Tesco Mobile is reintroducing its data roaming charges for new or recently joined customers which means they will have to pay to use data when travelling to Europe. For now, customers will be able to continue using their phones at no extra cost before the change is implemented in late spring. Tesco Mobile will join a number of other network providers that have reintroduced data roaming charges in the EU following the EU trade deal in December 2020 while O2 continues to state that it has no plans to reintroduce data roaming charges in the EU for its customers.
In this article, we explain the changes made to Tesco Mobile data roaming, who is affected by the changes and how much it will now cost to use your phone abroad. We also share some tips to save money on your mobile phone bill and how to easily switch network providers.
What changes have been made to Tesco Mobile monthly plans?
From late spring 2023, Tesco will reintroduce roaming charges in the EU for customers that joined or upgraded on or after 16th June 2022. Tesco Mobile says that "From late spring 2023, you won’t be able to use your monthly minutes, texts and data or UK bundles within the 48 Home From Home destinations and roaming charges will apply."
Until then, you will be able to use your Tesco Mobile phone at the following destinations abroad at no additional cost to yourself.
|Republic of Cyprus||Martinique|
|Ireland (Republic of)||St. Barts|
|Isle of Man||Sweden|
Who is affected by the Tesco EU data roaming charges?
Customers with a new or upgraded Tesco Mobile contract that started on or after 16th June 2022 will be affected by the change to roaming data charges in Europe. Tesco Mobile customers with contracts and upgrades that pre-date this will not currently be affected by the data roaming charges and will continue to be able to use their phone in a Home from Home location at no extra cost until they decide to upgrade.
How much will it cost to use Tesco Mobile in Europe?
Tesco Mobile has not yet released information regarding the European data roaming charges but at present, if you exceed your monthly allowance when at a Home from Home location you will be charged Tesco Mobile's standard UK rates which are shown in the below table. Additional roaming charges can be found on the Tesco Mobile website.
|Pay Monthly charges||Pay As You Go charges|
|Calls to UK & Home from Home numbers||55p/minute||25p/minute|
|Texts UK & Home from Home numbers||20p/message||10p/message|
|Data used in a Home from Home destination||10p/MB||10p/MB|
|Listen to voicemail||55p/minute||15p/minute|
Do other mobile networks charge EU roaming fees?
Not all mobile phone networks have reintroduced roaming fees and in the below comparison table, we list some mobile phone providers that still offer fee-free roaming within Europe. The daily fees are charged to access your existing allowances and you could be subject to additional fees depending on your network provider. Some providers may also have a fair usage policy in place which means that you may only be able to use a limited portion of the data allowed within your plan. The table shows when the data roaming charges were reintroduced but not all mobile phone contracts are affected by the changes. Check with your individual network provider to see if your contract is affected.
Network providers that charge for EU roaming
|Network provider||Charges for data roaming in the EU||Data roaming cost||Data roaming charges reinstated|
|BT Mobile||(up to 50GB)||varies on destination after fair use limit||N/A|
|EE||£2 per day (or a 30-day pass for £10)||3 March 2022|
|GiffGaff||(up to 5GB)||10p/MB over 5GB||N/A|
|iD Mobile||25p/MB over individual fair use amount||N/A|
|O2||(up to 25GB)||£3.50/GB over 25GB||N/A|
|Plusnet||10p/MB over your allowance||N/A|
|Sky Mobile||£2/day||3 May 2022|
|TalkMobile||(up to 15GB)||60p/MB over 15GB||N/A|
|Tesco Mobile||TBC||spring 2023|
|Three||£2 per day||23 May 2022|
|Virgin Mobile||£3 per GB/Day over your allowance||N/A|
|Vodafone||£2 per day (or £1 per day for an 8 or 15-day pass)||31 January 2022|
|Voxi||£2 per day (or £1 per day for an 8 or 15-day pass)||27 May 2022|
How to avoid being charged for data roaming
If your mobile phone provider charges for data roaming, follow these useful tips to avoid an expensive phone bill:
- Turn data roaming off before you arrive - before you arrive at your destination head to your phone settings, mobile data and turn off data roaming. Restricting data roaming and mobile data confines your data access to Wi-Fi only.
- Use Wi-Fi - Stay connected with those at home by using WiFi to make calls on social apps such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
- Download content ahead of time - Before you travel ensure you download any TV, films or music to ensure you can watch or listen to content without an internet connection.
- Buy a data add-on - It may be possible to purchase a data add-on with your mobile network. This usually means you can access a set amount of data for a set daily fee. For example, the mobile network Three allows you to purchase a 'Data Passport' add-on which gives you unlimited access to data for £5 a day.
- Get a local pay-as-you-go SIM - If you would like to access data when out and about you could consider purchasing a local SIM card and topping it up with cash as and when you need it. Before purchasing, however, you should double-check that your phone and the local SIM card are compatible.
How to save money on your mobile phone bill
Mobile phone bills can be expensive and there are a number of things that you can do to try and keep the costs low. We list a number of money-saving tips in our article, 'How to save money on your mobile phone bill'. It is also a good idea to compare prices with other networks too, to see if you can get a better deal. If you find that you may be better off with another network you can easily switch providers by sending a simple text message, but you may be subject to a final bill depending on your contract's terms and length. Find out more about switching networks in our article, 'How to switch mobile provider with a text message'.