Wednesday , 23 January 2019
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Brexit SHOCK: Gibraltar issues warning over no-deal mobile roaming charges price hike

Brexit SHOCK: Gibraltar issues warning over no-deal mobile roaming charges price hike

The Gibraltarian Government statement, issued today, echoes similar advice published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in September 2018, one of a large number of technical notices offering advice in the event of a no-deal scenario. The statement, pointedly issued by HM Government of Gibraltar just days before MPs are due to vote on Mrs May’s divorce plan in the House of Commons on Tuesday, warns: “In the event that we leave the EU without a deal, the costs that EU mobile operators would be able to charge our operators for providing roaming services would no longer be regulated after March 2019. This would mean that surcharge-free roaming when you travel to the EU could no longer be guaranteed.”

“Leaving without a deal would not prevent Gibraltar mobile operators making and honouring commercial arrangements with mobile operators in the EU – and beyond the EU – to deliver the services their customers expect, including roaming arrangements.”

The statement warned the availability of pricing of mobile roaming in the EY “would be a commercial question for the mobile operators.”

It added: “As a consequence, surcharge-free mobile roaming in the EU may not continue to be standard across every mobile phone package from that point.

“Roaming may also be offered with different terms and conditions.”

“This might affect the amount of calls that you can make, texts you can send and data you can consume, including applying limits that are less than the amount available in your bundle when you are in Gibraltar.

“However, we should be clear that surcharge-free roaming for Gibraltar customers may continue across the EU as now, based on operators’ commercial arrangements.”

The statement is almost identical to advice published by the DCMS on September 13, the date on which the Government published 28 technical notices in addition to the 25 published earlier in the month.</span></span>

The DCMS statement said: “Leaving without a deal would not prevent UK mobile operators making and honouring commercial arrangements with mobile operators in the EU – and beyond the EU – to deliver the services their customers expect, including roaming arrangements. 

“The availability and pricing of mobile roaming in the EU would be a commercial question for the mobile operators. 

The HM Government of Gibraltar statement also reiterated specific advice to consumers to:</span></span>

• Check the roaming policies of mobile operator before going abroad

• Consider what operators were saying about surcharge-free roaming post-EU exit

• Check operator’s terms and conditions in detail – particularly in the case of people who are heavy user of mobile services in the EU

• Be aware of rights to change mobile operator (“switching”)

• Know how to turn off mobile data roaming on mobile device

• Understand the alternatives to using mobile networks when abroad. Wi-Fi is widely available, which would allow consumers to make calls, send texts and use data for free or with little charge

• Understand which services might be expensive to use and which are likely to be cheap. For example, streaming live television or sending large video clips (MMS) could be expensive as they use large amounts of data

(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)

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