The end of free mobile phone roaming across the European Union came to a step closer this week as Tesco Mobile became the latest operator to announce it would be scrapping the programme. Since Britain departed from the EU post-Brexit, networks have been quick to take advantage of the situation by reintroducing high roaming charges for customers who don’t purchase specific bundles. The development follows a similar move by EE, which reintroduced charges for customers using their phones while abroad in the EU. Three and Vodafone quickly followed suit, with both operators saying they would also start charging for roaming. Sky has also introduced roaming charges for its mobile customers travelling in Europe.
The decision by Tesco Mobile to scrap free roaming will come as a major blow to consumers who had been hoping that at least one major UK network would resist the temptation to begin charging for EU roaming. Of the bigger phone providers, only O2 and Virgin Mobile are left that will still offer free roaming. With all of the major networks now planning to introduce charges, it looks increasingly likely that mobile phone users will have to start paying to use their phones while travelling in Europe.
On the face of it, Tesco's 24-month mobile contracts with "free-roaming for 2022" look like a great deal. However, a closer look reveals that charges will actually apply from 1 January 2023. This is a significant problem for customers who are locked into the 18-month contract at that point. Free-roaming is a vital part of many people's mobile plans, and the fact that Tesco has not been upfront about this change is deeply concerning.
What can you do as a small business owner to avoid roaming charges while travelling?
If you're a small business owner who makes regular trips to the European Union, you know that keeping your phone bill under control can be a challenge. Roaming charges for data and voice calls can quickly add up, making it difficult to stay in touch with clients and customers. The good news is that there are ways to avoid these high costs.
Use a VoIP Phone system
One way to avoid these costly fees is to use a VoIP (Voice over IP) phone system. By routing your calls over the internet using a wifi network, you can avoid paying any international calling or texting rates. In addition, many VoIP providers offer low-cost plans that include a set number of minutes per month. As a result, VoIP can be a great option for small business owners who need to stay connected while travelling in the EU.
Make sure you have a data plan that's appropriate for your needs
For small business owners who travel frequently to the European Union, it's important to have a data plan that's appropriate for your needs in order to avoid roaming charges. There are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a data plan. First, consider how much data you'll need. If you'll be using your phone for email, checking social media, and streaming video, you'll need a larger data plan than someone who only uses their phone for occasional internet browsing. Second, make sure your data plan includes roaming in the EU. Some plans only include roaming in certain countries, so it's important to check before you travel. Finally, consider the cost of your data plan. Data plans can be expensive, so it's important to find one that fits within your budget. By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that you have a data plan that's appropriate for your needs and that doesn't break the bank.
Use Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid using your cellular data
One of the best ways to stay connected while travelling is to use Wi-Fi whenever possible. Most hotels, cafes, and other public places offer wifi access, so take advantage of it whenever you can. You can also purchase a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, which will give you access to the internet even when there’s no wifi available.
Keep track of your roaming usage so you don't go over your data limit
There are a few ways to keep track of your usage. First, you can check with your service provider to see if they offer a way to track your usage. Many service providers offer online tools that let you track your usage in real-time. You can also download an app from your phone provider that will track your usage for you.
Turn off cellular data when you're not using it to save battery life and money
First and foremost, you want to make sure you're not racking up a huge bill by accidentally leaving your data roaming on. But even if you're vigilant about that, you can still end up with a dead battery if you're not careful. That's why it's always a good idea to turn off your cellular data when you're not using it. Doing so will help to conserve your battery life, which can be a lifesaver when you're on the go. Plus, it can also help to save you money on your travel expenses.