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Mobile Operator EE UK to Reintroduce EU Roaming Charges UPDATE

Thursday, June 24th, 2021 (1:25 pm) - Score 3,720
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EE (BT) has followed this morning’s confusion over O2’s tougher excess data charges for EU roaming (here) by revealing that they will be reintroducing EU roaming charges for new or upgrading customers from 7th July 2021. In short, you’ll be charged £2 a day to use your allowances across 47 European countries from January 2022.

Previously, customers of EE were largely free to use their domestic UK allowances (calls, texts and data), at no extra cost, when roaming around the EU. However, there was a caveat for data usage on their Pay Monthly plans, which imposed a 50GB roaming cap when within their Europe Zone (i.e. only relevant if you have a usage allowance of that size or bigger) and “surcharges” applied for exceeding that (here) – equating to 36p per MegaByte.

By comparison, the new change, which was spotted by the BBC, appears to go significantly beyond the old policy by requiring customers to pay £2 a day in order to use their existing allowances when roaming across 47 European countries. This is a cost that could quickly mount up when abroad for several weeks, such as for a holiday or business. The only exception is for the Republic of Ireland, where UK customers will not be charged extra.

Apparently, those who don’t want to pay £2 a day will have the option of buying a 30-Day Roam Abroad pass instead (£10 a month on Essential plans, but included on others). The concern is that Vodafone, O2 and Three UK may now follow EE’s lead, which would mark a significant shift after all four said in December 2020 that they had “no plans” to reintroduce EU roaming charges post-Brexit (here).

The Government also introduced some limited protection against the risk of future EU roaming BILL SHOCKs by adding a legislated cap of £45 on roaming charges and related warnings (first proposed in 2018), although they stopped short of forcing operators to retain free roaming.

The recent EU-UK Trade Agreement didn’t guarantee free EU roaming for the future, but it did contain “measures to encourage cooperation on the promotion of fair and transparent rates for international mobile roaming services in ways that can help promote the growth of trade among the Parties and enhance consumer welfare.

We can’t shake the feeling that EE perhaps saw O2’s news and sensed an opportunity to follow suit, except for the fact that O2 merely introduced something that other operators had already been doing for several years (i.e. not a true reintroduction of roaming charges).

UPDATE 28th June 2021

Just to clarify, the above changes only affect Pay Monthly customers. So those on FLEX and PAYG plans are unaffected, for now. Credits to Alex for confirming that.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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43 Responses
  1. Jimmy says:

    Shocking news.
    Only reason I’d stayed with EE is that they didn’t have fair use of the amount of time you could roam.

    I roamed for 20 months without returning to the UK. Stayed with them since… Nvm processing a switch tonight.

    1. Ken says:

      “Shocking news”
      Hardly, given that Brexit allowed UK mobile operators the right to re-introduce roaming charges in Europe/EU.

    2. Jimmy says:

      Nah pretty shocking considering they offer roaming in other countries besides the EU, you pretentious dick.

    3. Papa John says:

      And you don’t have to be Einstein to work out that EE would still offer free EU roaming had we not left the EU. Enjoy paying extra Jimmy!

    4. Harmz says:

      Why would you “process switch tonight”? Stay with them and it won’t affect you, as it says new/upgrading from July only.

      Also, the roaming pass is included on most plans, just not essential plans, which therefore sounds like it’s only going to be the cheap budget tarrifs affected. The majority of people will be largely unaffected

    5. T says:

      Jimmy. Roaming for 20 months and not coming back to the UK? Don’t chat crap, you need to have a stable link to the UK. Wind your neck in.

    6. Ken says:

      Go feck yourself!

    7. Jimmy says:

      Ah yeah, roaming pass isn’t affected.

      Definitely let me roam for 20 months though, all across NZ and Australia.

      Pretty neat, never even needed a local sim. Kinda sad you’ve never had the opportunity to try.

  2. Sam M says:

    “EE says that customers travelling abroad for longer periods can use a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass. Essential plan customers will be able to take the Pass for £10, while Smart or Full Works plans customers are able to include the pass as part of their plan.”


  3. James says:

    EE do seem to be going backwards.

    -Decent deals are rare now.
    -24 month SIMO deals are the norm
    -£2 a day to roam

    Seem to be happy to let customers just leave?

    1. Lucian says:

      Well, what do you know, operators realised they can charge more.. and decided to go for it.
      I for one blame Brexit. So far zero good things came out of it while the bad things keep on coming.

      For what it’s worth, they’re enabling VoLTE and WIFI Calling for all customers, including payg (got my payg enabled recently).

      Downside is now I need a dual-SIM phone for when in Europe..

    2. Mike says:


      Can’t take advantage of Brexit until the government is cleaned out, too many remainers/traitors are preventing progress.

    3. JP says:

      @James – I don’t know about EE going backwards, seems pretty succesful business model to me….

      Provide a good product at a rate that covers operation costs, investment costs and clears required profits…

      I also look at it this way too, lets compare the network capcity available on wireless spectrum for 4G… EE has 110mMhz of 4G spectrum active,

      Compared to EE, networks below only own as much spectrum that customers can make use of for 4G mobile services,

      Vodafone – 100Mhz (-9.52%)
      Three – 50Mhz (-54.54%)
      O2 – 65Mhz (-40.90%)

      So going to back to the going backwards bit, they are pretty much running a succesful network in my oppinion and should I have dire needs for such reliable network and not need to penny pinch then I shall return to them to take advantage of the best UK network on test and from experiance.

    4. mike says:

      EE’s pricing has improved a lot. 18 months ago I got a SIMO black friday deal of 60GB for £20 per month. Now I can recontract for 160GB of 5G for the same price!

      You’ll always pay a premium with EE. They have the best network by a mile and know it.

  4. Random Precision says:

    Another brexit dividend.

    1. Darren Watts says:

      Its ok, most Brexiteers don’t travel abroad and those that do, will get their roaming charges refunded by Boris and Co. Just send your latest EE bill to 10 Downing St.

    2. Optimist says:

      Offset by lower prices of goods from outside the EU.

  5. Ryan says:

    Why Am I not surprised, ever change to charge customer more seem to originate for EE.

    The switch from RPI to CPI + a fixed percentage come from EE and other network follow them doubt it would be long until the rest do the same.

    1. AT says:

      I cam here to basically say this.

      Their CEO is a greedy .. well you can see where I’m going with that.

  6. Ur says:

    So things don’t change for those with the travel pass? I feel like that’d be really important to note.

  7. John says:

    Yet another case of Brexiteers voting Leave to make themselves poorer.

    1. AT says:

      Don’t just lame them, there a greedy companies capitalising on it.

  8. Rob says:

    FFS has anything good actually come out of brexit?

    1. Yooo says:

      Yeah, definitely. More working holidays.

  9. Steven says:

    How does this affect early termination?

    1. Ryan says:

      Am petty sure the £2 a day only apply to new or upgrade after 7th july, any EE contact before that date don’t get charged the roaming fee.

    2. Random Precision says:

      @Ryan, yes only new customers for now, older customers will eventually end up with roaming charges, nowt more certain.

    3. Harmz says:

      “Older customer will eventually endup with a roaming charge” if they upgrade to specifically an essential plan.

  10. Michael V says:

    Doesn’t surprise me. All four MNOs have confirmed EU charges will come back.
    There was always a limit. Like Three has 25GB usage limit [will now be 12GB. Not sure of the process after that.

    O2’s £3.50 per GB is cheaper than what I was expecting.

    Disappointing that they are doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t.

    1. Carl O says:

      3p per mb with Three after your 12gb EU limit.

    2. Mike says:

      The EU carriers may have hiked the price for them.

  11. adslmax says:

    I suppose Plusnet Mobile (EE) will follow next!

  12. Randy says:

    reEeEee tories. brexit. bad.

    Love how the remoaners somehow think they’re the majority, remind me who won the vote? was it the remoaners? . Oh noes, no EU roaming on EE the world has ended now. Forking over £20 billion a year in member fees to give it all to Poland and Romania was totally worth getting free slow internet while in Spain.. totally.

    1. Rob says:

      Everything brexit has changed so far has been for the worst.

      You still get to have an opinion if the side you voted for looses.

      The cost to this country through torpedoeing exports to our biggest and closest markets and wrapping everything in so much red tape once simple processes have become a minefield, will far exceed our EU membership fee.

    2. Mike says:


      The remainers are still mostly in charge, the UK may have left the EU but the 5th column remains.

    3. PoliticalGenius says:

      The ignorance of the Brexiteers was and always will be staggering. I have to believe it’s now just wilful ignorance rather than just ignorance.

      NOTHING good has come out of Brexit. Higher prices, reduction in protections, higher red tape, poorer relations with almost every nation in the world. It’s a cataclysmic mess that isn’t going to magically rectify itself.

      Also don’t be so sure that winning the Brexit vote means you’re in the majority any more. There was a massive campaign of disinformation, propaganda and outright lies spouted by brexiteers that certainly did sway the vote. Unfortunately it was just that – lies, deceit and stupidity.

    4. remain strong says:

      You are a gutless wonder Randy.

      Regrexit is strong.

      Many have changed their minds, over the lies and corruption of the bigoted racist leavers

  13. anonymous says:

    and bang on cue. The next day as expected after Virgin Media (under guise of O2).

    Corrupt BT who own EE and BT Mobile wouldn’t miss a chance to rip everyone off. They must have cried over the days when there was ‘free’ roaming…

    Both leech companies. The others have no choice but to copy now….

    1. AT says:


  14. Carl O says:

    To be fair, who is using more than 25gb on holiday anyway.

  15. tonyp says:

    I suppose someone has to pay for the massive hole in the BT pension fund while giving (institutional) shareholders a return on their investments according to an item in current Private Eye.

  16. chris says:

    Sorry to say this but: some people need to wake up and face the reality, it is the fecking 2021 “roaming” charges should not exist – or start charging if you are out of the homeland eg over 30days- as all of the voice/data goes via the darn internet, its just as the “AT” wrote : corporate greediness blame their CEOs need £££ to feed their lifestyle.

  17. Optimist says:

    What do you expect if the government shuts down the economy and hands out free money for people to stay at home? This is just another example of the inflation caused by monet printing.

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