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Tesco Mobile scraps roaming charges for the summer

Tuesday, April 26th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

Tesco Mobile has launched a new service that will spare its customers roaming charges when they’re using their phones abroad.

The network’s Home from Home service will allow customers to use their UK tariff allowances when holidaying in 31 European countries over the summer period.

The move comes as EU regulations requiring mobile operators to lower roaming charges come into force on 30 April, but Tesco said it has gone one step further by removing extra charges across the EU and several other places.

The Home from Home service will allow Tesco Mobile customers to use data abroad from their UK allowances as well as call and text free of roaming charges in a total of 31 countries from 23 May until 3 September.

Simon Groves, chief marketing officer at Tesco Mobile, said: “This summer, millions of us will head off to Europe for our holidays, and being able to use our mobiles abroad is as important as packing a passport.

“Using our phones to share selfies on social media, keep in contact with friends and family, and navigating unknown territory, has become part and parcel of what we expect from our holiday experience.

“We want our customers to enjoy their holiday without having to worry about the cost of using their phones. So we decided, why wait until 2017 to banish roaming? Let’s help our customers and give them a taste of what’s to come.”

Customers do not need to do anything to activate Home From Home and can check if their destination is covered by visiting the Tesco Mobile website.

'Harmonising'

Last year the European Parliament approved a new law banning roaming fees.

It ruled that roaming charges would be capped from 30 April this year, then banned altogether from 15 June 2017.

The move followed a deal between the European Commission, European Council and European Parliament.

Last month, a report from UK travel industry body ABTA and Deloitte warned that an exit from the European Union could lead to higher mobile roaming charges for travellers.

The report warned that a ‘leave’ vote could mean that both roaming caps and next year’s ban could be removed.

The report said: “The EU has recently introduced caps for mobile phone roaming charges, harmonising the maximum charges applicable to consumers for using their phones in other EU countries, and will extend this to a complete ban on additional roaming fees in April 2017.

“As a Regulation (531/2012), the law applying these rules would be removed by Brexit, unless the UK Government acted to ensure it remained on statute.”

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