Users of the Virgin Media O2 phone network will not face roaming charges this year, despite other major networks announcing an extra fee.
EE and Vodafone – two of the UK’s four biggest networks – said they were reintroducing roaming charges for customers travelling to the EU in January, and Three is set to reintroduce them in May.
But O2 and Virgin Mobile have now said they will maintain their inclusive roaming in the bloc, so their customers can travel and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.
Virgin Media O2’s Gareth Turpin said: “We’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe for customers on O2 or Virgin Mobile.
“Unlike all the other major mobile networks who are bringing back roaming fees, we will not be following suit.
“With many Brits now looking to plan a trip abroad, we’ve got our customers covered and extra roaming charges will be one less thing to worry about.”
Roaming charges follow UK’s departure from EU
According to the firm, a family of four on Virgin or O2 who go abroad for two weeks could save £100 on their bill, based on analysis of rates from other providers.
The return of roaming charges follows the departure of the UK from the EU, brought about by the Brexit vote.
Previously, the bloc in 2017 removed the charges for people using phones while they were moving around Europe.
EE customers who joined or upgraded after 7 July last year face a £2 daily charge for using their data, making calls, or sending text messages in EU countries.
The same charge will apply to customers who joined Vodafone after 11 August 2021, or upgraded or renewed their contract.
Three introduces the £2 daily charge on 23 May, for customers who joined the network or upgraded after 1 October.
EE customers who want to avoid the full roaming charge can buy a 30-day Roam Abroad Pass for £10 while Vodafone users can pay £1 a day for an eight or 15-day multipass.