Major mobile network to scrap free data roaming in Europe for millions

A MAJOR mobile network is to scrap free data roaming in Europe for millions.

Tesco Mobile is set to reintroduce roaming charges, meaning that millions of customers could rack up a nasty bill when accessing data abroad.

The move will mean that millions of customers will face heavy charges when using their data abroad


The move will mean that millions of customers will face heavy charges when using their data abroadCredit: Getty

The change to the provider’s Home from Home policy was originally set to come into force on January 1, 2023.

But Tesco, told The Sun, that the charges will now come into force from May 2023.

This means that customers have a couple of months left to enjoy free data roaming in 48 European and worldwide countries.

To see a full list of the destinations currently included in the Home from Home policy, visit Tesco’s website.

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From May, customers will be charged an extra fee if they opt to use their data abroad.

Tesco is yet to confirm the rate of this fee but we’ll update this story once they are confirmed.

It’s important to note that customers will still be able to use their UK minutes and text allowances at no extra cost when in Europe.

And some Tesco Mobile users will be exempt from the new charges altogether, depending on when they bought the contract.

All existing pay monthly customers who joined or upgraded before June 16 2022 won’t face an extra charge to use their data abroad.

But customers who joined or upgraded their contract after June 16, 2022 will have to fork out data roaming charges abroad.

And many may be unaware that the change is happening at all, as Tesco has yet to make a formal announcement on the matter.

The change will be disappointing for Tesco Mobile’s five million customers.

But there are still several mobile networks that don’t charge customers extra to surf the web abroad.

Which firms don’t charge for using your data in Europe?

The vast majority of companies have now reintroduced charges for travelers in the EU.

Right now, five mobile networks still allow customers to use their UK data allowance while abroad in the EU free of charge.

These include BT Mobile and Plusnet, iD Mobile, O2, Virgin Mobile and Smarty.

BT Mobile and Plusnet

Both owned by the BT Group, these two carriers allow all customers to continue enjoying inclusive roaming when they travel to the EU and beyond.

Under their “Roam Like Home” policies, both BT Mobile and Plusnet customers can use all of their data allowances while abroad without facing any international fees.

However, if you use all your data allowance, you’ll be charged. BT Mobile customers will pay 11p per mb and Plusnet customers 10p per mb.

iD Mobile

All iD Mobile plans come with inclusive EU roaming.

This feature lets you roam like at home in 50 destinations throughout the EU, European Economic Area and beyond.

The minutes, texts and data you use simply come out of your remaining monthly allowances.

If you use all your data allowance, you’ll be charged 10p per mb from then on.


If you’re traveling within the EU on O2, your allowances will work as they do in the UK. However, data usage within the EU is subject to a roaming limit.

If your UK monthly data allowance is over 25GB, you’ll have a roaming limit of 25GB. This means you can use up to 25GB of your allowance at no extra cost.

You can still use data if you reach the roaming limit but you’ll be charged £3.50 per GB for your ongoing usage.

If your UK monthly data allowance is less than 25GB you won’t be subject to the 25GB roaming limit. But if you use all your UK data abroad, you’ll need to buy a data “Bolt On” if you want to keep roaming.

Data “Bolt On’s” costs start at £3.

Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile offers a “Roam Like Home” policy which enables customers to use their UK allowance of minutes, texts and data in the EU just as you would in the UK.

If you use all your data allowance you’ll be subject to extra charges at £4.79 per GB.

You’ll usually be sent a text once you hit 80% of your usage to keep you aware of how close you are to running out.

But be aware that from March, Virgin Mobile customers will make the move over to O2.

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Subject to the firm’s fair usage limit, you can use up to 12GB of data each month out of your monthly allowance when traveling in the EU.

If you need more data, you can buy a data add-on. You can spend between £1 and £14 to get up to 15GB of extra data to use while you’re abroad.

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