EU roaming fees are back in the UK and eSIM data plans could be a cost-effective alternative for travelers

While the European Parliament has renewed its “Roam like at home” policy for 10 years[1], three of the four major UK mobile operators reintroduce the roaming fees for their customers traveling to Europe as an aftermath of Brexit. Brits will therefore have to pay more to use their mobile phone within Europe and alternative eSIM data plans could be a solution for UK consumers traveling abroad.

What does the reintroduction of roaming charges mean for UK consumers?

Vodafone, EE and Three have recently announced their decision to reinstate roaming fees for their consumers traveling within Europe. Customers on their newest mobile plans will have to pay £2 a day to use their monthly allowance in the EU (call, SMS, data), with the possibility to activate roaming passes to reduce these charges. To this day, O2 remains one of the major UK operators not charging its consumers for EU roaming. It chose instead to impose a “fair use” charge if customers use more than their data allowance to a maximum of 25GB, charging £3.5 per GB when the allowance is exceeded.

Comparison between Ubigi and UK operators: time to switch to the eSIM?

Since 2018, Ubigi provides eSIM* data plans in 180+ countries to travelers with eSIM compatible smartphones (such as iPhone 11/ 12/ 13/ XS/ XR/ SE, Samsung S20/ S21, Pixel 3/ 4/ 5/ 6…), tablets (iPad Mini/ Air/ Pro, Surface Pro…) and a number of laptops operating on Windows 10 and 11.
To respond to UK travelers’ concerns, Ubigi established a data roaming costs comparison with the four major UK mobile operators when visiting popular European tourist destinations. For more accuracy, Ubigi looked at available roaming passes. However, these must be activated before departure which increases the risk for the consumer to pay the full roaming charges.

Using the average data usage by its UK consumers in July/August 2021 (2.6GB), Ubigi determines that an average consumer traveling within Europe would be most likely to buy the 30-day 3GB eSIM data plan.

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