German phone companies rule out Brexit roaming charges in 2021

German phone companies rule out Brexit roaming charges in 2021
A man chats on the phone with a Union Jack phone case. The UK is no longer covered under the EU Roaming Regulation due to Brexit. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Friso Gentsch
A number of phone operators in Germany have said they have no plans to introduce additional charges this year for people visiting the United Kingdom - but this may change in 2022.

Since leaving the single market at the end of 2020, the UK is no longer included in the the EU’s Roaming Regulation – the 2017 law that enabled customers to use their existing mobile contracts for free across Europe. 

READ ALSO: How the Brexit deal has changed daily lives of British residents in Europe

That means that Brits travelling in the EU, or residents of continental Europe travelling in the UK, could potentially face hefty roaming charges in the future. 

But a number of German phone companies have confirmed that – despite the regulatory changes – there will be no additional charges for people with German phone contracts travelling the UK in 2021. 

Both Vodafone and Telekom have stated that they have “no plans” to reintroduce roaming costs in Britain for the foreseeable future.

Both 1&1 and O2 are eschewing additional fees for roamers in 2021, but have not ruled out introducing them at a later date, according to a report in Spiegel.

A lot will depend on whether the companies can negotiate reciprocal deals with their counterparts in the UK, the companies revealed.

READ ALSO: VIDEO Q&A: What Brits in Germany need to know about residency after Brexit

At the start of 2021, the UK’s major phone operators – Three, EE, 02 and Vodafone – all said they had no plans to change their roaming policies due to Brexit.

However, some have become stricter on their ‘fair use’ policies for roaming. These states that Brits shouldn’t roam abroad for more than 62 days within a four-month period. 

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