back to article Oh no, EE! More UK mobile customers face sluggish roaming abroad

EE customers not on the firm's top-end data tariff have complained they are receiving sloth-like speeds of 2Mbps when using data abroad. On its Free EU Roaming support page, EE said: "4GEE Max customers will get our fastest available speeds at home and abroad. But please note: maximum speeds will be dependent on the local …

  1. Tezfair


    If I were on holiday aboard I would not be concerned with mobile speeds but getting every pennies worth out of the trip. The mobile can plod away getting emails as and when.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wtf

      Fair enough but on the other hand I don't see why these firms should be allowed to get away with breaking the law.

      Incidentally using a phone from a EU country in the UK isn't a brilliant experience along from Dorset to Cornwall... mind you locals tell me that it's no better with a UK SIM card, they just get crap service.

    2. HollyHopDrive

      Re: wtf

      The problem is I'd imagine that because this was forced on them they

      a) didn't think it would happen

      b) didn't want it to happen when it's been such a nice little earner

      C) didn't allow themselves enough time to be able to negotiate decent deals

      So I imagine at some point the EU powers will step in (because I can't imagine it's only the UK networks playing this silly game of just about complying with the rules) and tell them all to behave. They don't seem to learn, if they had played nicely they wouldnt have had this forced on them. But they still aren't playing nicely so I imagine they will be forced to play fair by next summer. I'd also put money on three seeing a marketing opportunity to get 4g out there and advertise the "fastest abroad" campaign quicker than that. EE being part of BT will drag their feet with most resistance like the rest of their business offerings.

      1. Detective Emil

        Anecdotally …

        Well, here I am in a founder-member EU country, just having returned from France and Switzerland. 4G roaming everywhere. Well, except where unavailable, like tunnels through the alps (where one can still make 2G phone calls). No sneaky out-of-plan charges either. So maybe this pettiness is just a UK thing.

        1. Pristine Audio

          Re: Anecdotally …

          My French mobile seems to do equally well in Spain, Italy and England on 4G and 4G+. Saw some gob-smacking speeds at the Spanish Grand Prix before everyone arrived and started using the extra services laid on - 206.57Mbps download reported by Speedtest on my S8.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wtf

      Indeed 2mbit/sec is more that enough for holiday stuff, enough for Google maps etc...

      I really want to slap people some times and tell them to get a grip

      1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

        Re: wtf

        What if these people are not there on holiday? Perhaps there on a tedious business trip stuck in a crap hotel on the edge of an industrial park evening after evening.

        1. FrankReynolds

          Re: wtf

          It's called a book. Or do you need some other form of internet entrainment????

    4. richbishop

      Re: wtf

      "WTF?" Maybe you haven't thought about all use cases for mobile roaming... it's not all selfies and being glued to Facebook... some of us have businesses to run. I run a small business, and have to have remote access to my customer's servers at any time day or night... I wasn't "Nexflixing by the pool" - I was trying to stay connected

  2. IsJustabloke Silver badge

    4G on Three's "feel at home" has never been included but other than that it's as speedy as it can be.(I've used it without a problem in New Zealand, Hong Kong and the US)

    It's just the usual suspects taking the piss... EE, Vodashite and O2. So no, you won't be live streaming your mate's Mediterranean wedding to the rest of the UK.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      '3' & Roaming

      I've never had a major issue with using my '3' phone abroad especially in the USA. There again, I don't stream stuff using my phone when I'm here so why should I feel the need to do that when overseas but that is just me I guess.

      Everything I wanted to work basically worked just a little bit slower than if I was in Central London.

      Booking hotels from a Truck Stop on I-80 in the middle of Northern Nevada was not a problem and for around £12/month it is a bargain especially when compared to US 'calling plans'.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: '3' & Roaming

        Indeed. Using 3's mobile broadband router, I could stream Netflix and BBC iPlayer in Malaga quite well. I even streamed BBC Radio on the beach - which made my holiday more pleasant. I had to use a VPN though.

  3. Chris G Silver badge


    If that's all people want to do, I can point out several eating establishments within 1/2k from here that will have you ' streaming ' in no time at all.

  4. davemcwish

    What about the UK?

    I've looked up where I and a couple of thousand people are going to a week long event next year. It's not in the arse end of nowhere, only just off the A1(M) but EE's coverage is listed as:-

    2G - With a fair wind you should be able speak to someone and get a text

    3G - Ha Ha Ha ha Ha. Just No. Now bugger off

    4G - We'll give you 1 bar signal standing outside if we feel like it

    1. Detective Emil

      Re: What about the UK?

      Well, EE has tooted its horn about temporarily increased coverage for Glastonbury this year. If you can fight your way through the flacks, you or your event's organisers might be able to get them to do something similar for you.

      1. Captain Queeg

        Re: What about the UK?

        There’s a lot of info about the Glastonbury deployment here:

        Depending on your level of desire for mucho technical info, this is a good watch.

        Integration down to delivering 999 calls from mobiles attached to the temporary cells to on site medics for faster responses.

  5. jonnycando

    Just like USA

    Here we usually enjoy free roaming, but often at 1xRTT or HSDPA speeds, and very limited MB. Sprint for it's part have LTE roaming agreements here and there...but you really have to have zero home signal before you can gain access to any of it. It is a fact though, that free roaming is not free, and the cost is built into your monthly rates. If we want all we can eat on any network, it seems...we will pay for it despite any assurances of "free roaming." It should have been recognized by the EU that there still ain't no free lunch, and you cannot legislate it. Somebody is going to pay regardless.

  6. WonkoTheSane

    Going to Cologne next week

    I'm glad they have city-wide free wifi (in 1hr chunks).

  7. LeoP

    Just came back to my home country of Austria after visiting Italy, Slovenia and Croatia - with a cheap as chips PTG "packetized" to something resembling a contract. No 4G apart from Italy (no surprise here, none deployed) but speeds better than when falling back to 3G at home.

    I may have missed a few holes though - a total of something like 30mins over 2 weeks must be enough for a vacation. If you don't insist on posting every piece of gorgous local food instead of enjoying it, that is.

  8. Douchus McBagg

    I was going to wax lyrical about Vodafone being awesome across the water. But I'm currently on my way back from a there-and-back London-Paris today to oversee various crap beIng installed and set up in our Paris office, and I couldn't get fuck all. Couldn't even get vpn to frigging connect on my laptop.. So without a decent email machine, and I've been off chat, and I'm now going to walk into a shit storm in the office tomorrow as I've not been able to communicate what's been going on or keep on top of otherwise.

    I have corp email on an iPhone, but that's on voda as well so even that was sporadic at best. Anyway all it's good for is seeing that some shit is going down and not being able to see what's actually going on or respond quickly.

    So more fool me for relying on Vodafone to provide a service. No Nic port on my dell 5510 without a dongle or docker. Vpn over wifi or nuffin. And all I got was a big fat nuffin.

    I am very pissed off. Carriers I kept hopping between were orange F and SNF. No Voda coverage at all and they've effectively cut my roaming budget down from 20gig with my uk allowance to 4gig roaming. I can burn a gig a day just being hooked up to vpn. Anyway just my expirence

  9. Fat Freddie's Cat

    Three customers without roaming at all...

    ...if you're in France or Portugal. So what's worse, crap data speeds or no data speeds (and bonus, no phone calls either)!?

  10. Alan Edwards

    Isle Of Man

    Just got back from a holiday on the Isle Of Man, first time trying out this free roaming malarky.

    Tablet, phone and wireless router all roamed on Sure, which has just launched there. EE sent a 'Welcome to Guernsey' SMS, which got giggles from all the EE users on the ferry.

    EE roamed onto the 4G network, Three got HSPA+. No problem with speed off either, but I wasn't exactly hammering it. It all just worked, apart from the router that took about 5 minutes to register itself the first time.

    1. myithingwontcharge

      Re: Isle Of Man

      Just wait for the bill! Remember the Isle of Man is NOT in the EU! :-)

      EDIT: Though it seems networks may be treating it as such.

  11. David Nash Silver badge

    The quote doesn't sound unreasonable

    "our standard roaming data speeds when in the EU. This is likely to be slower than in the UK and fast enough to use your phone as you normally would, including streaming music and standard definition video (or better)."

    Sounds like they are saying that "standard data speed is not "top data speed" which is obvious if there is a premium product you are not paying for.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I was looking at a new contract earlier in the year I was keen to find out what the roaming was like in the context of charges. EE said that they didn't charge if I went with the Max Plan can't remember the cost but it was at a premium to other plans. It came with a ridiculous amount of data and I also needed to buy a new phone with them which I didn't need (and doubtless contributed to the cost). Didn't fancy that.

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