No roaming charges in UK post-Brexit, Three Mobile confirms

Irish phone operators legally allowed to introduce charges from December 31st

There was some good news for Three Mobile customers in the Republic on Friday after it re-stated its commitment that users here will not be hit with roaming charges for using their phones across the border or in Britain once the Brexit transition period ends later this year.

From December 31st Irish phone operators will be legally allowed to reintroduce roaming charges for customers travelling north or to Britain.

As the level of uncertainty around Brexit increases and the chances of a deal being reached in the next three months recedes, the mobile operator said that irrespective of whether the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal or a negotiated Brexit deal is agreed upon, the current roaming arrangements in the UK will remain unchanged.

"Brexit is causing a lot of uncertainty in Ireland amongst businesses and consumers," said Three chief executive Robert Finnegan. "The reintroduction of roaming charges is a real concern especially for those living in border areas and for customers who travel regularly to the UK."


The company’s division in the UK has made the same commitment which means Three customers north and south of the border do not need to worry about the reintroduction of roaming charges after Brexit, he added.

Other operators have previously said they will not be imposing roaming charges which could see the costs associated with using a phone in a jurisdiction which is not in the EU and governed by EU rules climb dramatically.

The communications regulator ComReg has warned that after December 31st, how roaming charges are impose will “depend on the nature of the relationship agreed between the UK and the EU”.

It has said that irrespective of the commercial approach taken by Irish mobile operators, all their customers will still have legal protections around roaming in the UK.

Operators will have to keep customers informed of any roaming charges they could incur if and when they use mobile devices in the UK post-Brexit, and customers will have to be alerted when charges are incurred or the data roaming cap of €61.50 is reached. They will also have to be notified if their contractual terms are changed.

Conor Pope

Conor Pope

Conor Pope is Consumer Affairs Correspondent, Pricewatch Editor and cohost of the In the News podcast