How are we supposed to enjoy our holiday without streaming?
EE customers not on the firm’s top-end data tariff have complained they are receiving sloth-like speeds of 2Mbps when using data abroad.
On its Free EU Roaming support page, EE said: “4GEE Max customers will get our fastest available speeds at home and abroad. But please note: maximum speeds will be dependent on the local network and may not be as fast as at home.”
In EE’s “Roaming for Pay Monthly Customers” [PDF] the company said:
If you have any plan other than an EE 4GEE Max plan you will get our standard roaming data speeds when in the EU. This is likely to be slower than in the UK and fast enough to use your phone as you normally would, including streaming music and standard definition video (or better).
If you want access to faster speeds you will be able to buy one of our Max plans or a speed add-on (where available). If you are on an EE 4GEE Max Plan you’ll get access to the fastest available speeds when abroad.
One customer, who asked not to be named, said: “To me, this indicates that because EE have been forced by the EU to provide free EU roaming, they’re forcing customers to have slow speeds, but if you are willing to pay for data (either by moving to a more expensive Max Plan or buying a speed add-on), you can experience full speeds while roaming in the EU.”
Some folk have complained on Twitter:
— Konstantinos Pavlou (@KPavlouInc) June 17, 2017
@EE I’m in Cyprus at the minute, why am I limited to 2mbps on MTN 4G when locals get 30mbps+ here? Free EU roaming = limited data roaming?
— Rich Bishop (@richbishop) August 12, 2017
EE is not the only firm to face criticism for its failure to provide “roam like home” speeds this summer. O2 has admitted to temporarily throttling its network, Three has said it has no date yet for enabling 4G, with Vodafone customers also having complained about sluggish speeds.
Sadly it seems many users are being forced to read a book, or sight-see, rather than gawp at Netflix while on hols.
The Register has contacted EE for a comment. ®