Brexit and roaming charges. Are we threatened with the return of roaming charges?

Redakcja dziennikpolski.com.pl
lis 25 2021

As it turns out Brexit - if it actually happens - may result not only in changes in many sectors of economy, public aid or border control. EU law will cease to be binding also in telecommunication sphere, as a result of which the UK will be forced to charge roaming fees.

The current roaming structure has been in force since 2017. Under it, when travelling from Poland to any EU country you pay for calls as in your own country. If you're on a subscription offer with Plan 3_24M, then all calls made from any EU country are billed as minutes from your subscription. However, if your offer does not include a package of minutes for roaming then you will pay as much as the cost of a call in your country. . When Brexit happens this law will no longer apply to the UK. What does this mean for mobile subscribers in our country? 

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"Divorce" - or the great farewell of the UK to the EU. What awaits us?

Roaming is a service that allows us to use different networks when our 'home' network is unavailable. It applies to situations when we are abroad and we make calls, send messages or use data transfer. In June 2017, according to the regulation of EU countries, additional roaming charges were abolished. This means that going on holiday, vacation, business trips or for work to one of the EU countries, we can use the Polish mobile phone on similar terms as in the country. However, if we use the benefits of roaming too often - the operator has the possibility to charge the client with additional costs. Detailed price lists are usually available on the service providers' profiles.

The situation will change dramatically after the UK leaves the EU. Now that the European Council has adopted the conclusions of its meeting held on 21 March 2019, two likely scenarios have been assumed - the first, the UK will either leave the EU on 12 April or 22 May. In the course of the UK's talks with the EU, the European Council decided to extend brexit until October 31 so that the British House of Commons could approve the divorce deal. According to the agreement, the UK will be able to leave the union before that date. However, it is still unclear on what terms Brexit will take place. Therefore, let's imagine a situation that we fly to London at the moment when the EU procedures are still in force, and we return already after Brexit. During all this time we use the Internet, we call and write. How will we be billed then? British mobile networks are obliged to inform the subscriber about the new rates for calls, so staying in the UK at the time of Brexit and using unlimited calls, we can expect a higher bill. It's a fairly likely situation - although European mobile providers are reassuring UK customers by claiming that roaming charges will not increase after Brexit. As an example, they cite Switzerland, which, despite not being part of the EU, is treated as an integral part of the Community. In addition, two popular networks in the Isles - Vodafone, as well as Three have publicly stressed that they do not intend to impose additional fees on their users.

See also: Phone book

British think thank - about Brexit continues

Final talks on Brexit are postponed from month to month. Therefore, mobile providers together with representatives of ministries and market regulators think about the circumstances of the UK's exit from the EU and possible solutions when such an eventuality becomes a reality. So far, it is not known how the problem of roaming will be solved and how much it will cost the phone users.

In the UK there are about one million of our compatriots who maintain active telephone contact with their families in Poland. It is therefore worth keeping an eye on what is currently happening in the UK. Each operator is obliged to inform its customers about the new regulations as soon as possible. So a good way to "stay up to date" is to keep an eye on the latest news on the service providers' websites. This should certainly be on the minds of all those who live or are travelling to the UK in the near future.

We will keep you updated on all changes.

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