Mobile customers may have to pay roaming charges when travelling within the European Union after the Brexit transition period ends in December this year.
The UK’s exit from the continental bloc will lead to major changes in travel for citizens and the government recently released guidelines about what to expect when venturing abroad in 2021 and beyond.
Free mobile roaming is one benefit that could now end with the travel advisory revealing that the “guarantee” of no charges when in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will come to an end when the transition period expires.
The government urged customers to check with a phone operator to find out more information about any potential charges from the 1st January 2021.
There may be a silver lining for UK citizens though as there is not a widespread appetite among leading providers to reinstate roaming charges.
Vodafone said it currently has “no plans” to charge its customers when visiting the EU and said it was hopeful that the impact of Brexit would not force it to change its position.
Three offered similar sentiments, and it appears roaming could be a battleground for providers as they look to entice and retain customers.
Three said in a statement: “We’re committed to eradicating excessive roaming charges and will retain this great customer benefit regardless of Brexit negotiations.”
If roaming fees are reintroduced in some form next year, the government says there will be consumer protection in the form of a £45 cap to prevent ‘bill shock’ and an opt-in format for additional charges above this threshold.