While the European Parliament has renewed its “Roam like at home” policy for 10 years, three of the four major UK mobile operators reintroduce the roaming fees for their customers traveling to Europe as an aftermath of Brexit. Brits will therefore have to pay more to use their mobile phone within Europe and alternative eSIM data plans could be a solution for UK consumers traveling abroad.
What does the reintroduction of roaming charges mean for UK consumers?
Vodafone, EE and Three have recently announced their decision to reinstate roaming fees for their consumers traveling within Europe. Customers on their newest mobile plans will have to pay £2 a day to use their monthly allowance in the EU (call, SMS, data), with the possibility to activate roaming passes to reduce these charges. To this day, O2 remains one of the major UK operators not charging its consumers for EU roaming. It chose instead to impose a “fair use” charge if customers use more than their data allowance to a maximum of 25GB, charging £3.5 per GB when the allowance is exceeded.
Comparison between Ubigi and UK operators: time to switch to the eSIM?
Since 2018, Ubigi provides eSIM* data plans in 180+ countries to travelers with eSIM compatible smartphones (such as iPhone 11/ 12/ 13/ XS/ XR/ SE, Samsung S20/ S21, Pixel 3/ 4/ 5/ 6…), tablets (iPad Mini/ Air/ Pro, Surface Pro…) and a number of laptops operating on Windows 10 and 11.
To respond to UK travelers’ concerns, Ubigi established a data roaming costs comparison with the four major UK mobile operators when visiting popular European tourist destinations. For more accuracy, Ubigi looked at available roaming passes. However, these must be activated before departure which increases the risk for the consumer to pay the full roaming charges.
Using the average data usage by its UK consumers in July/August 2021 ( 2.6GB ), Ubigi determines that an average consumer traveling within Europe would be most likely to buy the 30-day 3GB eSIM data plan .
In most cases, buying an Ubigi eSIM data plan is less expensive than paying UK operators’ roaming fees.
The savings can be significant when traveling as a family and everyone needs an internet connection. Note: even with O2, purchasing an eSIM data plan could be more economical when the initial plan allocation is used up, instead of paying the extra £ 3.5 per GB.
Thus, Ubigi recommends that UK customers switch completely to data and not use SMS, MMS or regular phone calls abroad. This can be easily configured in the settings of the mobile phone. An eSIM data plan allows you to call, send SMS, photos, videos via communication applications (such as WhatsApp) and can completely replace a traditional SIM card (call, SMS and data). Moreover, the eSIM can be used to connect tablets and laptops too, which can be handy for trips with kids or bleisure travel.
* What is an eSIM?
The eSIM is a new feature built into many models of recent smartphones, tablets, and computers. It allows you to activate a mobile data plan instantly, without having to use a physical SIM card.
Its users can combine multiple eSIM profiles from different operators and easily switch between them in the device settings. eSIM offers a safer connection than Wi-Fi, enabling its customers to work or access the Internet from wherever they want.
With the data plans provided by Ubigi, significant savings can be made when traveling abroad, thanks to all the international agreements signed by the brand in more than 180 countries and destinations. Ubigi’s subscribers thus benefit from prepaid data plans at nearly local rates, with no surprises in terms of roaming charges!
 Introduced in Europe in 2017 “Roam like at home” policy which enables European consumers to call and use their mobile data for the same price as in their home country when they go to another destination within the EU.