Three is the latest of the ‘big four’ UK mobile networks to announce plans to reinstate roaming charges in the wake of Brexit.
From May 23 2022, any Three customers who have renewed or taken out a new contract since 1 October 2021 will have to pay a flat charge of £2 per day to use their domestic mobile plans in the EU. There’ll be a £5 per day fee when roaming outside the EU.
Pay As You Go users are not affected at this point.
It essentially marks the end – or at least the dramatic reduction – of Three’s popular Go Roam initiative, which made using your UK smartphone in Europe and selected non-EU countries a completely seamless experience.
In a recently released statement, Three claimed that there were now “too many unknowns” in the process, including “variations to the underlying cost of roaming”. This has apparently made it “commercially unviable” for the company to continue with its full Go Roam concessions.
Rather than pass the extra costs onto its non-travelling customers, Three feels that the reinstatement of fixed roaming fees is a more fair approach.
Three’s new charges are similar to those announced by EE back in June and Vodafone’s in August. O2, meanwhile, has announced this it will apply a fee of £3.50 per gigabyte of data used above a new limit of 25GB, which will potentially affect less than 1% of its Pay Monthly customers.
While the imposition of new charges is never welcome, it seems we’re unlikely to return to the dark old days of unexpectedly huge phone bills after using your phone on holiday. Legislation has been passed to prevent users spending more than £45 per month while roaming without a warning.