O2 to hike roaming charges by up to 140%

Woman on mobile
From the 28th of November, O2 will raise the price of making and receiving calls as well as sending text messages outside of the EU for pay monthly customers.

Those affected have been contacted by O2 this week.

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Holidaymakers using an O2 tariff can expect to see the following price changes when using their mobiles abroad from the end of the month:

International zone

Making calls to UK now (cost per minute)

November prices

Receiving calls now (cost per minute)

November prices

Sending texts now (cost per message)

November prices

Zone 3

£0.81

£1.50

£0.52

£1.25

£0.30

£0.40

Zone 4

£0.90

£1.10

£0.39

£0.90

£0.25

£0.40

Zone 5

£0.60

£0.80

£0.43

£0.80

£0.30

£0.40

Zone 6

£1.20

£1.50

£0.85

£1.25

£0.40

£0.40


Up to 140% hike

Those travelling to zone 3 countries which include Albania, Croatia, Morocco and Turkey, will suffer the biggest price hike. The cost of making calls to the UK from these countries will go up by 69p (an 85% rise), receiving calls will increase by 73p (a 140% rise) and the cost of sending a text message by 10p (a 33% rise).

Elsewhere zone 4, otherwise classed as the USA and Canada, will experience a 130% price rise in the cost of receiving calls while the increased price of sending a text message represents a 60% shift.

The zone 5 changes are less extreme but not by much. The cost of making a call and sending a text in countries like Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa will go up by 33% while receiving a call is set to go up by 86%.

There are no changes to data roaming charges outside of EU countries; this cost will remain at £6 per MB capped at £40. This gives about 50MB of data.

Capped in EU

The European Commission intervened earlier this year when customers were landed with huge mobile phone bills after their holidays.

On July 1st 2012, in a bid to protect consumers, new legislation was passed through the European Parliament to put a cap on roaming charges within the European Union. You can read more about this in: New cap for mobile phone roaming charges.

But the measures didn't extend to countries outside of the EU and now O2 is set to capitalise on this failing.

What O2 says

O2 said that it has made changes to simplify charging and to align the company with competitors. A spokesperson told us that this is the first time O2 has changed prices in five years.

T-Mobile and Orange currently charge 40p and above for text messages sent from outside of the European Union. Vodafone charges between 9p and 35p plus the Vodafone UK standard text charge of 12p.

Despite the changes, O2 is still cheaper than many of its competitors.

O2 will still be cheaper than T-Mobile's calls (charges reach as much as £2.50 in some zones) and text charges outside the EU and the same is true of Orange. Elsewhere O2 will also beat Vodafone on price in all but three destinations worldwide.
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