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Tesco Mobile UK Extend Free EU Roaming Offer to 2025

Friday, Oct 20th, 2023 (12:02 am) - Score 3,184

Customers of UK mobile operator Tesco Mobile may be pleased to learn that they’ve extended their ‘Home From Home’ EU roaming offer until 2025. Customers can thus continue to tap into their UK minutes, texts and data (mobile broadband) allowances, at no extra cost, when travelling around 48 destinations in the EU and beyond.

The move isn’t particularly surprising as the provider is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on O2’s (VMO2) platform, which is an operator that has long opted to retain free EU roaming.

Rachel Swift, Tesco Mobile Chief Customer Officer, said:”We know that many of our customers rely on their phones while travelling, not just to stay connected with loved ones, but also to research sights and restaurants. As part of our commitment to being the helpful network, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve extended our roaming offer so customers can enjoy their travels without worrying about additional charges. We’re incredibly proud to be one of the few networks to still offer this benefit.”

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ben says:

    How does this work? Presumably Tesco Mobile aren’t negotiating roaming agreements with all the mobile networks — but at the same time O2 claim they cannot offer free roaming to their customers because the costs have gone up. Is this evidence that the cost of roaming hasn’t actually increased dramatically, or is it just Tesco taking a hit on roaming because they’re “betting” that most of their customers won’t roam very often?

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      “The move isn’t particularly surprising as the provider is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) on O2’s (VMO2) platform, which is an operator that has long opted to retain free EU roaming.”

      O2 do offer free roaming. are you thinking of someone else??

    2. Avatar photo Chris says:

      “Traffic management”

      Basically O2 are throttling roaming data connections. This coupled with roaming data caps means O2 can limit their wholesale roaming data bills.

      This seems to be an issue for O2 customers roaming in the USA: https://community.o2.co.uk/t5/Pay-Monthly/O2-Roaming-Speed-Cap-Unusable-in-USA/td-p/1621974

      Personally I would rather be with the likes of EE or Vodafone who don’t throttle.

      Three also limit roaming data but it’s a little more nuanced as it depends on destination (and you can also purchase their data passport for fewer restrictions).

    3. Avatar photo Matt says:

      Chris you’d be better comparing to other EU countries – TBF USA/Canada is likely an edge case.

      Traffic management at 2mbps gives you something *useable* with no extra cost to you. It’d be better if they were more upfront about the speed limit, but the idea is you should just be able to continue using your phone as “normal” when travelling – and they hit that criteria – you just won’t be streaming video etc. (Calls, sms, messages via apps using data, maps usage etc)

      I totally get the point though – “Roam like at home” likely needs referring to the ASA because that’s not the same “home” experience. Or they could offer a speed boost bundle I guess (Would be hard to state it’s included roaming then though, I suspect)

  2. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Matt, your point is very valid. Certainly 2 Mbps is perfectly adequate for most users.

    It’s just us power users that like the feeling of no restrictions

    Re. Canada, data in general is expensive in that country. Wholesale roaming data is REALLY expensive for the carriers (little in the way of competition).

  3. Avatar photo Bob says:

    O2 do not throttle data speeds in EU countries. I have roamed in quite a few countries with O2 and usually get 5G connectivity with download speeds of 100Mbps+. I even clocked over 1Gbps in Romania.

    O2 Travel outside the EU, where you pay £6/day for unlimited data/calls/texts, is throttled.

    1. Avatar photo Ryan says:

      I do agree with that I’ve not noticed any speed limiting in EU.

      I was in the USA last month and the speed was limited but was still perfectly usable I didn’t pay the £6 since also got Virgin Media so get O2 Travel Inclusive Bolt On as volt benefit.

  4. Avatar photo Kevin Jones says:

    Many years ago i got stung with a £386 bill my other half used my phone in Turkey to ring mum & sister & only for a few minutes at a time beware using your mobile abroad

    1. Avatar photo Ben says:

      > only for a few minutes at a time

      Doesn’t matter how many minutes it was at a time, but the total number of minutes 🙂

    2. Avatar photo Mark says:

      It is very expensive from Turkey. When on Greek islands like Rhodes etc you need to be careful that you are connected to Greek network and not Turkish. With Lebara fir eg it makes the difference of free or £1.50 per minute. I assume if you are in the right part of Turkey it works the other way where you could perhaps force your devuce to connect to say Vodafone Greece rather than Turkcell for example?

    3. Avatar photo Raj says:

      Must be another network you got stung with. All of Tesco Mobile’s contracts have a £5 bill cap by default. It’s been this way for the past 10 years or so.

      There’s no way you could exceed £5 bill cap, and if you do, there’s a high usage limit of £40 which works independently of the bill cap.

  5. Avatar photo Iceburnmarko says:

    Few ppl here say tesco / o2 throttle speed to 2mb/sec in EU. Tell u tesco does not, friend used tesco during summer for streaming iptv and had no problems.

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