Virgin Media O2 has announced that neither O2 nor Virgin Mobile will be reintroducing the roaming fees for those travelling to Europe. The company’s announcement comes just days after Vodafone and EE delayed their roaming charge rollouts due to ongoing technical issues.
For the time being, Virgin Media O2 has no plans to bring back roaming charges so travellers should at least be good this year. With that said, the firm did say it will be regularly reviewing roaming fees and will change position “if market sentiment changes”. The decision to stave off the reintroduction of roaming charges makes Virgin Media O2 the only one of the big four networks not to introduce roaming charges.
According to the other companies who have reintroduced charges, customers who don’t go abroad are essentially subsidising the roaming charges of those who do go abroad and they said that isn’t fair. The scrapping of roaming charges was an idea of the European Union to further harmonise the bloc but the UK left the EU two years ago so carriers are no longer obliged to listen to rules banning roaming charges.
The true test of Virgin Media O2’s commitment to roaming charges will come in a few years when the coronavirus no longer poses such a risk to public health and people resume travelling abroad more frequently; only then will we see if Virgin Media O2 can carry on offering competitive prices while subsidising roaming charges.