Tesco Mobile has announced that it will scrap EU roaming charges for mobile customers across the UK.
Starting tomorrow, Tesco Mobile customers will no longer have to pay extra to use their pre-assigned minutes, texts and data abroad in 48 European destinations – just like they would in the UK.
However, it’s important to note that the announcement comes just one day before the European Union abolishes roaming charges across the continent anyway. The long-awaited ban on roaming charges will finally go live on June 15, so this is really just a case of Tesco Mobile complying with a ruling. Most of the other major phone networks have already complied with the decision, most notably Three, which has been offering a similar ‘Feel At Home’ scheme for years.
However, Tesco Mobile does say that it plans to abolish roaming charges in six destinations outside of the EU, specifically Jersey, Monaco, Guernsey, Switzerland, the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar.
You won’t need to opt in to any special scheme when roaming abroad; you’ll simply be greeted by a text message informing you of the free roaming once you arrive at your destination. If you’ve used up all your minutes, texts, or data, you’ll pay your network’s standard UK rates.
Unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear how Britain’s departure from the European Union – set for 2019 – will affect the EU ruling to abolish roaming fees. The biggest concern for consumers will be a possible return to roaming charges, as uSwitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku explains:
“As for the impact Brexit might have on roaming, this is still unclear, though any plans to revert back to a world of roaming at an extra charge would likely be unpalatable for consumers, and so seems an unlikely manoeuvre.”
He continued: “The challenge for those providers who might want to steal a march will be in their ability to remain flexible in handling any changes resulting from Brexit. It’ll also come down to how quickly they can broker deals in other countries ahead of the rest. Either way, all signs point to worry-free global roaming becoming a new battleground – and potential point of confusion – amongst providers.”
What do you think of the EU’s decision to scrap continental roaming charges? Let us know in the comments.