O2 roaming charges explained: Everything you need to know before your trip to Europe

Roaming charges in Europe are back, with several mobile networks announcing big changes – many of which are already active, including at O2. Since the UK left the European Union in January 2021, UK phone operators have been allowed to reintroduce roaming charges as the Brexit trade deal did not explicitly rule them out. Previously, the EU’s ‘Roam Like at Home’ initiative had banned mobile networks from charging users extra in fellow member states.

No one wants to see a massive phone bill following a dreamy trip abroad, so it’s best to be clued up on all the intricacies of these changes before you jet off. Below we’ve set out everything that has changed in O2’s roaming policy, so you can enjoy your holiday and use your data, minutes and text allowance with confidence.

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O2 roaming charges: What is changing?

Thankfully for O2 customers, going on holiday in Europe should not cost much extra – if anything at all – as the phone provider has kept its ‘Europe Zone’ package live following Brexit.

The only catch is that since 2 August 2021, customers who have a monthly data allowance of over 25GB will now have a limit of 25GB when in Europe. You can still use your data above the 25GB mark, but there will be an additional charge of £3.50 per GB extra that is used within the ‘Europe Zone’. Previously, there were no additional costs.

If you are nearing the 25GB limit, O2 has stated that you will receive a text message to let you know, as well as another once you reach it.

This all means that your data (up to 25GB), minutes and text allowances will work just like they do in the UK. You can receive and make calls and texts at no extra cost. For those travelling abroad on a Pay As You Go deal, charges and allowances under O2 will also work as if you are in the UK.

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O2 roaming charges: What countries does this apply to?

The O2 Europe Zone includes the following destinations: Austria, Azores, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus (excluding Northern Cyprus), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Mayotte, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Reunion, Romania, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Vatican City.

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O2 roaming charges: What is not included?

While you can make calls and send texts to any country in the Europe Zone (including the UK) as normal when travelling abroad, if you are still in the UK and want to call or text someone outside the UK there will be an additional cost. The price will depend on the country but for most European nations calls will be around £0.19 per minute on both monthly contracts and Pay As You Go deals. Standard SMS texts to European regions are £0.06 per text. For other international regions, calls could increase in price to as much as £3.00 per minute, so it is best to read up on your specific destination on the O2 website.

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