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What do the 2022 changes to EU roaming mean for UK business mobile contacts?

Author: Sonia Older  |   Date published: Mar 25, 2022, UK  |   Read est: 5 min read

‘Roam like home’ is no more! The extra cost of using a mobile in the EU is making a comeback, with three major UK mobile operators reintroducing roaming fees for customers travelling to the EU.

How will the price hikes impact your business mobile costs? In this article, Focus Group’s business mobile team take a look at new EU roaming rules and how to get the best business phone contract for worry-free business travel.

What’s changed in regards to EU roaming charges for business?

At a time where the cost of living is on the rise pushing millions to the brink, the last thing you need to hear is that businesses using Three, EE and Vodafone mobile networks are all facing the reintroduction of EU roaming charges.

Since 2017, UK consumers have enjoyed the luxury of being able to use minutes, texts and data while abroad that were all included as part of their mobile phone tariffs. Unfortunately, the roaming rule book has now been thrown out of the window and companies who have welcomed the return to business travel should review mobile contracts ahead of boarding flights to the EU.

Euroes place on a map of Europe

So why have roaming charges in Europe changed?

So, what exactly has changed? In a word… Brexit - blamed for a great deal of things, and here’s one more! From January 2021, UK mobile network providers have been allowed to introduce EU roaming Brexit charges now that the transition is over. Without the EU rules in place, the charges levied now depend on agreements between UK operators and their counterparts in EU countries.

The EU trade deal of December 2020 gave mobile operators the option of reintroducing charges. All four of the big operators – EE, Vodafone, Virgin Media/O2 and Three - previously said they had no plans to introduce roaming charges but Vodafone, EE and Three are set to reintroduce roaming fees this year for customers travelling to Europe. The roaming charges apply to people travelling to a whopping 47 countries, with only those on specific tariffs exempt.

However, at the time of writing, Virgin Mobile and O2 phone users will not yet face roaming charges. This a move welcomed by the PM Boris Johnson and, indeed, it is hoped that as the UK continues to negotiate trade deals, it should look to strike a deal on roaming charges to keep costs down and service provision in line with the last few years.

How is rising cost of roaming charges in Europe effecting business?

The rising roaming charges in Europe will come as real blow not only to the many Brits who are finally planning a much-needed holiday abroad but also look set to impact business travellers who have now returned to regularly conducting business remotely across the EU.

Business man using a mobile phone at an airport in the UK

Although many travellers can opt to turn off their data roaming when abroad, if you’re conducting business this is simply not an option in a world that demands 24/7 connectivity, wherever, whenever. Only checking emails, etc, when you have access to WiFi is fine until something urgent arises and needs to be dealt with there and then.


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Businesses that haven’t secured EU roaming as part of their bundles could see increased charges and super sky-high bills coming their way. Multiple the rise in costs by the number of employees travelling and the financial impact could prove eye-watering!

UK mobile network roaming policies for Europe post-Brexit

Vodafone has already reinstated the changes, while EE is set to follow in March and Three in May. These changes affect new customers and those who upgraded in 2021 with roaming now charged at anywhere between £1 and £2 per day.

Surcharge

Data fair usage policy (FUP)

Charges for FUP

Apply?

EE

£2 a day/£10 a month

50GB (no change)

£3.60/GB

January 22 for new and upgrading customers from 7 July onwards)

Three

£2 a day

12GB (reduced from 20GB)

£3/GB

23 May 2022 (for new and upgrading customers from 1 October 2021 onwards)

Vodafone

£2 a day/£1 a day if 8 or 15 day pass purchased

25GB (no change)

£3.13/GB

6 January 2022 (for new customers or those who change their tariff on/after 11 August 2021)

What are the best business mobile phone contracts for EU roaming?

So, how do you get the best business mobile phone contracts now that free data roaming has been scrapped? Users coming to the end of an existing contract or looking for a good deal on business mobile contracts are now going to need mobile phone data experts (that’s Focus Group, by the way!) to guide businesses on how to put their best foot forward to secure the best business phone contract.

Focus Group is a leading independent UK provider of business technology, working in close partnership across all major mobile network providers and, therefore, capable of securing preferential business tariffs to include EU roaming options that work for your business. As such, companies which have been holding off signing up to new business mobile contracts or those in a position to switch should not hesitate to get in touch.

Our contracts are designed to suit your needs, be that a 30 day plan through to 12, 24, 36 and 60 months plans that always deliver huge cost savings.

And if it’s flexibility you’re looking for, look no further! We can source the best business SIM only deals to suit you, delivering low-cost calls, text bundles and superfast 5G data – all the hard work is done by us!

Talk to us about your business phone contracts

If it’s time to upgrade your business phone contracts and secure the best possible tariff for connectivity – whether you’re home or away - talk to us. Harness the power of Focus Group’s expertise and range of business mobile solutions to make sure your team stay connected, on the right plan at the right price.

From the very latest handsets to new business phone contracts, change in call plan or to add new handsets or devices, we’ll take into account your travel requirements to make sure doing business in the EU doesn’t cost you the earth!

Sonia Older

Sonia Older
Campaign Executive

Sonia Older is the Campaign Manager at Focus Group and a highly experienced copywriter. She boasts over 20 years of experience in content marketing and PR across multiple industries, and is the key driver of content and PR for Focus Group across all UK offices. Away from work, Sonia usually swaps keyboard strokes for ski slopes in the Alps with her family.

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