New mobile roaming tariffs – are they any good?
The latest European mobile roaming price caps will come into force on July 1 limiting costs to 23p a minute for calls, 7p a text and 56p/MB of data (excluding VAT).
In response the networks are introducing new price plans so we’re taking a look at each to see how they stack up.
Three’s New Euro Internet Pass
Mobile network Three has introduced a new tariff that will provide you unlimited data when abroad in Europe for £5 a day. While this may sound like a great deal, it’s worth noting that the rules now limit prices to 56p/MB – so to make it even the same price as not buying the pass you will have to use at least 10MB during the day.
Using more than this will be easy if you’re uploading a lot of high-res pictures and doing a lot of browsing, but for occasional users it may be cheaper not to buy the pass. It’s also worth noting that tethering – where you use your mobile as a connection to the internet for another product such as a laptop – isn’t included in this deal.
Vodafone has also introduced a new tariff, giving customers the chance to take their normal price plans on holiday with them. Costing £3 a day for each day it is used, EuroTraveller allows users to use their phone on the same tarrif as at home – including using bundled minutes, texts and data – with no costs for receiving calls.
While it’s great that Vodafone will allow you to use your bundles, again it is worth considering how much you will use your phone while abroad and what you will use it for. With call pricing capped at 23p a minute and texts at 7p, it will take quite a bit of use to add up to £3 – although if you’re a big web browser with a large data allowance it is worth a look.
O2 Travel launches on July 1 and, like the Vodafone EuroTraveller, aims to allow you to take your home price plan away with you. For a 50p connection fee for each call – both making and receiving – users will be able to use their normal bundles, although beware because if you go over your allowance it will resort to the base rate which is charged at the hefty cost of 35p per minute. Text messages will cost the minimum rate of 7p a message.
Data costs £1.99 a day for 25MB, which unlike some tariffs is well below the 56p per MB threshold, although if you only use a couple of MBs it will end up costing you more.
- Mobile and data roaming rates to fall – how rates will fall over the next few years
- Using mobile phones abroad – read our advice for using your phone abroad
- Best mobile phone networks – see which performed best in our survey
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