10.01.2022 NEWS

Virgin and O2 will not introduce mobile roaming charges this year for UK customers in EU

In good news announced on 9th January 2022, the newly combined company, Virgin Media O2 is poised to become the only UK mobile network not to bring back the charges, as it works hard to drive change in a busy mobile and broadband market.

Customers of the Virgin Media O2 phone network will not face roaming charges this year, despite other major networks announcing an extra fee. Mobile operators Three, Vodafone and BT’s EE have all said they will reapply roaming charges this year – although some plans have been hit by delays. Vodafone has pushed back the charges to the end of this month and EE has delayed the fees from January until March, while Three is poised to bring them in from May.

Gareth Turpin, the chief commercial officer of mobile at Virgin Media O2, said its decision would save a family of four using their mobiles every day on a two-week European holiday nearly £100 compared to roaming with its rivals. Gareth Turpin said: “we are starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.” According to the firm, a family of four on Virgin or O2 who go abroad for two weeks could save £100 on their bill, based on analysis of rates from other providers. “Across both O2 and Virgin Mobile we’re maintaining our inclusive roaming so that our customers can travel to destinations all over Europe and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.”

EE and Vodafone, two of the UK’s four biggest networks said they were reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling to the EU this year. The return of roaming charges follows the departure of the UK from the EU, brought about by the Brexit vote. Previously, the bloc in 2017 removed the charges for people using phones while they were moving around Europe. Mobile users were warned that Brexit would mean higher bills when calling, texting, or using data in Europe because EU regulations ruling out extra fees would lapse.

Vodafone said that it was delaying the reintroduction of fees so it could test its technology that allows customers to buy £1 per day bundles. Its customers will be able to continue roaming free of charge until that point.

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