EE has introduced charges for data roaming when abroad in the EU for its Pay As You Go (PAYG). Data roaming is a term used for charges that are applied when using your phone abroad. Many mobile networks had previously stopped charging for roaming when in the EU, however, in 2022 a number of mobile networks reintroduced roaming charges, including EE for its monthly contract customers. We summarise the networks that reintroduced charging for roaming in our article, 'Compare the best mobile network for data roaming abroad'.
In this article, we look at who is affected by the EE PAYG roaming charges, how much it costs to use your phone abroad and the alternative networks that offer fee-free roaming when abroad.
What are EE data roaming charges?
Data roaming charges are fees for using your network when abroad and they vary depending on the mobile network provider and the country you are travelling to. In March 2022, EE reintroduced data roaming charges for its pay monthly customers whose plan started after 7th July 2021 and charges apply for EE Pay As You Go customers from 6th June 2023.
The reintroduction of data roaming for PAYG means that customers will be charged for data usage, phone calls and texts when visiting countries in EE's Europe Zone. There are ways to reduce how much you can expect to pay for these charges, however, and we explain more below.
How much are the EE data roaming charges?
If you are an EE Pay As You Go customer you will now have to pay for using your phone when abroad in Europe. You will be asked whether you would like to opt-in to a subscription pack when you arrive at your destination and it is optional to do so. Subscription packs can be purchased at any time and allow you to use your data, calls and texts as if you were in the UK and we provide the costs in the table below. If you do not wish to purchase a subscription pack and you use your phone abroad you will be charged the fees in the second table shown below.
Subscription pack charges
|Roam Like Home for 24 hours||£2.50 for 24 hours|
|Roam Like Home for 7 days||£10 for 7 days|
Data roaming charges without a subscription pack
|Phone calls||£0.70 per minute|
|Text Messages||£0.30 per text|
|Data usage||£3 per 500MB (via a data add-on)|
Who will be charged the EE data roaming charges?
If you are an EE Pay As You Go or top-up credit customer you will be affected by the decision to reintroduce data roaming changes. The changes are also worth noting if you are a Plusnet mobile customer and considering switching to EE once it closes down. If you are an existing EE pay monthly customer you will already be affected by data roaming charges.
What to do before using your phone abroad
Before going abroad you will need to ensure that your phone is set up for roaming. To do this you will need to text 'ROAMING' to 150 to ensure your device is ready to roam when you are away. It is free to send the message and you need to ensure this is done before you travel. You also need to ensure data roaming has been turned on via your device settings and that your spend cap will not restrict the data roaming services while you are abroad.
EE's WiFi calling is also only supported when in the UK so you need to ensure that this is turned off to avoid any additional charges when making a phone call abroad. Turning on automatic network selection will ensure that your phone picks the best network when you are abroad. Information on how to do any of these settings prior to travelling can be found on the EE website.
Mobile networks that don't charge for data roaming
If you do not want to pay for using your phone abroad there are some networks - such as O2, Smarty and Tesco - that still offer fee-free roaming for 2023. We compare the best mobile networks for roaming in our article which can help you to decide if you want to switch.
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