In July last year the European Commission announced it wanted international roaming costs to be slashed by 40 to 70 per cent. The impact of this decision was not expected to be felt before this summer but 3 has given us all an early present…
A new service called ‘3 Like Home’ will abolish roaming charges for customers in seven countries. Five of those are in Europe namely Austria, Denmark, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Sweden with two others: Australia and Hong Kong also on the list. 3 is doing this because its network already operates in these countries.
3 Like Home will carry no fees and every customer will automatically gain access to the service with all call and data charges simply deducted from a user’s monthly allowance. Should a user exceed their monthly allowance a flat rate of only 20p per minute will be billed.
"The launch of the 3 Like Home scheme will significantly benefit our customers as they travel between the 3 group's networks," said 3's Christian Salbaing in an interview with the BBC. "It underlines our commitment to fair treatment and reasonable pricing for all our customers."
Of course the cynical among you will say this is just 3 jumping before it is pushed (after all O2 announced a flat rate EU call charge way back in June) but I would argue there is a certain amount of dignity in facing these pressures head on. Furthermore, the move could prompt other networks to make similar concessions… yes, even Vodafone!