Roaming charges may have cost Britons £80 million over the summer

A report from VMO2 reckons the reintroduction of European roaming charges could have cost holidaymakers up to £80 million across July and August, or about £8.9 million every week.

The reintroduction of European roaming charges by UK operators may have cost UK travellers as much as £80 million across July and August, according to some anonymised, aggregated movement data collected by O2 Motion, which uses connections to mobile masts to gain insight into crowd movement trends.

Apparently traveller volumes to ten top destinations during the period more than tripled compared to last summer – not surprising as last summer we were still under the spectre of lockdowns and round the clock reports on new covid variants.

We’re told the amount of money spent on roaming in Spain alone in July and August was about £26.1 million, and the report attempts to bring this data more into more focus by pointing out this is the equivalent of purchasing roughly 2.5 million litres of sangria or 1.5 million paellas. Which does sound like a cracking night out.

“As people continue to feel the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, it’s alarming to see just how much European roaming charges have cost this summer,” said Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Media O2. “We’re proud to be the only major mobile network to not bring back roaming fees in Europe, so our customers can roam freely, with one less thing to worry about as they take well-earned holidays.

“Our data shows that this summer European travel has bounced back to pre-pandemic highs, and we know that many UK travellers rely on their mobiles to help them navigate, explore and make the most of their time away. We’re committed to upgrading the holiday experience for people in the UK, providing seamless connectivity at home and abroad.”

Of course the fact VMO2 is the only UK operator that hasn’t reintroduced European roaming charges, as was gracefully dropped in the quote above, is the only reason it is making a stink about it at all, so its prudent to point out there is some blatant self-promotion going on here. But that’s true of literally every press release any firm puts out, and the question of how much more cash many brits are burning through to use their phones abroad now is a pertinent one.


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One comment

  1. Avatar JRM 21/09/2022 @ 1:43 pm

    In any event, the population can comfort itself with a cup of sovrin tea.

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