International Use

The undisputed king of international use is Vodafone. This is due to Vodafone’s acquisition of Cable and Wireless (which had global telecommunication networks from the old British Colonies), as well as other key strategic acquisitions of mobile networks around the world.

Vodafone offer free-to-use EU plans, as most other carriers do, but when you travel outside Europe into the Rest of World (ROW), Vodafone has a pool of 105 countries where you can roam using your UK plan.

So, if you have 20GB of data in the UK and unlimited minutes and SMS texts, your charging is as it would be if you were still in the UK. So, calls to your colleagues and family members that are with you, are free, back to work is free, as are family members at home, provided it is UK 01, 02, 03, freefone or UK mobile numbers. All charges are free as per the UK plan.

Calls received from your colleagues, family members and work from UK numbers are free to receive. The same applies for UK SMS texts - both to send and receive from the UK.

You can use data up to the limit of your UK plan at any rate you desire per day. There is a limit of 25GB on an unlimited data plan, but if your business has a shared data pool, you can use this when your phone’s data allowance runs out. There are time limits to phone usage - no more than two months out of any four months. For most business calls and holidays this is more than adequate.

All you pay to use your phone in any of the 105 countries is £7.95 per day. Calls, SMS and data included.

Local calls to and from international numbers are pricey when roaming and so are SMS texts to and from local numbers. It can cost you £2.50 to phone for a local cab, but nothing to speak to your friend in the UK for an hour. For full list of roaming rates.

Countries outside the roam-like-at-home zones

Most holiday destinations are included, as are most places you might go for business. However, some countries are exempt, so it is best to check before you travel. One option could be to use a local SIM you can buy at the airport. However, be aware that the data plan from a local SIM can open your phone to use the office PBX softphone application, Microsoft Teams, Social Media and others. A dual SIM phone (most Apple and Samsung phones are now dual SIM), have this facility. They can be bought at the airport or convenience stores.

Dual SIM when abroad

If you spend a lot of time abroad, then it is better to use a local SIM to make calls locally (as you are dialling an international number) and keep your UK SIM for calling home. Ask us about using dual SIM phones as care needs to be taken to check the 4G LTE frequencies are the same in the destination as in the UK.

O2 – Telefonica

We can price match Vodafone deals for 02 users, so in most cases we can get you the Vodafone deal while you can stay on 02.


EE has EU packages and some international ROW deals for daily rates, but these can be restrictive in the amount of data you can use per day (timed as a GMT clock, so these can run out at odd times during the day). Call and text rates are lower than if you called without a plan, but they are much more expensive when roaming than the other two networks.

Typically, in the most popular destinations like USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Japan etc. they have some roaming packages which are built into each user’s plan, as any of three options, for example, double data or low-cost roaming or free Disney plus. With EE you need to be much more cautious and check what is included and where you are likely to travel, before choosing a plan.

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