What is data roaming?

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Last update: October 2, 2023
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK
9 people have read this post in the last 12 months

Data roaming is when customer are able to use the data from their SIM only plans outside of the UK, for example you can travel to Spain and use your data their like you would back home in the United Kingdom.

The best network for data roaming

For a lot of customers data roaming could be the main reason why someone will join a mobile network provider because of the amazing destinations customers are allowed to roam to.

Data roaming is one of the best benefits that will make your SIM only plan a better plan but what is the best network in the UK for data roaming.

The first thing to consider is always the big four or most well-known carriers in the United Kingdom Vodafone, EE, Three and O2. These four mobile network providers offer amazing SIM only plans with amazing destinations that customers can data roam to.

However, the big four are much bigger carriers and some of their SIM only plans are expensive and might not appeal to customers.

So, MVNO (mobile virtual network operators) carriers are much smaller and offer great prices on their SIM only plans and still have amazing destinations that customers can data roam to.

MVNO are companies such as ASDA, Plusnet, Tesco, Lebara and many more which relay on a bigger network to carry their network so they can make their prices cheaper because they don't have to pay to maintain a network.

To find the best network for data roaming customers must look at the price and the destinations because you want to get the best out of your deal.

However, finding the network that offers high quality 4G speed and reliability will make your data roaming a lot better. Customers want to be travelling and data roaming and not having to worry about how bad the internet service is.

Therefore, price, destination and network quality is the best combination to find the best data roaming mobile network provider.

How much does data roaming cost?

Most mobile network providers usually offer data roaming free as part of the benefits customers receive when they join their SIM only plans. This is a huge benefit for customers because it allows them to roam like they're at home and not pay any extra costs.

For example, Vodafone, O2, EE and Three have France under their data roaming destinations so customers don't have to pay extra to use their data roaming there.

You can be in Paris visiting the Eiffel tower and post on your Instagram account and Facebook account all free.

However, most mobile network providers including the big four and all MVNO's usually allow data roaming to be free in only European countries.

Some providers may have other countries beyond the EU but the majority of them usually only offer the EU countries for data roaming at no extra cost.

That is the best part about data roaming is that customers get the opportunity to travel outside of the UK around Europe and use their favourite social media platforms and when they return home they don't have a massive data phone bill waiting for them.

Data roaming to other countries outside the EU

For customers roaming around the EU they don't have to pay any extra charges, however, if they decide to travel outside Europe to other countries such as the USA, Turkey, New Zealand and Australia there are always extra costs.

All the mobile network providers including Vodafone, O2, EE and Three all charge their customers to use their data roaming outside Europe.

This also applies to MVNO's carriers such as Lebara, Plusnet, Tesco and ASDA because to roam outside the EU can be expensive for carriers so they have to charge customers.

However, mobile network providers give information to customers of exactly how much they need to pay for the country that they want to travel to and use their data roaming. This allows customers to see how much they are paying and they can manage the way they data roam in those countries to save money.

Does data roaming have 5G

It is 2020 so mobile networks who haven't already acquired 5G data technology should be thinking about getting 5G network. Mobile network carriers such as Vodafone and O2 who offer 5G and customers can use their data roaming with 5G.

The benefits of having 5G is that customers can experience the fastest internet speed, high quality and video buffering is something of the past. Customers will never experience weak internet signal in busy places and just an all-round good internet connection.

However, although carriers who offer 5G to their customers in order for them to use 5G they must first have a mobile phone that is capable of having 5G. These type of phones can be bought at most mobile companies.

Also, customers have to be in a 5G area so that they can 5G coverage, however no all of the UK coverage has 5G network but in the future there will be more cities and towns that have 5G network.

So, in order to use 5G customers must first check if the mobile network provider offers 5G network and then get a phone with 5G capabilities and be in a area of 5G coverage.

¿How to spend less on data roaming?

Even though it may seem impossible, there is a way to spend less money on data roaming without the need to reduce your data usage, try using a Holafly international SIM card. This company offers fixed price data plans to use abroad, so it is perfect for your holidays or lengthy trips.

With an Holafly international eSIM you know exactly how much you are going to pay for your roaming, as this data plans do not have unnecessary add-ons or hidden extra costs and in case you have any problems, you will have a 24/7 support team to help you any time.

Not only is it a great way to reduce your expenses while you travel, but it is also a convenient solution, as you only need to activate your card to use your mobile plan, that's it! After your purchase you will automatically receive your eSIM in your email inbox, so you won't have to wait for the postman either.

Spend less on data roaming with Holafly

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Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Nadia Pérez
Edited and revised por Nadia Pérez