Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Brits will kiss goodbye to free EU roaming in the event of a no-deal Brexit

By Chris Kelly, Total Telecom
Thursday 07 February 19

A government report shows that UK mobile customers will be subjected to roaming charges when they travel in the EU after the 29th March

Consumers in the UK will face the immediate reintroduction of roaming charges within the EU, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a government notice. A House of Commons memo reveals that the government will revoke the current legislation that allows UK mobile subscribers to use their data allowance within the EU at no extra cost…

Consumers in the UK will face the immediate reintroduction of roaming charges within the EU, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to a government notice.

A House of Commons memo reveals that the government will revoke the current legislation that allows UK mobile subscribers to use their data allowance within the EU at no extra cost, should the UK leave the EU without first securing a deal.  

In an explanatory note which accompanied the memo, the government confirmed that daily charges would be limited to £45 (€50) per day – after which point the subscriber would be required to confirm that they were happy to pay for additional data.

The government said that its decision to cancel the legislation was fuelled by the fact that it could not guarantee the prices UK mobile operators were charged by the owners of the European telecoms networks. As a member of the EU, UK operators can only be charged wholesale rates to access European networks. However, once the UK leaves the EU, this obligation will be removed.

"Discussions have also taken place with stakeholders in the telecoms sector. Mobile operators noted that absent a cap on the charges EU operators can apply to UK operators (as currently regulated by the EU), any increases in costs would likely be passed on to customers," said the government statement.  

The UK government said that it would be unfair on UK based telcos to impose a limit on the cost that they were able to pass on to the consumer, saying that it would adversely affect business conditions in the UK telecoms market.

"Additionally, operators also raised concerns that a limit on the costs that could be passed onto customers would affect the sustainability of certain 5 roaming services. This means that roaming services could be removed altogether from some customers," the statement said.   

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