Monday, 23 April 2018

Mobile roaming charges could return post Brexit

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Wednesday 07 March 18

Since the implementation of the "roam like at home" initiative, LTE data roaming traffic has surged by 600-800 per cent

British mobile phone customers travelling in Europe could be hit by costly roaming charges again, once the UK leaves the EU in 2019, according to reports in the press.   Following the launch of the "roam like at home" initiative, UK consumers can currently use their voice, data and text allowances while travelling in the EU at no extra cost…

British mobile phone customers travelling in Europe could be hit by costly roaming charges again, once the UK leaves the EU in 2019, according to reports in the press.  

Following the launch of the "roam like at home" initiative, UK consumers can currently use their voice, data and text allowances while travelling in the EU at no extra cost. However, government sources have revealed that the initiative could be scrapped following the UK's exit from the EU. 

Industry analysts believe that network operators should be keen to forge a deal post-Brexit, due to the surge in data usage that has followed the implementation of the "roam like at home" initiative. 

“While it has just been announced that roaming charges could be back on the cards for British consumers following Brexit, it would be an extremely bad move for mobile operators to impose tariffs, making them unlikely to do so," said Mikaël Schachne, VP mobility solutions, at BICS.

“Following the launch of the EU’s ‘Roam Like at Home’ legislation in June, LTE data roaming traffic surged by 600-800 per cent, demonstrating the initiative’s huge popularity. As a result, consumers have now come to expect high quality, affordable roaming services, wherever they travel. 

“This is even driving other regions to emulate the EU legislation and offer better packages to their subscribers. With UK consumers now accustomed to the benefits of international roaming, operators risk alienating their subscribers if they reimpose unpopular fees. Even if a deal can’t be reached with the EU, UK consumers are therefore unlikely to be taken back to the dark days of bill shock and exorbitant charges,” he added. 

Sources at the UK's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport told reporters from Sky Sports that the UK would look to forge some sort of reciprocal deal with the EU when it eventually des leave the union.   

"The Government is committed to securing the best deal for British consumers. Arrangements on mobile roaming would be subject to any negotiations, however, a future partnership between the UK and EU is clearly in the interests of both sides," said a government spokesman. 

Britain's post-Brexit telecoms strategy will be a key area of discussion at this year's Connected Britain event. Click here for a full agenda and to find out how you can be part of the discussion. 

 

 

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