LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) – British mobile operator EE (BT.L) said on Thursday it was bringing back mobile roaming charges in the European Union for new and upgrading customers from next January, wiping out a benefit that has saved tourists and business travellers millions of pounds since the charges were abolished in 2017.
The company, which is owned by BT, had previously said it had no plans to reintroduce roaming charges following Brexit.
Users will be charged 2 pounds a day ($2.78) for roaming in a total of 47 European destinations, it said.
The charges, which will apply to customers signing new contracts from July 7, would support investment in its UK-based customer service and its UK network, it added.
Roaming charges were completely abolished in the European Union in 2017, saving holiday makers and business travellers millions of pounds a year in total additional charges for using their smartphones outside Britain.
But fee-free roaming was not protected in the Brexit agreement Britain agreed with the EU.
Britain said it could not prevent European mobile network operating companies charging UK operators when customers roamed on their networks, and this charge could be passed onto the user.
Britain’s other networks O2, Vodafone and Three said in 2018 they had no plans to bring back roaming charges.
($1 = 0.7183 pounds)
Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton
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