Mobile phone customers from the UK have been warned about the increasing cost of making calls in Europe.
The UK's post-Brexit trade deal with the EU opened the door for mobile operators to reintroduce 'roaming' charges when customers travel abroad.
A new report from communications research consultancy Juniper Research expects the number of worldwide roaming subscribers using 5G services to increase by 4,500% in five years: from 4.5 million this year to 210 million in 2026.
New EU roaming regulations are expected to cause a drop in mobile roaming revenue for operators in 2017, according to a forecast from Juniper Research.
Annual roaming revenue is predicted to fall by 28% in Europe and by 7% globally: a significant portion of an estimated $52 billion total in the year after next.
It’s reported that EE is refunding around £1 million to customers who were charged VAT in error. People who travelled outside Europe and used their phones to go online were apparently charged VAT, although this should only apply to usage inside the EU.
Only 0.5% of EE’s customers were affected by the problem, which happened because the company’s billing system hadn’t been set up correctly.
The GSMA has published a response to the UK government’s suggestion that ‘national roaming’ could be mandated to reduce areas of poor mobile phone coverage.
A consultation period was launched on 5th November and ended yesterday.