What a lot of people didn’t realise about the European Union (EU) is that they won a major victory over mobile phone groups. They forced them to abolish all roaming charges within the EU by 2017. This means that you can roam online just like you would at home when you’re on holiday.
Roaming costs have been the bane of a family on holiday for so long, but now mobile groups in the UK are breathing a sigh of relief after Brexit. Since they no longer come under the jurisdiction of EU law, you can forget about roaming charges being abolished for UK mobile phone owners now.
They are almost certain to reverse the idea of abolishing mobile roaming after Brexit has occurred.
What is this Agreement?
Telecoms groups have had no choice but to abolish the cost of mobile roaming. Brussels celebrated after they got the agreement in place. By June 2017, consumers who live in the EU will pay the same amount to use their phones in other member states as they would at home.
It was thought that the UK would be a part of this. Following the Brexit vote, this roaming agreement will no longer have to be enforced, like it will be with their European counterparts.
grand scheme of things, this isn’t going to impact you much at all. The cost of running your phone will stay the same at home, but once you go on your annual holiday, you can expect to run into problems.
If you regularly take the family on holiday, the chances are you either leave the phone at home, or you only use it for emergencies. Using public Wi-Fi is one way to get around roaming charges online. You can also use Skype to get a cheaper rate on making calls, as long as you have a stable Internet connection available.
But roaming abroad will stay the same if UK telecoms groups decide to ignore the Brussels ruling and remain as they are now. It will mean less convenience for you and may mean more money spent if you cannot help but stay connected at all times.
Could There Be a Reprieve?
There could be a reprieve for you because there are no guarantees that telecoms groups are going to avoid abolishing roaming charges. You have to understand that mobile phone roaming rates are based on agreements with other operators and mobile groups.
There is a risk that certain mobile groups will break rank from the group and abolish roaming rates themselves since that is what will become the industry norm. In such a competitive industry, it may be necessary for the survival of a group to abolish roaming rates.
The last thing a mobile group needs is a customer backlash. Matching European rivals may well become essential in a world where absolutely everyone has to stay connected at all times.
Feel the Benefits Now
In June 2017, Britain will still be in the EU. As of this writing, the new Prime Minister Theresa May has yet to trigger Article 50. Once this is triggered, a two-year clock begins to tick. Even if it were triggered right now, Britain would still gain at least a year of no roaming charges.
The chances it would be too much hassle and expense to take away such a significant benefit from customers after Brexit happens officially. Although there is a chance that roaming charges could remain a thing, there is also a chance that they will become a thing of the past.
But that will not become apparent for some years yet. In the meantime, choose your mobile operator carefully to make sure you get the best deal when you go on holiday.