By Gareth Turpin, Chief Commercial Officer, Mobile, at Virgin Media O2
When Virgin Media and O2 came together in June 2021, we were clear from the outset that we would be a customer-first business and the biggest telecoms challenger in the market. Those were not empty words.
With Covid still scuppering plans and disrupting day to day routines for so many, we’re starting the year by giving our customers some certainty: we will not be reintroducing roaming fees in Europe.
Unlike other mobile operators who made the decision to bring back charges from this month, we will not be following suit.
Across both O2 and Virgin Mobile we’re maintaining our inclusive roaming so that our customers can travel to destinations all over Europe and use their data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.
So, for those looking to head to Europe this year – whether planning a minibreak in Spring, taking a long-overdue summer holiday or jetting off to visit family – they’ll be able to do so without the hassle, additional costs or concerns of extra roaming charges.
We know this is something our customers want and will benefit from. A recent survey we carried out showed that despite the current environment, people have strong travel intentions this year. Whilst that desire is understandably lower in the early part of the year, by this summer the majority (75%) of Brits we surveyed expect to travel abroad – and a majority expect to do so more this year than they did in 2021. To put this into perspective, a family of four using their phones every day on a two-week holiday could face around £100 or more of roaming charges added to their holiday bill if they aren’t with O2 or Virgin Mobile. A hefty cost!
I know some will be asking whether this is just a temporary measure and I want to address this point directly. We have no plans to introduce roaming fees and it’s our intention to keep it that way. We do regularly review the things that our customers value and listen to their feedback, so if market sentiment changes and we need to reassess what we do in the future then we will do so, and of course we will always be open and transparent with our customers regarding any changes. However, we are confident that our customers will love inclusive roaming with O2 and Virgin Mobile
With this decision we stand alone as the only big four mobile network in the UK not to reintroduce roaming, but this is what a real challenger does.
From rolling out gigabit broadband speeds and 5G, to launching our first joint bundles in just four months, we’ve made great strides forward since Virgin Media O2 launched. But we know there’s more to do and this is just the start.
For now, here’s to roaming free.
More information on roaming can be found here:
O2 customers: https://www.o2.co.uk/help/pay-monthly/roaming-in-europe
Virgin Mobile customers: https://store.virginmedia.com/virgin-media-mobile/our-mobile-network/data-roaming-abroad.html
 Sample: 1,020 nationally representative members of the UK public (by age, gender and region). Surveyed 16.12.21 – 17.12.21