EU Exit: Using your mobile in EU and EEA countries

Guide

The UK has left the European Union (EU). This means that surcharge-free roaming when you or your staff travel to EU and European Economic Area (EEA) countries is no longer guaranteed.

Initially, all mobile companies said they would not reintroduce a roaming charge after Brexit, but some operators have recently announced changes to their charges for using your mobile when in the EU. Ofcom suggests you should check for roaming charges before travelling abroad.

The government has legislated to protect consumers from unexpected charges. 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 per cent and 100 per cent 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. Operators will also continue to be required to take reasonable steps to protect their customers from paying roaming charges for inadvertently accessing roaming services.

More information on mobile roaming

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.

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