June 14, 2024

German network operators are giving up roaming costs in Great Britain

German network operators are giving up roaming costs in Great Britain

The UK’s transitional phase to leave the European Union ended on December 31, 2020. In the future, the relationship between the two parties will be subject to a widely negotiated Association Agreement. But what does Brexit mean for travelers? Should you be afraid of roaming charges to use your mobile phone abroad from now on? TECHBOOK asked the providers and explained.

Since the EU Roaming Regulation came into effect on 15 June 2017, travelers in other EU countries no longer pay roaming costs to use a mobile phone. This means that the cost of phone calls, sending SMS and browsing the Internet is equal to the cost of phone calls in your country. So far, this regulation also applies to Great Britain and Northern Ireland, where they were part of the European Union. But with the UK leaving the European Union and the transition period ending on January 1, 2021, that will change. How German mobile phone providers react to this and what Brexit will mean for roaming in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the future, we’ll summarize here together.

Even after Brexit, there are no roaming charges at the moment

In principle, with Brexit, network operators are now free to charge fees for using German SIM cards in the UK. Because Great Britain and Northern Ireland are no longer part of the European Union, and therefore are not subject to EU roaming rules. However, whether such special surcharges are charged also depends on the regulations that state mobile network providers have in place with each other. Norway and Iceland do not belong to the European Union, but it was agreed to integrate the two countries into the EU’s roaming regulations. British and German mobile operators would also like to continue cooperating and forgo roaming costs, TECHBOOK has learned on demand.

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In detail, this means that Telekom, Vodafone and O2 will for the time being refrain from charging mobile roaming charges even after the UK leaves the EU.


Deutsche Telekom announced to the German news agency that nothing will change for travelers even in the event of a disorderly Brexit. “With us, Great Britain remains in the EU tariffs, just as Switzerland is already included,” says the official body. Telekom’s EU roaming regulation already includes non-EU countries – including Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. In the future, Great Britain and Northern Ireland are also scheduled to be included in this regulation.

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Vodafone has also expressed itself in a similar way to Telekom. The network operator wants to continue to include Great Britain in EU roaming regulations after Brexit, as long as the country does not express itself otherwise and actively begins to exit. Vodafone is already including some non-EU countries such as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein in their roaming regulations and thus allows the use of a mobile phone there at no additional cost. This regulation must also apply to the United Kingdom.

The statement provided to TECHBOOK says exactly: “Brexit and EU roaming are two different things. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein have been participating in EU roaming regulation for years, even though they are not members of the EU. Post-Brexit It will initially be up to the UK to decide whether it wants to continue participating in the EU roaming regulation. So far, Great Britain has decided to initially remain part of the EU roaming area even after leaving the EU. For now, it will not change Something in terms of tariffs or the current roaming regulation with Great Britain.”

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The third big German network operator Telefónica/O2 was more specific in its statement about the roaming consequences of Brexit. A spokeswoman said that with the exit from the European Union, Great Britain would be classified in the region of different countries. For countries in Global Zone 2, there are usually much higher costs for call minutes, SMS and mobile internet. However, O2 wants to do without that even after Brexit. Telefónica Deutschland has extended the terms of the roaming tariffs currently in force for Great Britain until at least the end of 2022. “For O2 customers traveling to Great Britain, the current terms of their tariff are in effect until further notice,” the provider said.

Entry, flights, insurance and the like – you can do what Brexit will change for travelers Read about your classmates in the travel book.

1 & 1

The 1 & 1 provider, operating in the O2 network, expresses itself similarly. “For 1&1 customers in Great Britain, even after Brexit, EU roaming is still possible until further notice,” TECHBOOK said. “With the formal exit of the European Union from Great Britain on January 1, 2021, nothing will change on the current regulations, as there is still no clarity regarding follow-up agreements. The EU’s agreements with the UK could also affect roaming rules. We have. Of course, we will inform our customers of possible changes in a timely manner.”

1&1 has just extended the regulation for continued EU roaming in Great Britain by one year until the end of 2022.

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