when people move, they move.

To be honest, I assume there is complete panic in the EE headquarters as they are scrambling to hold onto customers from this announcement. Prices across networks are vastly similar and it's easy to move across these days to another network if you're not tied into a deal.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
addictive Avatar
33 months ago

This is A.Good.Thing! We in the UK need to do more with the other telcos to 'encourage' them not to reintroduce the roaming charges.. Most of them are part of another group which own the networks in Europe (and beyond) too, so any noise around interconnect costs is just rubbish..
Exactly. I hope there's numerous negative stories about the gouging of the other networks and a vast number of customers from these networks all migrate to O2.

Personally I do wonder if this is part of O2's strategy here. Refuse to re-introduce roaming and vacuum up all the disgruntled customers from Vodafone/EE/Three over the next year. They could add a huge number of unhappy customers.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)