We dig into the changes that Vodafone is making to its roaming policy in 2022
Vodafone is one of several mobile networks that have announced the reintroduction of roaming charges in 2022. Since 2017, roaming in European countries has been protected by the EU’s Roam Like at Home initiative, which banned mobile networks from charging users for roaming in member states. With Brexit removing the UK’s status as an EU member, this initiative is negated, leaving networks free to reinstate roaming charges.
Currently, only a select few networks have reintroduced roaming charges, and relatively low ones at that. Still, if you plan to use your phone abroad, it’s important to know exactly what you’re in for, so we’re going to break down the new charges, and in which circumstances they will be relevant to you.
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Vodafone roaming charges: When is it changing?
The new charges are being implemented as of 6 January 2022, so any roaming before this date will be under the old rules. Additionally, existing contracts taken out before 11 August 2021 will not be subject to these changes until the next upgrade. Full details of the updated roaming policy can be read here.
Vodafone roaming charges: What countries does it affect?
Vodafone groups roaming destinations into four categories: Zone A, Zone B, Zone C and Zone D. The first two zones contain the European countries that Vodafone covers, while the latter two encompass the rest of the world. The full list of countries covered can be found here.
Zone A consists only of the Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man, both of which are included in standard pay monthly plans at no additional cost. The other 49 eligible European countries can be found in Zone B, which is covered by certain plans but incurs charges on others (more on that below).
Zone C covers 32 destinations worldwide, including popular choices like the USA, Canada and Australia. As with Zone B, roaming in Zone C is covered by a select few pay monthly plans but will otherwise need to be paid for.
Zone D covers an additional 75 worldwide destinations, including the Dominican Republic, Japan and Saudi Arabia. None of Vodafone’s pay monthly plans cover roaming in this zone, so you will need to pay a daily charge if you plan to roam in any of these countries.
Vodafone roaming charges: Pay monthly contracts
As mentioned above, there are a select few pay monthly plans that include roaming to several of the zones at no additional cost. Specifically, the Limited data Xtra Airtime Plan with 4 Xtra Benefits covers you roaming in 51 countries across Zones A and B, while the Unlimited data Xtra Airtime Plan with 4 Xtra Benefits covers 83 destinations in Zones A, B and C.
For all other plans, the standard rates apply to Zones B, C and D. Roaming in any of the 49 European countries covered by Zone B will cost you a flat rate of £2 per day. Alternatively, if you’re spending more than a few days in roaming countries, you may be better off purchasing either an 8- or 15-day Roaming Pass, both of which work out to just £1 per day of use.
Zones C and D are a bit more simple, if also more expensive. Roaming in destinations from either zone will incur a daily charge of £6. As things stand, there is no Roaming Pass option for worldwide destinations, so £6 per day is the best deal you can currently get from Vodafone.
Regardless of which zone you’re roaming in, fair usage applies to all of these rates. Minutes and texts work the same as they do at home, so if your plan includes unlimited of each, you won’t be restricted when roaming. Similarly with data, if your agreed limit is 25GB or less, you can use all your allowance without any further charges. If your data cap is usually more than that, however, you will be held to the roaming limit of 25GB. Any use that exceeds these limits will incur a surcharge of £3.13 per GB.
Vodafone roaming charges: Pay As You Go plans
Vodafone has confirmed that current Pay As You Go plans face no changes under these new rules. As such, you can use your standard plan in any of the 51 European destinations just like you would at home, without garnering any additional costs.
If you’re going further afield, you can also opt for one of Vodafone’s Around the World Extra packages. The 8-day pass affords you 2GB of data, 100 minutes and 100 texts in any of 73 listed countries worldwide for £15, while the 15-day option gives you 4GB of data, 200 minutes and 200 texts in any of those same 73 destinations for £25.