Three to start charging for mobile roaming from May 2022

Three mobile is to bring in big changes to their mobile roaming service and impose charges for Brits using their phones abroad.

People travelling to European countries will be charged £2 daily to use their mobiles abroad after enjoying free mobile roaming for nearly five years.

Customers can avoid upcoming roaming charges with Three by taking out a new contract or upgrading before 1 October 2021.

Bringing back mobile roaming charges may not be a hit with the public, but it is becoming an increasingly popular move amongst other providers.

It is the third mobile operator to go back on its no-charge stance since Brexit was announced.

All three mobile providers had previously said they would not reimpose mobile roaming charges, whilst O2 is the last of the ‘big four’ to announce its intentions on mobile roaming.

Those who use their mobiles in over 24 countries will be penalised more by being hit with a daily £5 charge. In eviscerating its international free-roaming packages, Three will impose the charge on customers who visit countries including US, New Zealand and Australia.

Charges commence on 23 May 2022 and will impact mobile phone users who have signed up for an upgrade or new contract from 1 October 2021.

This means that if you have travel for business or pleasure planned next year, if you have a Three contract before 1 October 2021, you will be exempt from the looming mobile roaming charges.

A Three spokesman confirmed this by saying: “Pay as you go customers and customers who have taken out a contract before 1 October 2021 are unaffected by these changes. Customers roaming in the Republic of Ireland are also unaffected.”

Three had hoped that Go Roam, the company’s free mobile roaming service would continue but cited the uncertain landscape in the U-turn.

A Three spokesman added: “We know that Go Roam has always been important to our customers and we had hoped to retain this benefit, but unfortunately there are now too many unknowns, which has made it commercially unviable for us to continue. This includes variations to the underlying cost of roaming, meaning we now have no visibility over the maximum amount it will cost us to provide a service for our customers to use their phone while abroad.

“We want to keep our roaming pricing as simple and affordable for customers as possible, and we think a flat charge of £2 in the EU and £5 outside the EU reflects this. It also means only those who roam will pay for the service, rather than customers who stay in the UK also absorbing this cost.”

Tips on avoiding roaming charges abroad include acquiring wifi passwords and login details of hotels and restaurants before travelling, and setting a daily usage cap with your mobile provider to avoid being caught off-guard by large bills.

Three have confirmed that they offer a warning text messaging service and a £45 cap on data usage for cautious travellers worried about large mobile phone bills abroad.

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