EU Mobile Roaming Debate
Now the dust seems to have settled and we are in no doubt as to the fact that the UK will, at some point, be leaving the EU, mobile phone users are asking the question that goes a little like this: ‘What will happen to our mobile roaming charges?’
Indeed, one of the many reasons that ex-Prime Minister David Cameron was using to convince us to remain was the ‘fact’ that if we did exactly that, EU roaming charges would be ‘near zero’.
Nowadays we seldom go anywhere without our smartphones and that includes work and overseas holidays. Long gone are the days when we were forced to endure hideous bills for what appeared to be just a few minutes chat time or a solitary text whilst abroad. The likes of Mobile top ups when travelling have always seemed to be a better option when compared to staying faithful to our service providers. Online mobile recharge is another popular way to ensure you are never caught short when working or holidaying in Europe and the list of available vendors are growing every year.
So how true are these claims that we will now have to go back to square one again? Well, according to those in the know, the EU will almost certainly be abolishing its mobile roaming charges in 2017. But that will only apply to the remaining member states, effectively ruling out the UK. Ironically, it was the UK who actually spearheaded the ‘roaming revolution’ and now it looks as if we will be the ones who are missing out on the benefit.
However, nothing is set in stone and it remains to be seen that this is definitely going to mean higher charges for UK citizens who travel abroad with their mobile phones. Norway is not an EU member but its inclusion in the EEA means that it will be part of that deal in 2017.
For those of us who are already planning to travel into Europe later this year, we’ll wait with baited breath until an announcement is made. Mobile phone operators are absolutely under no obligation to keep existing tariffs in place, so here’s hoping that we’ll be able to look forward to a more affordable trip over the water sooner rather than later.