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UK: International roaming with 3 January 17, 2007

Posted by Jasper in Mobile.
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Yesterday 3 in the UK announced what may mark a new round of cuts to international roaming rates or changes to charging structures (excerpt from press release):

3 today throws down the gauntlet to the other mobile operators to put an end the ‘international roaming rip-off’ with the launch of ‘3 Like Home’. ‘3 Like Home’ marks an end to extra charges for all 3 customers by allowing them to use their existing bundles when using any 3 network abroad.

All 3 customers visiting Ireland, Italy, Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark will now be able to take advantage of being on one of 3’s sister networks to use their existing minutes, text and data bundles to make voice and video calls, send texts, picture and video messages, and even surf the internet or watch TV from their handsets while abroad without accruing any additional charges.

3 Like Home also marks an end to customers being charged to receive calls when abroad – a practice that has led to many people opting to keep their mobiles switched off while abroad to avoid expensive charges. With ‘3 Like Home’, customers on any of their sister networks will be able to receive their calls and texts free of charge – just like they do at home.

Unlike other mobile operators who charge consumers a one-off fee or monthly subscription to access better calling rates to and avoid ‘roaming charges’ – the extra cost for making and receiving calls and data abroad – 3 Like Home will automatically apply when customers are on any of 3’s sister networks.

Great news if you’re a 3 subscriber in the UK travelling to Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden or Denmark. Not so great if you’re anything else. Judging from other 3 websites a similar initiative has not been taken in other jurisdictions (at least not yet). 

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