Using your mobile abroad

19 March 2019

Currently, you can ‘roam like at home’ while using your mobile phone when travelling within the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

The current rules generally require providers to charge pay-monthly and pay-as-you-go mobile customers the same price for calls, text messages and data services as you pay when in the UK.

However, there may be some instances (such as when a provider has a fair use policy in place) where you may be charged more than your domestic charge, so make sure you know what roaming product your provider offers before heading off.

Providers offering roaming services should automatically apply ‘roam like at home’ to all existing and new customers – you don’t have to sign up. Check with your provider if you want to confirm that this has been activated on your mobile phone.

If you’re travelling outside of the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, roaming charges can be much higher, and you may want to talk to your provider to understand the best available deal for the country you're travelling to. Alternatively, it might be worth considering buying a SIM for the country you are visiting.

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions to help you understand the ‘roam like at home’ rules, and how they apply in practice:

Roaming after Brexit

After Brexit, customers could see changes to how they use their mobiles abroad.

Current rules generally mean people can use their mobiles in Europe without paying more than they would in the UK.

The Government has confirmed that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, these rules will no longer apply. Mobile companies will decide whether to keep the current arrangements or introduce additional charges.

Currently, companies must give customers at least a month’s notice of any changes to their contract that would particularly disadvantage them. Customers have the right to exit their contract without being penalised in these situations. We have advice for customers on how these rules work.

To protect customers when travelling abroad if there is a no deal exit, there will still be a mobile roaming data use limit, of £45 a month. Customers will also continue to receive alerts to let them know when they are coming towards the end of any data roaming allowance they have.

The Government has also published further advice on how mobile roaming will work after Brexit.