Vodafone has announced that it has extended its cost free roaming to another 29 locations, there are now a total of 77 countries worldwide where you can use your mobile phone with no additional charges.
The best network for roaming: take your home plan to more destinations & on 4G (where available) compared to other major networks (EE, O2, Three & iD) as of 10th May 2018. Destinations, verification & details at vodafone.co.uk/roaming
The country is all covered by 2G and mostly by 3G up to HSPA+ and DC-HSPA and 4G/LTE in towns. Nationwide the big three providers Movistar, Vodafone and Orange are neck on neck with a similar coverage and market shares. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz. Yoigo is a 3G/4G-only network with limited own resources, but free roaming on Orange and Movistar, giving it a very good coverage too. All network providers have stated to close down 3G in the years of 2023-2025 while keeping their 2G networks for longer.
According to Open Signal network tests in 2021 all 4 providers remain very much on par at 89-92% 4G/LTE coverage. Movistar has proven to be the fastest network with 33 Mbit/s on average, but all providers remain very much on par and differ only regionally. Másmóvil is slightly weaker, but can catch up thanks to free Orange roaming.
Network: 3G: up to HSPA+, 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz (B3) with free roaming on Orange network, giving a good coverage. They claim >90% 4G/LTE coverage on their own, but even more with their free roaming partner. 5G NR has started but is not available for prepaid so far.
A number of providers have scrapped the free roaming meaning it will now cost travellers more to use their phone when holidaying abroad or in an EU country. Vodafone, EE, Three, Lebara and more have scrapped free EU roaming, implementing new charges, and some have decided not to bring back the fees including the likes of O2 who have now merged with Virgin Mobile.
Now the UK is no longer part of the EU some mobile providers have reintroduced roaming charges, while others are allowing customers to still roam for free. With this in mind we've decided to take a look at the roaming charges for some of the most popular UK mobile networks and what it will mean for customers.
As of 2017, roaming is free within the European Union, which is fantastic. Some providers add additional destinations to your free-roaming list. Does Vodafone do the same? Where can you roam for free with Vodafone? What around roaming in non-EU destinations? What are the roaming rates, and where can you roam? Can you data roam overseas too? We will find out today.
Whenever you cross the border, your operator should send you an automatic message free of charge with your basic personalized pricing information on the roaming charges, including VAT, that apply to making and receiving calls, sending SMS and using regulated data roaming services. The information should also include any fair use policy that your operator applies, for example if the operator applies a limit to the data volume that you can consume when roaming. It should also include information about any surcharges that can apply after you have consumed that data volume limit. The message should include information about certain service that are not free, like calling a hot line or customer services.
For the calls that are free of charge at home but might be charged while roaming, the operator needs to include information on the surcharge for free phone numbers while roaming on a dedicated web page, that will also include information on numbering-ranges for value added services.
As the free EU roaming came into effect last summer, the story was saying that these customers should have been able to roam in the EU as it would be free. Whereas the logic behind network bars was, is the customer allowed to use their phone whilst roaming. Answer = No. 2b1af7f3a8