Business travel to Europe has not been high on the agenda in the last two years, but as vaccinations pave the way for journeys across the channel, mobile EU roaming charges become a cost consideration.
Ever since the UK left the EU, roaming charges have been a black cloud on the horizon with many businesses holding back on signing new contracts until it was clear what was happening with them.
You cannot blame them, as calls made in Europe would not be included in their bundle and would be charged at their network’s out of bundle roaming rates. For businesses that work in Europe, this is a cost they did not have to pay while the UK was part of the EU and it would come as an unwelcome inflated monthly outgoing.
From a consumer point of view, analysis of daily charges suggests that a family of four going abroad for two weeks could see £100 or more added to their travel expenses when using their phones each day. Several business trips a year would easily top this!
The good news is that newly named Virgin Media O2 has announced that it will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe, making them the only big four mobile network in the UK to do so. Both business and consumer customers will maintain their inclusive roaming in Europe zones, so they can travel to destinations across Europe and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.
In terms of the other networks, Vodafone plan to bring in roaming charges by the end of January and EE is planning to resume its roaming charges in March. Three is also due to bring in these charges but is looking at a May start date.
So Virgin Media O2 has played a trump card in a year when many people will be looking to head abroad again, either for work or holidays, following a relaxation on travel testing rules.
For businesses that have delayed signing a new contract, now would be a good time to do so to tie themselves into a deal that releases them from out of bundle EU roaming charges.
If you are looking to sign a new business mobile contract, please do not hesitate to talk to me. You may be interested in another article I have written about our mobile service: Mitigating mobile overspend is possible!