Three axes roaming charges in five more countries

Telecoms

by Michael Moore| 05 June 2014

Extention of Free At Home comes just in time for family summer holidays.

Three customers will soon be able to tweet selfies straight from the beach after the company announced an expansion of its 'Feel At Home' programme to do away with roaming charges in a further five countries, including some of Europe's most popular tourist destinations.

In a move that is sure to please those off on their summer holidays, the operator has said that customers heading to France, Switzerland, Israel, Finland and Norway will no longer have to pay extra to use their mobile devices without running up huge roaming bills.

The new policy will apply to customers on pay monthly, SIM-only and mobile broadband deals, as well as Pay-As-You-Go users, who will require an add-on to activate the deal. As long as they have turned on international roaming, they will then be able to call, text, and use the internet within the limits of their current Three contract.

Users who go over their limit will also benefit from reduced roaming rates, Three says, although tethering is not included in the plan, and calls and texts to non-UK numbers will still be charged at standard roaming rates.

Feel At Home will automatically activate as a user arrives in one of the 16 territories now supported in the plan, as their phone picks up a local partner network.

Dave Dyson, Chief Executive at Three, said: "Roaming charges are a rip-off and Three is tackling the issue head-on. We haven't just reduced charges; we've now scrapped them in 16 destinations, making it fairer, easier and more enjoyable to use your phone abroad.
The addition of five more countries, including France, to Feel At Home is another big step and one that marks our determination to eliminate roaming rates full-stop."

The five new destinations will join the US, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden, Denmark and Republic of Ireland, where Feel At Home has been available since 2013.

Earlier this year, MEPs voted to scrap mobile phone roaming charges across Europe by December 2015 as part of major reforms to the telecoms market.

The news is a blow to mobile network operators, who see roaming as a significant source of income, and who had protested keenly against a ban. A recent report by Juniper Research estimated valued operator revenues generated from mobile roaming could hit $90bn by 2018, representing more than 8% of the global operator billed revenues by 2018.

 

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