Phone network Three scraps its roaming fees in four countries

Oliver Smith
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THREE, the UK’s fourth largest mobile operator, announced yesterday that it has dropped roaming charges from four more countries including the US.

The operator previously eliminated roaming charges in seven countries including the Republic of Ireland, Australia and Italy in August, and yesterday’s announcement increases the total number of countries to 11.

“Our focus is on where our UK customers are spending most of their time when abroad...Giving customers the ability to use the devices that they have paid for, wherever they want to,” said Three finance chief Richard Woodward.

To date, Three said customers roaming in the seven destinations without charges have increased their use of voice minutes by 40 per cent, while roaming data use has soared by over 1,000 per cent.

Chief executive Dave Dyson said that Three’s plan is to “add more countries to the mix soon”, adding that France and Spain are at the top of the company’s list of countries to next introduce fee-free roaming.

The announcement came as part of Three’s quarterly business update where the company said it has increased its total active customers to 7.8m – a 9.7 per cent increase on the same quarter in 2012.

Three, which is owned by Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchinson Whampoa on Monday started to roll out 4G service to customers. The company said it hopes to cover 50 British cities with 4G by the end of 2014 and most of the country before the end of 2015.

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