How leaving the EU affects mobile roaming in EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries.
New rules for January 2021
The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.
This page tells you what you’ll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.
Check what else you need to do during the transition period.
During the transition period
You can travel in EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries with guaranteed surcharge-free mobile roaming until 31 December 2020.
This means you can use your mobile devices to make calls, send texts and use mobile data services for no more than you would be charged when in the UK.
This surcharge-free roaming will be guaranteed until the end of the transition period.
From 1 January 2021 onwards
Surcharge-free roaming when you travel to EU and EEA countries will no longer be guaranteed from 1 January 2021. This would include employees of UK companies travelling in the EU for business.
The mobile operators (Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone) have have stated that they have no current plans to change their mobile roaming policies.
The government has legislated to protect consumers from unexpected charges from 1 January 2021. This is to ensure that obligations on mobile operators to apply a financial limit on mobile data usage while abroad is retained in UK law.
The limit has been set at £45 per monthly billing period (currently €50 under EU law). This means you cannot continue to use mobile data services when roaming unless you actively chose to continue spending. The government has also legislated to continue to ensure that consumers receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.
If you live in Northern Ireland
The government has passed legislation to ensure that operators continue to make information available to their customers on how to avoid inadvertent roaming in border regions from 1 January 2021. Operators will also continue to be required to take reasonable steps to protect their customers from paying roaming charges for inadvertently accessing roaming services.
Surcharge-free roaming in the EU, known as Roam Like at Home, is underpinned by the EU Roaming Regulation – (EU) No 531/2012 – and its subsequent amendments – (EU) No 2015/2120 and (EU) No 2017/920.
This Regulation also regulates what mobile operators can charge each other for providing roaming services and extends to the wider European Economic Area (EEA), which includes Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.