Recent political turmoil across the globe can have an impact on how much you are likely to pay when using your mobile phone abroad. In this article we take a look at EU data roaming charges, and the potential impact of Brexit.
Roaming refers to the act of using your mobile phone abroad to make or receive calls, text or use data. Your home network provides this to you through a relationship with a network in your current country.
So What is Brexit Likely to Mean for EU Data Roaming Charges?
Data roaming charges in the EU were capped by European Union legislation in July 2012, and since then have been further regulated in order to curb extortionate roaming rates.
A final measure is due to take place on 15th June 2017, and would have meant that customers from the UK would pay the same prices for calls, texts and data as long as they were in the EU – a Europe-wide ‘eurotariff’ for roaming. This would in effect give mobile phone users one EU-wide network that covers them throughout the union.
Such a move can be seen as one of the victories of the EU, removing barriers, helping creating ease of movement, and helping shift towards a more equitable mobile market that recognises the ‘right to access the internet.’
It also means that mobile phone networks are more user-friendly, for example, regulations stipulate that when you cross a border – the network is obliged to send a text informing you of the charges for using your mobile in that country.?
As planned, the EU aims to abolish roaming fees for all of its citizens on 15th June 2017, which should still apply to the UK for the two year negotiation period in which Britain will negotiate a relationship with the EU, whilst remaining subject to its laws and treaties.
This means the only change we are likely to see within two years, up to early 2019, is a significant reduction in roaming costs. However, after this Britain might find itself in a similar position to Switzerland, Norway, or the US.
Post-brexit, Brits abroad are likely to have to pay higher roaming rates, and likewise for visitors to the UK. The situation might look similar to Switzerland, whose residents pay costly data roaming rates abroad.