Three leads roaming scrap with 60 destinations


The announcement coincides with plans by the EU to dissolve roaming charges totally

Three will offer free roaming in Brazil and Singapore from June 15 taking the total to 60 destinations, the most offered by an operator.

The announcement coincides with plans by the EU to dissolve roaming charges totally.

Monthly subscribers can also use their data, minutes and text in the following 58 global destinations (17 outside of Europe):

Aland Islands, Australia, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, US Virgin Islands, USA and The Vatican City.

According to the network it now covers 82 per cent of total trips abroad worldwide. Three became the first network to abolish roaming charges in 2013.

Three chief executive Dave Dyson has set the goal for “100 per cent of overseas travel” in the future.

“We are doing this proactively for the benefit of our customers and not because regulators are forcing us to do it.  That’s what sets us apart and this approach means we will always be ahead of our competitors when it comes to fair overseas roaming”, said Dyson.

Cheaper prepaid international calling

Three will also drop international calling rates for prepaid customers to 3p a minute, to call both landline and mobile numbers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China.

Country dialling codes will not have to be typed in to make international calls. A further 16 countries will also see price drops by June.

Challenges ahead

uSwitch telecoms expert Ernest Doku said lowering international rates for prepaid helps the network “stand out”, and ‘Feel at Home’ as it stands is “a cut above the rest”.

But it now faces the challenge of staying ahead in roaming following recent announcements from EE, O2 and Vodafone.

“If Three can keep reducing their roaming rates while also extending the number of destinations covered, this could be a seriously competitive move in a market where differentiation is key”, said Doku.

Recent uSwitch research found 24 per cent of mobile users face a £52 bill on average when returning from holiday.