Deal or no deal: calling and internet in the UK not (yet) more expensive due to Brexit | NOW

Calling and using the internet in the United Kingdom with a Dutch mobile number will not immediately become more expensive from 1 January due to Brexit, with or without a deal. This is evident from a tour of along the largest Dutch providers.

Calling and using the internet in other EU countries with a mobile phone does not cost a cent extra compared to calling in the Netherlands, thanks to European rules. However, due to Brexit, the UK is no longer subject to these so-called roaming rules.

The British are currently negotiating with the EU about what the relationship will look like after the bridging period, which ends on 1 January. Whether it will come to an agreement is uncertain at all: fishing in British waters is a major bottleneck.

Regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, Dutch people visiting England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to use mobile internet and call at their home rate from 2021 at least for now.

Vodafone offers the most certainty: nothing will change at the provider due to Brexit. A spokesperson speaks of a “permanent situation” in which mobile calling and internet in the UK costs just as much as in the Netherlands. The same goes for subsidiary brand hollandsnieuwe.

At KPN, nothing will change for the time being: the roaming agreements that KPN has made with British operators will run until sometime after January 1, a spokesman said. In any case, the situation will remain unchanged until renegotiation.

Lebara, one of the largest independent providers, uses the KPN network and is therefore also dependent on the outcome of these negotiations, says marketing director Eelco Gijze. Until then, nothing will change for Lebara customers either.

T-Mobile and Lycamobile: ‘Too early’ for statements

T-Mobile, which also owns the Tele2 and Simpel brands, and the independent provider Lycamobile say that it is currently “too early” to make any statements about possible roaming charges due to Brexit.

The British statistical office calculated that a total of almost two million Dutch people visited the United Kingdom in 2019. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), 1.14 million people made the crossing for a holiday in that year.

The European roaming rules apply to Dutch people who make mobile calls or use the internet in another EU country. Providers can still charge costs for people who call from the Netherlands to other EU countries.

People can prevent these calling costs by making (video) calls via the internet, for example with MBs from a data bundle or via a WiFi connection.


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