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Vodafone and EE drag their feet over the reintroduction of roaming charges

Europe map with network points

Having announced they will start charging their customers for roaming in the EU, Vodafone and EE seem to be hesitating now that the time has come.

There’s very little official communication from the two UK MNOs and the beeb seems to have been first to report the development. It leads with the Vodafone news, with the operator apparently needing more time for testing. You have to wonder what kind of BSS Vodafone is using if billing someone a quid every day they use data in Europe is such a challenge, but it’s presumably a bit more complicated than it seems.

“We have pushed back the introduction of roaming charges to the end of January, giving time for further testing to ensure the best possible experience for customers purchasing our £1 per day bundles,” Vodafone said in an emailed statement. “Until then, customers will continue to be able to roam without charges.”

At least Vodafone only needs an extra month to get its ducks in a row. According to the report EE won’t be reintroducing its charges until March, despite having also originally planned to do so at the start of the year. What’s more, EE was the first to announce such a move all the way back in June of last year so, if it has a similar reason to delay it will have taking it most of a year to make the necessary adjustments. We had received no formal statement from EE at time of writing.

Our understanding is that operators are feeling very twitchy about the PR consequences of a botched reintroduction, so they’re triple checking to ensure they can extort money from their itinerant punters seamlessly. The last thing you need after you’ve had to endure multiple injections, tests and bureaucratic indignities just for the questionable privilege of travelling to Europe is for your premium roaming to fail.

So, given that it’s still not clear if there’s any reason beyond pure profiteering behind the reintroduction of these charges, you can see why Vodafone and EE are taking extra care . That said, if they were really worried about PR, they wouldn’t have made the move in the first place.


2 comments

  1. Avatar Karl Brown 07/01/2022 @ 9:21 am

    Seems ridiculous for you to claim it’s all about profiteering without any weight behind the statement. Foreign MNOs charge the UK MNOs per call/text/GB data used – why wouldn’t that cost get passed on or at least subsidised by a small charge?

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 07/01/2022 @ 9:32 am

      If that’s the case then why not say so? If only there was some precedent to support the suspicion of profiteering by companies…

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