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Vodafone scraps mobile roaming charges for 40 countries

The EU is banning the practice from June anyway.
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Corbis via Getty Images

In roughly two months, the European Union will scrap roaming charges for smartphone users across the continent. While the impact on the UK remains hazy -- there's that whole Brexit thing to take care of -- mobile carriers have started falling in line and abandoning the fee system for Brits. Today, Vodafone has announced a new set of plans and obliterated roaming charges for all new and upgrading customers. That's an improvement over last year's offer, which offered 'free' minutes and calls for Red and Red Value customers, but capped data at 4GB or lower.

Now, Vodafone has three types of plans: Essentials, Red Extra and Red Entertainment. Essentials is the cheapest, starting at £9.50 per month (on a 12-month contract) for 250 minutes, unlimited texts and 250MB of data. Jumping up to the Red Extra bracket, you can get unlimited minutes, texts and 2GB of data for £18 per month, or 4GB of data for £22 per month. Finally, there's Red Unlimited, which comes with streaming goodies and 8GB of data for £27 per month, 20GB for £35 per month or 40GB for £40 per month. There's also some 30-day contracts, should you prefer.

Vodafone's inclusive roaming covers 40 destinations: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, the Channel Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, the French West Indies, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Some of these, of course, are outside the European Union, but the move is clearly designed to pre-empt the incoming legislation from Brussels.

In addition, Vodafone is offering 60 "roam-further" locations, which require a £5 fee before you can use your regular data, minutes and texts from the UK. Three, by comparison, covers 42 destinations as part of its 'Feel at Home' scheme. These include Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, unlike Vodafone. Nick Jeffrey, chief executive of Vodafone UK, says the changes were made in response to customer feedback: "They want life to be simpler and for us to remove the things which make life stressful so they can live their lives, uninterrupted by these concerns."

We suspect they're being used to offset the anger over mid-contract price hikes too.

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