back to article Treaty of Roam finally in ashes: O2 cracks, joins rivals, adds data roaming charges for heavy users in EU

We didn't see this on the side of a bus. Five years to the day that Britain heard the results of the Brexit referendum, O2 has caved as the last of the UK's Big Four networks to re-introduce roaming charges in Europe for its customers. For its pay monthly punters, each gigabyte of data over 25GB will now be charged at £3.50 …

  1. trevorde Silver badge

    If it's not on the side of a bus...

    ... it's not going to happen!

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

      Even when it is, it still won't happen.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

      Even if it is on the side of a bus, people will mis-remember/mis-quote what it said and bend the words to suit whatever they want in order to further their own argument.

      They won't appreciate that furthering your own argument by putting forward falsehoods is exactly what they're accusing other people of doing.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

        You do know that 'Denial' is not a river in Egypt, right?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          OK, I'll bite.

          What the bus said: "We send the EU £350 million a week" and "let's fund our NHS instead"

          What people claim it said: "let's give the NHS an extra £350M/week"

          Note that the bus didn't say how much of that £350 million to give to the NHS. Yet people are still claiming that it did (and downvoting a perfectly rational, factual, neutral post)

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            "Let's give our NHS the £350 million the EU takes every week."

            With your man stood in front of it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              Where's the bus??

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                On fire in Northern Ireland.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                there's no bus, there never was. Those pix are fake anyway, and even if they are, they do not portray what they do. I do find it ironic, that those voting for brexit will pay more to waddle along in Europe, left hand on their mobile, right hand on their mobile, posting on the sun comments page about this shameful! behaviour!

              3. Jaybus

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                Well, I believe that we've missed it.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              He most certainly is not my man. I just don't like bullshit; sorry if that offends you.

              1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                " I just don't like bullshit" Do you know what hypocrisy is? The clear intent of the wording was that the money would go to the NHS and that is what the majority of people believed it meant, i.e. native, English speaking voters. and that was the intention of those responsible.

                Sorry if the truth offends you, which is most obviously does.

          2. SecretSonOfHG

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            You seem to forget that the first part of the statement is false... https://infacts.org/uk-doesnt-send-eu-350m-a-week-or-55m-a-day/

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              https://infacts.org/

              Interesting, a pro-EU website that still manages to violate EU cookie law :-)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                Does that mean the facts happen to be pro EU and not the website?

            2. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              The ONS determined that £350m/week was a reasonable figure as it was the gross amount.

              However if it had said £250m/week ( the net figure ) not one leave voter would have voted remain.

              If £350m/week is outrageous, so is £250m/week.

              1. R Soul

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                If £350m/week is outrageous, so is £250m/week.

                It's chickenfeed in terms of overall pre-covid public spending of around £3B/week. Or the taxpayer money that's been spunked up againt the wall on HS2, Track&Trace, Crossrail, dodgy PPE, Weapons of Mass Destruction, nuclear power statons we don't need, aircraft carriers with no aircraft, a prison system that doesn't work, handouts to NI/Wales/Scotland, etc, etc. Not to mention the now crippling national debt which our grandchildren will still be paying.

                1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

                  Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                  That is irrelevant.

                  If you think that the £350m/week figure on the bus convinced people to vote leave, then you surely think that they would also have voted leave if it had said £250m/week.

                  Am I wrong?

                  Given that the ONS said the figure is fine, this seems very much like sour grapes to me.

                  Although if you're going to lie about the PPE deals being dodgy, I'm sure you'll find a way to claim that "a lie on a bus won the referendum", despite logic proving otherwise.

                  1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                    Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                    "If you think that the £350m/week figure on the bus convinced people to vote leave". If you think it had no influence then you have problems. It was part of a concerted, extremely well campaign with lots and lots of free exposure in the Mail. Express, Telegraph etc., i.e. the media Brexiteers read and trust.

                    have been relentless in peddling the line that immigration is at the heart of the UK’s problems. They also gave the impression that all EU immigrants live off benefits and are a drain on the economy. Few point out that the majority of European immigrants have jobs and pay taxes.

                    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                      Everyone is free to pick the heavily biased media they feel most comfortably supports there pre existing views*.

                      I would guess that the Venn intersection of Torygraf & Gruniad readers is a very small group.

                      *and as the last US election shows, that's not a good thing.

                      1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                        Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                        Correction "there pre existing biases*.

                2. R Soul

                  Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                  It's chickenfeed in terms of overall pre-covid public spending of around £3B/week.

                  Oops! I got my sums wrong. Before covid, UK public spending was around £800B/year. In round figures that's roughly £2B a day. £300M/week works around £40M per day. That's ~2% of overall government spending.

                  1. Wellyboot Silver badge

                    Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                    I think you were confused with the NHS pre covid spend which was between 2 and 3 £Bn/wk. The total welfare* spend across the UK would indeed make an additional £300M/wk disappear with no visible change.

                    *NHS, Social Services, Benefits & Education account for most of the £2Bn/day.

                    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                      welfare includes "state pension" - and that's where the vast majority of the UK government budget goes

                      Old folks vote, hence things like free bus perks, tv licensing exemptions and triple locks.

                3. gandalfcn Silver badge

                  Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                  It may have been chickenfeed but to your average person it is rather a lot of money

                  1. Yes Me Silver badge

                    Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                    Actually it's quite a lot of money for me too, but we got good value for it, namely the 40% or whatever of European export earnings that we seem to have, er, mislaid somewhere this year. What a great bonus for the Brexit liars that this can be conveniently blamed on COVID-19.

                    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

                      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                      I enjoy watching them squirm and tell more lies trying to justfy what has happened, especially "we knew what we voted for".

          3. Def Silver badge

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            The message (on the bus) was carefully worded to imply that the £350m would go to the NHS instead of the EU without actually saying anything of the sort.

            And it was done so that the lying cunts who were repeating that particular piece of propaganda could later weasel their way out of actually doing anything by pointing out that that's not what the message said.

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              The message on the side of the bus was a trap.

              The message on the side of the bus was carefully worded to encourage the remain campaign to talk about it /complain about it, and in doing so make the leave campaign's point that the UK was a net contributor to the EU (i.e. that the UK sent the EU lots of money).

              Had the bus said £280 million (Gross contribution less rebate = what the UK actually sent to the EU), the bus would have faded from peoples' minds in a few days.

              Instead, the remain campaign (helpfully, from the leave campaign's point of view) reminded everyone day in and day out that the UK sent the EU lots of money.

              I wonder how many people that complain about the bus actually saw one, in real life (and also, which version: there were in fact at least two variants of the message). And yet, thanks to the remain campaign / remain supporters, we all know about the bus and can visualise it and are quite sure we saw loads of them.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                Interesting.. the Streisand Effect Brexit Bus.

              2. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                ".....and in doing so make the leave campaign's point that the UK was a net contributor to the EU".

                Does that mean that there was Brits living in the happy world were Britain, the fifth richest ....and ... and ...second in the EU only to Germany, was paid by all other EU members for their pleasure and glory of having Britain as a member.

                Amazing and probably true, like also that some seem to believe Britain was the only net contributor to the EU.

                Some countries have been net contributors from the very start, Britain not so.

          4. Imp2

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            Let’s is a contraction of let us, that's a direct promise to spend the money on the NHS.

          5. anothercynic Silver badge

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            Guess what though... The NHS is *still* not funded more (regardless of the £350 million a week we supposedly save). Currently this festering mess of a Tory/UKIP fantasy is costing £440 million a week in lost growth, lost business, increased red tape, lost fishing and seafood industry... just to name a few.

            This was pointed out before and after the referendum, the charlatans who continued with their lies continue to sit in government and smirk at the mess they created, and every time something else happens and Leave-voters bleat about 'oh, we didn't see that coming', those who voted Remain go 'but we did! And we warned you! And we begged you not to vote Leave! Because we knew this would be coming down the road'.

            It is not a case of 'neener-neener-told you so-told you so' but rather an exasperated 'why did you not listen? Because some posh Tory said everything would be fine? Because that "man of the people" Farage said that only the metropolitan elite would be voting Remain and wouldn't you like to stick it to them?'

            Yeah, let's just not go there. I see these stories time and again, and I am just so shocked that people continued down the road to 'stick it to the EU' while all the while it was more a case of gouging your ears and eyes out.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              I note the deniers of facts and reality downvoted you - a bit like GOP/Trumpists do. Some in the UK are hell bent on driving the UK down the same road, whilst denying it of course.

            2. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              @anothercynic

              "The NHS is *still* not funded more (regardless of the £350 million a week we supposedly save)"

              The certainly not brexit supporting 'fullfact.org' doesnt agree- https://fullfact.org/health/nhs-england-394-million-more/

              Looks like the NHS is continually increasing even if its not the £350 million figure. Apparently the aim is to now hit that figure in 2023/24. Not that I trust any of these buggers about it but then both official campaigns were full of bull.

              "Currently this festering mess of a Tory/UKIP fantasy is costing £440 million a week in lost growth, lost business, increased red tape, lost fishing and seafood industry... just to name a few."

              Where do you get that? Not disputing the figure I just wonder if its the correctly calculated one the UK is using or the bull number used in other countries. The UK economy was shown to take a huge hit because we correctly calculated the value of public services to be zero when they were doing nothing even though we were paying for them. But then the lockdown has been very expensive. Good job we got out of the EU or the economy would be much worse.

              "It is not a case of 'neener-neener-told you so-told you so' but rather an exasperated 'why did you not listen?"

              I am finding myself in the situation of having to ask some remainers how they can keep their delusions. Now that we are out we can see a clear divergence (similar to the financial crisis) where the EU is stuck and the UK like the rest of the developed world deals with the issue and moves on. The corona crisis seems to have woken up some remainers though. the vociferous defence of the EU regardless of its self inflicted harm has died down a lot recently. Maybe its because unlike the Euro-crisis this one hits here as well as over there and its hard to accuse our gov of negligence without comparing with the utter shambles of the EU response.

              It has taken a while for a good cry baby article against brexit. The last was something to do with a harddrive from the Netherlands.

              1. anothercynic Silver badge

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                The certainly not brexit supporting 'fullfact.org' doesnt agree- https://fullfact.org/health/nhs-england-394-million-more/
                I would suggest you read FullFact's statement more carefully. Their statement was made in 2018 for starters. They also point out the following:
                There is no guaranteed extra money to pay for increased NHS funding from stopping our payments to the EU budget. Other costs associated with Brexit are expected to outweigh the savings.
                Correlation is not causation.

                Where do you get that? Not disputing the figure I just wonder if its the correctly calculated one the UK is using or the bull number used in other countries.
                None other than the Bank of England has published that figure. Can't get any better than that.

                As for the vaccine fiasco, there are plenty of Remainers who have pointed at that (and the EU threatening AstraZeneca etc al) as being a spectacular own goal on the side of the EU. The defence is still there, but given how the COVID pandemic has dominated headlines for the better part of 15 months, it's only natural that one might think that they've all gone quiet. They're all looking at the seafood industry (the ones Johnson claimed to be saving with his super-special-last-minute-down-the-back-of-a-napkin deal), GB-NI import/export (and even UK-EU import/export), the godawful amount of paperwork (I know of several car manufacturers in this country who are, despite their size, struggling with it, and if *they* struggle, what chance has a small business got?) and pointing out that this was all foreseen, yet Brexiteer-in-chief David Frost was happy to just condemn God only knows how many small and medium businesses to extinction because he didn't really care as long as he got the hardest Brexit him and his paymasters from the Tory backbenches wanted.

                The government has spectacularly failed the country in that it locked down too late, then when faced with a wave last year again locked down too late and misled people into making plans, only to have to tell them to cancel everything. Then, this year when faced with a wave from the Indian subcontinent, the government again refused to lock down because they wanted a deal with India, leading to an upsurge in the delta variant.

                The only thing they *have* managed to do right is the vaccine rollout, and that was only thanks to leaving it to someone who had experience with procurement and logistics and then leveraging the local NHS infrastructures. The other thing they sort-of got right was furlough, but it left a *lot* of people in the self-employment sector out, leading to a lot of suicides.

                But there we are. We've made our beds. We've to lie in them. It's just a shame that those business people who now bleat on about how voting Leave was a mistake categorically dismissed the warnings from experts in economy and politics because 'they knew better than experts'.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                  @anothercynic

                  "I would suggest you read FullFact's statement more carefully. Their statement was made in 2018 for starters"

                  If you would like to find a more up to date one that agrees with you feel free but it was only to point out the NHS is funded more as it usually is.

                  "Correlation is not causation."

                  As I agreed its not the same figure and I am oddly amused that they keep trying to find some way of putting that money into the NHS (Hammond planned for it and now they are making plans for 2024).

                  "None other than the Bank of England has published that figure. Can't get any better than that."

                  Cool so it should be the one that makes the UK look like we took a bigger hit than if we measured the same way as other countries. Which also means from opening up we should get a bigger jump in growth as the public services get counted as productive again. This is what happens when we lock down an economy from a pandemic. How much will be due to brexit is kinda hard to measure (there will be some change). Covid has been the most damaging as we can see globally, and being out of the EU has been good for the UK in that respect.

                  "David Frost was happy to just condemn God only knows how many small and medium businesses to extinction because he didn't really care as long as he got the hardest Brexit him and his paymasters from the Tory backbenches wanted."

                  Maybe there is fair reason for that? We voted brexit with leaving the EU appearing to be the goal and so his negotiations being to actually leave being the objective. And the hit on the few small/medium businesses dealing with the EU vs the majority who dont was the idea for some leave voters.

                  "The government has spectacularly failed the country in that it locked down too late"

                  I will be interested to see the autopsy of covid response. I expect lockdowns have caused more harm than good. Especially the indiscriminate lockdowns every time someone sneezes. Hell the UK is pretty much vaccinated and long since vaccinated the vulnerable so locking down should be at the back of anyones mind.

                  "But there we are. We've made our beds. We've to lie in them. It's just a shame that those business people who now bleat on about how voting Leave was a mistake categorically dismissed the warnings from experts in economy and politics because 'they knew better than experts'."

                  The comment on experts was at the time of extreme bull from the 'experts'. It was so bad that the 'expert' claims were being shot regularly for being the lie that it was. And both official campaigns did it, it was embarrassing. I thought the leave campaign was a set up to help remain win until I saw the standard of the remain campaign. Both were shocking.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                    >>> And the hit on the few small/medium businesses dealing with the EU vs the majority who dont was the idea for some leave voters.

                    >300,000 businesses. According to Leave.EU and based on HMRC VAT data. Which is an underestimation at best. SMEs condemned to the wall by dogma-blinded Brexit hardliners. Who were all too eager to pull the trigger on a pathetic, no-idea, no-clue Brexit "plan". (So long as their lobby and special interests survive. And cheered on by simpletons who just laugh it off as they parrot opinions they half read, hear or see on conservative media.)

                2. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                  @anothercynic

                  It dawns on me that I have been working on the assumption of something being obvious in my discussions with remainers that may not be so. Something I assumed everyone could see in my various discussions on the EU after brexit.

                  "pointing out that this was all foreseen" and "As for the vaccine fiasco, there are plenty of Remainers who have pointed at that (and the EU threatening AstraZeneca etc al) as being a spectacular own goal on the side of the EU."

                  The EU have reacted to the pandemic/vaccine procurement in the same way the EU deals with things normally and exactly as leavers accuse the EU of behaving.

                  >They tried to use the situation as a sovereignty grab (and still are).

                  >Trying to force 'ever closer union' and 'punish' members who 'misbehave'.

                  >Tried to dictate to the members how to behave.

                  >Such cooperation fell apart when members put their own country ahead of the EU (the right thing to do btw).

                  >Tried to blame anyone else but themselves for their own actions.

                  >Used threat of force against private entities (blocked export, raids).

                  >Even forgot about the all important 'no hard border' in Ireland they just negotiated!

                  Basically they were the power mad, uncoordinated, selfish children leavers accuse them of being. I still think they took AZ to court because the EU accused them of so much bull that the obvious (and hopefully loud) question was why not take them to court? And of course the EU lost.

                  The covid situation has been a great demonstration of what the EU is and why some people felt it worth voting leave.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

        Next you'll be telling me the current PM had nothing to do with the big red bus he was standing in front of or the message written down the side of it five years ago, and the vehicle was in fact some Christine-like possessed coach stalking him and photobombing press events.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          There was no bus, we've always been at war with EuroMarket,

    3. Dr. Vagmeister

      Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

      Can we all agree that Boris Johnson, aka The Johnson, is the patron saint of liars ?

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

        @Dr. Vagmeister

        "Can we all agree that Boris Johnson, aka The Johnson, is the patron saint of liars ?"

        I dunno. He could be a contender but he is in close running with Blair, Cameron, Brown, etc. And thats just the UK

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          Assuming they're liars economical with the truth is a healthy starting point for dealing with politicians, you can simply ignore 99% of what they say1 or promise2. For those that actually do wield the power we give them, pay very close attention3 to what they're actually doing with it.

          1 I was quoted out of context (you were supposed to forget!)

          2 That goal is/was an aspiration (ditto ^)

          3 This may involve actually reading the implementation documents and waiting a while to see the outcome.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          "He could be a contender {for patron saint of liars} but he is in close running with Blair, Cameron, Brown, etc."

          Boris got sacked three times for lying. The lying scumbags you mentioned didn't.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

            >>Boris got sacked three times for lying.

            But that was Blair's/Brown's/Corbyn's fault. (That's how the apologists/whataboutery-fans excuse their idol don't they?) Like Trump et al, he could be caught with his todger in their family dog and they'd still support/vote-for/make-excuses-for him.

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

              So very, very true. It is sad that the UK is emulating Trumpstan.

              1. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

                and for that reason the EU is mostly glad to be rid of them, but planning for it to start lashing out like a certain country thet felt hard done by did in the 1930s, culminating in a rather abortive grand tour that commenced in 1939

        3. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          Bollocks!

        4. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          He really isn't. Although they all have had problems with the truth, Johnson is in a class of his own.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

        In order to become a saint he needs to be responsible for two miracles. Does getting people to trust him count as one?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If it's not on the side of a bus...

          He did once try to claim an immaculate conception.

  2. Dr. Vagmeister

    Yay, Brexshit.

  3. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Brexit, the gift that keeps giving....

    1. BFG

      Brexit, the gift that keeps giving taking away....

  4. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

    I'll just leave this here:

    https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2020/01/30/uk_government_free_eu_roaming_will_end/#c_3964340

    "Under normal circumstances I'd say I told you so. But, as I have told you so with such vehemence and frequency already the phrase has lost all meaning. Therefore, I will be replacing it with the phrase, I have informed you thusly"

    1. Zimmer
      Mushroom

      Upvoted, but...

      I bet you go back to 'I told you so' in a very short space of time... 'I have informed you thusly' will never sound as satisfying...

      ICON (the biggest I could find)

  5. John70

    Just wait until it's in the national newspapers that "Britney" was shocked when she uploaded 1000's of photos of her bikini poses from the beach and poolside on all social media platforms she's on and it costs over £3000...

    1. Dr. Vagmeister

      Don't you mean "Chardonnay" ? That seems to be a popular name.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        Does she have a bubbly personality?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Yes, but Chardonnay is a bit "european" - she will have to be renamed Lucozade

        2. S C

          Nah, that would be Cristal.

      2. WonkoTheSane
        Trollface

        She could only be called "Chardonnay" if she comes from the Burgundy area of France.

        If she's British, she'll have to be called "Sparkling Sharon".

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          and her friend "Terrific Tracy"

  6. AMBxx Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Really don't care

    I don't see why I should subsidise those who want EU roaming - it's not something I need.

    If there's enough demand and it can be done profitably, someone will offer it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really don't care

      Oh so you're expecting your plan to become cheaper now.. lolz

    2. SecretSonOfHG

      Re: Really don't care

      <<If there's enough demand and it can be done profitably, someone will offer it.>>

      If there's no alternative, no matter how many people want or need a cheaper roaming rate, nobody will do it. Why drop a substantial and essentially free revenue stream when there is no need for competition?

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Re: Really don't care

        Yes - the Telcos used to love Roaming Charges, as they were a very nice revenue stream. Nobody offered a cheaper rate for this demand back in the Good Old Days when this was super profitable, before the charges were banned - why would they now?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Really don't care

          So you do what everyone else in 3rd world newly sovereign countries do and have a dual sim phone and a data-only local PAYG package

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really don't care

            Getting a SIM without a local address is expensive. Most Dual SIM users are residents in the country taking advantage of the best price or coverage.

            In many cases, only the sim sold at an airport is authorized for tourists. They are usually only cheaper wrt to the plans of few countries like the US, where there is very poor internal market competition.

            I suppose as a 'newly' soverign nation, having to stand in the queue at the airport for a SIM, and upgrade to a dual SIM phone, and perhaps the faff of topping up that PAYG data SIM are the benefits of Brexit.

            We can join America in the list of countries for whom expensive non-resident SIM plans are worthwhile. Whoop Whoop..

            Soory, It's going to take me a fair few pints to start seeing the brexit dividend, can't wait for the cheap swill from our USA trade GreatestEverTM** 'agreement'.

            After a few I can complain that England needs to regain their sovereignity from London and a London centric government.

            I wonder how many pints it will take to understand your definition of 'sovereignity' too...

            PS(** GreatestEverTM - trademark registration pending on Boris Johnson Rapscallion LLC subject to The BoJo Way - Any representation of suitability or fitness for purpose may not be implied)

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Really don't care

              I suppose as a 'newly' soverign nation, having to stand in the queue at the airport for a SIM

              Dear user,

              Please self-isolate for 5 days as another person in the airport phone queue has tested CoViD positive.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really don't care

              "having to .... upgrade to a dual SIM phone"

              Most phones sold in the UK are dual SIM, and it's been that way for a few years now. How many people actually know they have a Dual SIM phone (or how to work it) is a different matter.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really don't care

                >>> Most phones sold in the UK are dual SIM

                Hang on - eSIMs are not quite the same thing for what we're discussing here about roaming.

                for eg. In the UK, *none* of the operators do PAYG eSIM

                So you can rarely use the eSIM while roaming.

                And if you are a MVNO customer, you cannot use eSIM as the primary SIM.

                You can buy global eSIM plans, they are rather expensive.

                Whatever it is, local bills are not going down, nor rising slower, and roaming is more expensive.

                Brexit giving the consumer more .... bills?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Really don't care

                  I wasn't referring to eSIM. Aside from Apple, all the dual SIM phones sold in the UK will take two physical SIMs.

                  (Apple UK models take one physical plus one eSIM - if you want two physical SIMs you'll have to import one of their models intended for the China market)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Really don't care

          "Nobody offered a cheaper rate for this demand back in the Good Old Days when this was super profitable, before the charges were banned"

          Well except for Three, who had free roaming between countries with partner networks in 2013 - four years before the EU directive took effect - and expanded it to cover most of the EU plus the USA a year later.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Really don't care

            They only did it with the same Hutchison networks in other countries, and the other EU countries only came in as the legislation was tabled, with Three announcing it a couple of months before it was voted for.

            The problem is that forming agreements is difficult, without regulation, to make the fat cat operators take notice, prior to the regulation it was a select list of networks, usually with the worst coverage and/or data throughputs in those countries. Three was (is) that in the UK.

            The other factor in establishing agreements is that the number of inbound roamers must be similar to the outbound roamers to make it quid pro quo.. or they will reduce the roaming service quality. A point lost is that the Three non-EU/non-Three roaming agreements are TERRIBLY throttled. I think they are probably on a background traffic QoS. :D I have suffered this to get PDF of some tickets on holiday.

            It is difficult for a small operator like Three to balance that out.

            Market competition alone does not address all free market issues - regulation is a vital element to avoid cartelisation and oligopolistic behaviours.

            This is another Brexit loss. All that seems to have been traded is that the big corps and billionaires, who supported Brexit, are now calling the shots. The little small business can pay the +80% UK shipping surplus.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: Really don't care

              >The other factor in establishing agreements is that the number of inbound roamers must be similar to the outbound roamers to make it quid pro quo.

              Not sure about that...

              Back in the late 1990's there were many more people roaming into Ireland than were roaming outside - for at least one Irish mobile operator, it was the difference between being able to grow and struggling to survive.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Really don't care

                I meant for inclusive/"free" roaming agreements.

                Nowadays spare capacity usually goes the MVNO way.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Really don't care

              There's no hutchison network in the US, so it clearly wasn't just in-house agreements or ones anticipating EU rules.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Really don't care

      640km ought to be enough for anyone.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Really don't care

        I see what you did there.

        Your downvoter is showing their youth...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really don't care

      Yes, and it's the same with trains and the police and so much more.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really don't care

      "I don't see why I should subsidise those who want EU roaming"

      You weren't/aren't.

      The actual operating costs for international roaming are neglible. They're barely any more than the costs of managing a call or data transfer between two domestic operators. It's fundamentally no more than a bilateral agreement on fees between the calling and called telco.

      Telcos charged huge amounts for international roaming because they were/are able to get away with it. The perceived value to customers was far, far more than it cost to provide the service. So the telcos charged the maximum they thought the market would bear. They charged a small fortune for international roaming - and in many parts of the world still do. When the EU realised it was a giant scam, they put an end to it inside the EU/EEA single market.

      BTW that price gouging went straight through to the telcos' bottom line. It was pure profit. Telcos didn't use this extra revenue to cut their prices elsewhere or cross-subsidise other parts of their business. They're probably making more from EU-wide roaming now because customers use it a lot more since they know they'll no longer get hit with a huge bill.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Really don't care

        "Telcos charged huge amounts for international roaming because they were/are able to get away with it."

        They pulled other shady shit too

        In 1996, Telecom New Zealand hoovered up all excess satellite bandwidth out of the country and sat on it to keep other operators from being able to buy it and undercut their international call charges

        It was cheaper to to this than reduce their rates, so that bandwidth went unused for 5 years.

        They were hardly alone. A LOT of telcos around the planet did this or purchased legislation granting them local monopolies or "gatekeeper" status or outlawing voice/internet gateway services that cropped up

        Less than a year later, telcos worldwide discovered people were making "free" voice calls across this new-fangled "Internet" thingie and almost instantly "ISPs" went from being their very best customers to mortal enemies. That's why Telcos parked their tanks on the lawn of being ISPs

        The telcos became even more furious when they discovered that people were ditching faxes (a picture of a page) for email (the actual text) and saving 70-90%+ on call costs even when they'd built up monopolies on internet service (dialup email polling time vs fax call duration)

        (When I worked for a govt owned telco there were plans in place to abolish LD charges on calls to neighbouring towns (50-100 miles) because the cost of sending/processing the bills was higher than the revenue. That was instantly stopped when privatised and it was only when actual competitoin showed up that rates dropped from dollars per minute to cents per minute on longer-haul connections. Even then the telcos usually did their utmost to obstruct interconnects, just like AT&T back in the 1930s before the FTC whacked it with sherman act charges)

        I suspect that if St Elon could find a way of providing 4G level service on Starlink the telcos would rather quickly drop their rates. Their charging model is based on a switched network structure which hasn't really existed for 30 years. It's all data packets now

    6. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Really don't care

      You aren't subsidising them, they are subsiding you. Sorry to disabuse you of your delusion.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really don't care

      So basically

      "Got mine. Up yours, Jack".

      You must have voted for Brexit.

    8. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Really don't care

      You aren't subsidising anyone but they are subsidising you.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something doesn't add up...

    "subject to a charge of 36p per MB. For comparison, that's £3.60/GB."

    Did something get redefined when I wasn't looking, or is this out by a factor of 100?

    1. Victor Ludorum

      Re: Something doesn't add up...

      I thought it was a typo - 0.36p per MB. Unfortunately not.

      Looking at EE Ts & Cs it's 36p per MB, so potentially £360 per GB.

      It's also a bit vague on what your allowance would be if your package allowance is less than 50GB.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: also a bit vague

        Well, they're only going to mention the best case, not the less good ones. So I imagine (and feel free to correct me if I happen to be wrong) that all other cases will operate something like "gouge the customer as much as possible for every measly MB".

    2. Howard Sway

      Re: Something doesn't add up...

      That's the new imperial GigaBrit, where 2.6736789 old Megabytes equal 1 imperial DigiOunce, which is one seventeenth of the length of the prime ministers nose on a particularly fib filled day.

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Something doesn't add up...

      Yeah, there was a math failure. It's been fixed. Thanks to those who wrote in via corrections@ to let us know.

      C.

      1. Phones Sheridan

        Re: Something doesn't add up...

        Always wondered, how many people took the corrections route, rather than going straight to comments?

  8. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Colour me surprised

    Is any actually surprised by this? Roaming charges were a massive cash-cow for the mobile operators until the pesky EU stuck their oars in and cut it off.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Colour me surprised

      Disgusting, those unelected eurocrats doing things to help me!

      1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

        Re: Colour me surprised

        .."eurocrats forcing non-roamers to subsidise roamers"

        FTFY

        1. Kristian Walsh

          Re: Colour me surprised

          And yet, data plan costs did not increase when the EU banned roaming charges.

          Hmmm..

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Colour me surprised

            The actual cost of pushing 1GB across Europe (or most of the world) is as near zero as makes no difference when you divide the full term cost of infrastructure by the total data moved across it in it's lifetime.

            Price gouging by companies happens 'because they can' - until regulators stop it.

          2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

            Re: Colour me surprised

            data plan costs did not increase when the EU banned roaming charges

            On our corporate contract, whilst EU roaming charges dropped to zero, non-EU roaming charges sky-rocketted. Gotta fund those executive bonuses from somewhere....

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Colour me surprised

          Because before roaming charges offered such value for money, especially when you selected the same operator (O2, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone) in the foreign country...

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Colour me surprised

          > FTFY

          Nah... sorry mate, try again.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Colour me surprised

      And now it's the pesky EU punishing the UK for leaving their club...

      /sarcasm

  9. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Hardly a surprise

    Enforced free roaming was costing the phone companies a fortune, they were already trying other tricks to get the money from somewhere else. The business users won't care about this, their company pays, and for the personal users most hotels & similar places have free WiFi these days. I'd be hard pushed to use 25GB when roaming on holiday (I rarely even go above 5GB at home), so this definitely looks more like a way to grab back some money from captive business users.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Hardly a surprise

      I'd be hard pushed to use 25GB when roaming on holiday

      I find most hotel "free" WiFi is hardly up to letting you check in for your return flight and I think the default family with kids could easily chew through 25GB during a fortnight's holiday just watching videos - though now they're no longer theoretically permitted to access many of their UK streaming services while abroad, I suppose one Brexit consequence compensates for another.

    2. Commswonk

      Re: Hardly a surprise

      The business users won't care about this, their company pays,

      I think the above ought to read

      The business users won't care about this, their company's customers pay...

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Hardly a surprise

        Actually, I think we will return to the days when business users got severely trodden on by their boss if they had roaming charges on their bill. "Even if it was only £1, our policy is that you don't use roaming data on your work phone except in business emergencies. What was the emergency?"

        In the company I worked for, I noticed a complete change of ways of working for frequent travellers in Europe after the roaming charges went: they left their phones connected all evening and responded to messages after work. I think it will return to the days when you were lucky if they checked their email when they got back to their hotel room at night - and some were rather the worse for it!

        Of course, Sales, and Executives, ignored the cost but everyone else wasted a load of time saving a penny here and a penny there in roaming charges because it was an easy thing for managers to manage!

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Hardly a surprise

          >"Even if it was only £1, our policy is that you don't use roaming data on your work phone except in business emergencies. What was the emergency?"

          Volcano erupting in Iceland so all flights cancelled?...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hardly a surprise

      No it wasn't. It was stopping them making a fortune. Not costing them a fortune. Those two things are different.

    4. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble?

      Re: Hardly a surprise

      "I'd be hard pushed to use 25GB when roaming on holiday (I rarely even go above 5GB at home)"

      I think it's really cute you appear think it will stay as high as 25Gb, and won't be slowly eroded over time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hardly a surprise

        won't be slowly eroded over time.

        10 years ago it would have been 25MB. Data allowances are one thing that have steadily increased.

  10. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Devil

    As Soon As They Could...

    After the referendum, the four main UK operators were noncommittal about whether they would re-introduce dreaded roaming charges, which saw punters rack up massive bills without even realising. In 2018, each said they had made no concrete plans, but their protestations were worded in a way that gave sufficient wiggle room for future changes.

    I rather remember excitable quitters stating it was part of Project Fear and that our good British operators would never go back on their non-imposition of roaming charges.

    They always were gullible.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: As Soon As They Could...

      Quite why you are in favour of non-roamers subsidising roamers, i'm not sure.

      But if you are, you could always persuade our government to just enforce the subsidy.

      1. Empire of the Pussycat

        Re: As Soon As They Could...

        Doesn't matter how had you push your nonsensical excuse, it doesn't cut it.

        Or are you providing proof that UK rates have fallen now? Thought not.

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
          Facepalm

          Re: As Soon As They Could...

          The EU rules had fair use limits. There's a poster below that has a link to them ( it's in plain English, not legalese ).

          If you don't like it, switch network.

          Have you got proof that this didn't prevent a price rise? No. Thought not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: As Soon As They Could...

            You cannot prove a negative, so your entire argument is flawed.

            You are positing that roaming laws caused price rises, and then say you cannot DIS-prove your own conjured assertion.

            Have you got proof there aren't purple coloured people with rainbow coloured noses caused by Brexit?

            This is a well documented logical fallacy https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proving_a_negative

            I'm terribly unsurprised a Brexiter uses it.

            The obvious thing to look are price rises, which did not exceed inflation.

            "Russell's teapot is an analogy, formulated by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others."

            So dear Brexiter the burden is on you to prove your claim.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: As Soon As They Could...

              >So dear Brexiter the burden is on you to prove your claim.

              Whilst also not contradicting the other Brexiteer claim: "it was part of Project Fear and that our good British operators would never go back on their non-imposition of roaming charges."

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: As Soon As They Could...

        Do you really expect your UK only prices to go down? If so you've just missed an opportunity for a couple of S African brothers to look after your Bitcoins.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As Soon As They Could...

        Proud and patriotic Brexit supporters excited by new opportunity to pay more for their mobile bills

        Proud Brexit supporters are today hailing the opportunity to pay more for their mobile bills when using them abroad, after years of meddling eurocrats needlessly securing them cheaper mobile rates throughout the EU.

        As 02 and EE announced increased roaming charges in Europe, something prevented by EU legislation, proud Brexiters have hailed it as yet another Brexit dividend.

        Brexit voter Derek Williams told us, “We knew what we voted for, and when they said roaming charges wouldn’t go up, we knew they were lying, so actually it’s only loser Remainers who are crying about this. I knew it was coming and I’m delighted with it.

        “If I wanted some loathsome EU bastard making things more accessible and more affordable for me, I’d have voted for Remain like a big idiot, wouldn’t I?

        1. Graham 32

          Re: As Soon As They Could...

          Another person who doesn't know the difference between O and 0.

      4. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: As Soon As They Could...

        If non-roamers were subsidising roamers, you'd see a reduction in contract charges

        As it happens, I've just received notification of my contract charges going up

  11. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells
    Paris Hilton

    This is flamebait, pure and simple.

    Remember when El Reg used to be above such things?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      No. But then I wasn't aware of The Register when it was just a mailing list so can't comment on what it might have been like back then.

  12. R Soul

    Another Brexit bonus

    Good job we've taken back control. Our mobile telcos can resume ripping us off without those pesky Brussels bureaucrats interfering. We've shown Johnny Foreigner who's boss.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Another Brexit bonus

        But it only applies to traitors that go to evil euro-land, patriots on the beach at Bangor will be fine.

        (except people holidaying to Bangor in N Ireland who will presumably now pay roaming)

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Another Brexit bonus

          "except people holidaying to Bangor in N Ireland who will presumably now pay roaming"

          Bangor, Co Down, is far enough from the border to not accidentally switch to a mast in the Republic.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Another Brexit bonus

            But isn't Norn Iron now effectively still in the Eu?

            1. codejunky Silver badge
              Alert

              Re: Another Brexit bonus

              @Yet Another Anonymous coward

              "But isn't Norn Iron now effectively still in the Eu?"

              Thats why they are so content and happy compared to the rest for the UK. And as more EU rules take over I am sure they will be even happier.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Another Brexit bonus

                >Thats why they are so content and happy compared to the rest for the UK

                Isn't that just their natural, warm and sunny disposition ?

                Driven by the glorious weather, delightful food and Dolca-vita café culture.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Another Brexit bonus

            It's not uncommon to find phones on the south coast announcing they've connected to French networks

            And that used to be a rather expensive experience for people who thought they were firmly standing in Blighty

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ummm..

    ...you know fair use limits applied before Brexit, right?

    And are even written into the relevant directive?

    See here

    1. Old Tom

      Re: Ummm..

      It's almost as if a couple of large international telecoms companies have announced excess data roaming charges (that they could have applied anyway were we still EU members) on the 5th anniversary of the referendum just to ensure that people would blame Brexit rather than them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ummm..

        The article suggests all four have done it though - as far as I can see, Voda and Three are still applying the same limits they had pre-Brexit, and O2 has now moved into line with them. EE looks to be the only one introducing new charges, and that's only for new contracts.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Ummm..

          >EE looks to be the only one introducing new charges, and that's only for new contracts.

          That is probably because their new 5G contracts have much higher data limits...

  14. m-k

    As for Three UK's customers, meanwhile, can only use "up to 20GB" of their domestic data allowance

    make it 12 Gb, apparently they have adjusted the figure (no doubt, to better serve you, their dear customer). Well, once they're free of the EU shackles... somebody's got to pay, right? :)

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: As for Three UK's customers, meanwhile, can only use "up to 20GB"...

      On the other hand, 12GB is quite a lot to burn through on a two week holiday. I'm not a social meeja addict so am currently unaware of whether 12GB is a real limitation for the Facebook generation. It could be more of an issue for business travellers, but then I'd expect them to be using the WiFi at the client or hotel.

      I'd also assume "free" WiFi will apply to tourists in pubs/bars/restaurants/hotels too. I suspect this may well be less of an issue these days than it was was pre-EU roaming rules.

  15. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Well it comes as no surprise to me that the mobile phone companies have decided to grab back some money from Brits roaming, as they only actually offered it because the law said they had to.

    Plus they had a bad year in 2020 with everyone staying at home and not buying new phones and many actually downgrading their contracts during lockdown since they didn't need all that call and data allowance when they aren't going anywhere.

    Then there is the cost of rolling out 5G that most of the consumers as apathetic about. And on top of that we had the UK gov following Uncle Sam advice to stop allowing Huawei kit on our 5G networks, so some mobile operators are needing to rip out Huawei kit they only recently installed to replace it with more expensive Uncle Sam approved equipment.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "so some mobile operators are needing to rip out Huawei kit they only recently installed"

      NOBODY is doing that. The timeframe for removal allows it to age out of the product cycle

      What's driving the costs up is being forced to buy UnkaSam's approved kit - at 3-4 times the cost of buying similar kit from chinese companies which hold most of the 5G patents

      It's notable that Huawei pulled out of the UK market almost entirely. They're still selling enterprise kit in the EU - but they won't ship THAT to the UK either

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Watch out for Andorra data roaming charges

    was something stupid like 8p/MB last time I looked 2 years ago.

  17. anthonyhegedus

    I cannot understand why there is any roaming charge at all, other than to gouge customers whenever possible.

    1. Brian Morrison

      Hate what?

      And there's your answer folks, they hate you and will extract money from you under any pretext possible.

      As someone who now rarely travels (last such trip was in 2002) I really have no problem with paying the extra should I need to go somewhere else, but on the basis of the installed capacity it's a joke as bits are cheaper than water now that the infrastructure is there and keeps getting faster down the same glass fibre.

      Now, let me see, who else do I *really* hate? There's a long line of 'em to choose from.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where is Farage then?

    That's the sound of silence....

    So much for the so-called benefits of BREXIT.

    He's on YouTube flogging another POS, Cryptocurrencies. I hope the recent fall in the value of Bitcoin hit him hard, very hard.

  19. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And this

    is why bozo the clown and his cronies were the worst people ever to take charge of brexit

    Because they have no idea how anyone beyond their bubble actually lives (labour are nearly as bad now...) and whats important to people.

    The instant brexit was voted for, the Queen should have taken over the talks, appointed a bunch of experts to run them instead of a twat of tory davis who turned up minus his laptop and a list of terms to discuss, and got a proper deal between neighbour nations who want to trade despite differences on the way they are run.

    Instead we have that there maybe a border between Northern Ireland and the republic, but it maybe in the sea.. or not..... or in Wales.. actually who knows where...a border agency that insists on triple checking form 5637374282H/P78 part 3 regarding the export of a resistor, but has'nt a clue of how many people are here illegally, and finally some bozo in 10 clowning street who takes credit for the vaccination program, but not the decisions that resulted in there being 1000s more cases here before taking any action...

    And I used to think Thatcher was bad....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: And this

      What makes you think Brenda isn't happy with the way things are? She does just fine out of it after all.

      The latest thing she's done is express support for Matt Hancock, odd for someone who's supposedly apolitical.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: And this

      "The instant brexit was voted for,"

      It wasn't. It was a non-binding referendum (aka opinion poll) and have nothing to do with the subsequent actions of the government

      Brexit is officially the electoral policy of the Conservative party, not a referendum directive

      So sayeth Theresa May's lawyers when the referendum was challenged - and accepted by the courts

      Yes, they admitted the referendum wasn't binding - but that they decided to do it anyway

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