O2 to scrap mobile roaming charges in 47 foreign countries this summer

Starting from 15 June, O2’s customers will be able to make and receive calls and texts as well as use their data allowances in popular holiday destinations France, Greece and Spain

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The Independent Online

Customers of mobile operator O2 will be able to use their phones abroad without fear of racking up huge bills this summer after the company announced it will scrap roaming charges.

Starting from 15 June, O2’s pay monthly and business customers will be able to make and receive calls and texts as well as use their data allowances in 47 countries - including popular holiday destinations France, Greece and Spain - at no extra cost, the company announced on Tuesday.

The company said it will inform customers about the changes from 15 May adding that users would not need to take any action to take advantage of the benefits.

The move follows similar initiatives from rivals Vodaphone, EE and Three.

It comes as the European Union is expected to abolish roaming charges for its 28 member’s states in June.

However, it remains unclear if UK operators will be able to reintroduce roaming fees from 2019, when the country is expected to exit the EU.

According to a leaked document created by the European Parliament’s committee on industry, research and energy, regulations on roaming “will no longer apply with respect to the UK impacting business and other travellers to and from the UK.”

After that, it will be up to the UK Government to strike a deal to prevent British customers from facing steep mobile bills when travelling in what will then be the 27-member-state bloc.

More than 9 million UK mobile phone users suffer from so-called “bill shock” from using their phones while holidaying abroad each year, according to research published last year by comparison website uSwitch.

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