When travelling to Europe, it’s important to check what your mobile network charges for data roaming are, in case using your phone abroad ends up costing a small fortune. Here’s our guide to what O2, EE, Three, Vodafone, Tesco Mobile and other UK networks charge for data roaming in 2017, including any European data bundles you can buy before setting off to avoid excessive cost-per-MB charges.
Data roaming charges are finally being scrapped across Europe from later in 2017, but (irrespective of Brexit) UK networks can still basically charge what they want when you use mobile internet on your travels. Thankfully more and more of the networks are taking Three’s lead and scrapping roaming charges in many European destinations, or at least offering data bundles so you don’t get stung.
Here’s how to avoid nasty roaming bills from your chosen network.
What does O2 charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
Travelling in Europe with O2 is pretty straightforward. The ‘O2 Travel’ scheme kicks in automatically when you use your phone in European destinations, giving you 120 minutes, 120 texts and all-you-can-eat data for a set £1.99 charge, per 24 hours.
There are a few exceptions such as Turkey, where you’ll have to pay £3.99 for the same perks or countries outside of Europe where you’ll have to £4.99, but they’re all outlined in more detail on O2’s website.
Check out O2’s data roaming page for more info on travelling in Europe.
What does EE charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
If you’re on an EE Extra Plan, you already get unlimited calls and texts when travelling in Europe. However, you’ll need to add a Euro Data Pass to get roaming on your travels, which costs £3 a day. To opt in, just text EURODATA to 150 before heading abroad and you’ll receive a text message confirmation. The £3 charge will then automatically kick in every time you use mobile internet in Europe.
Note that there’s a 500MB data cap, with the final 400MB dropping to slow speed internet.
If you’re on a different EE tariff, you’ll need to use EE’s Euro Pass scheme to roam when abroad. Text EUROPASS to 150 before you travel to opt in and this will automatically kick in when you use your phone abroad, at the cost of £4 per day. This gives you unlimited calls and texts, plus the same data allowance as the Euro Data Pass.
What does Three charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
Three was the first UK network to scrap roaming charges for a number of worldwide destinations, via the ‘Feel at Home’ scheme. This includes many European holiday spots, as you can see from the list below. Check out the full list of destinations here.
If you’re heading somewhere that isn’t supported by Feel at Home, your best bet is to buy a ‘Euro Internet Pass‘ from Three. This add-on gives you all-you-can-eat data for £5 a day, in pretty much any European country. You can buy a 24-hour pass before heading off, or when you arrive at your destination – Three will text you with a cost-free link in order to do so. You can then refresh your pass at the end of each day, via another text.
Check out Three Mobile’s website for more info on Feel at Home.
What does Vodafone charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
Vodafone offers inclusive roaming in an impressive 40 destinations worldwide, including full 4G roaming in loads of European countries. This deal is available to new and upgrading Pay Monthly customers, and includes the following destinations:
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey), Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark (including the Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland, France (including Corsica), French Territories, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy (including Vatican City), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (including Azores & Madeira), Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (including Balearic Islands), Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
If you’re off to a country that isn’t covered, you’ll want to buy a Vodafone EuroTraveller pass each day that you’re away. This costs £3 a day, but gives you full access to your usual minutes, texts and data allowance from your contract in pretty much any European destination.
Check out the EuroTraveller page for more info.
What does Tesco Mobile charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
Earlier this year, Tesco Mobile announced that it was scrapping roaming charges across loads of European destinations with its new ‘Home from Home’ scheme. That meant you could use your contracted data, minutes and texts in 31 European countries, at no extra charge. However, this offer expired on September 4th, with company’s original roaming offerings being reinstated.
Data is 4p a MB in the EU and £8 a MB elsewhere, with a default cap of £40 whilst roaming. As minutes and texts don’t come out of your standard allowance, they’ll eat into your buffer until they’re all used up. If you want to add funds to your buffer or disable the cap altogether, you can call 4488 on your Tesco Mobile phone from anywhere. Check out Tesco Mobile’s website for more info.
What does iD charge for data roaming in Europe, and does it offer any roaming bundles?
Carphone Warehouse’s own iD network offers free roaming in 29 worldwide destinations, via the TakeAway scheme. That includes every EU country right now.
Check out iD’s TakeAway page for more info.