Which is the Cheapest Network Provider For Using Your Mobile in Europe?

Using a mobile phone in Paris

There are four major network providers in the UK, Vodafone, Orange, T Mobile and Three. Europe is only across the Channel, but some people may be worried about using their mobile phone there, as they fear returning home to a big  phone bill.  Here is a look at the costs of using your mobile in Europe for the four main mobile operators.


Vodafone’s site is the easiest to navigate with a link on the home page to Vodafone Euro Traveller, which describes how to use your mobile in Europe. Customers can use all their minutes, texts and internet for £3 a day on the days they use it. There is no charge to receive calls and texts. There is also no monthly commitment either, once can opt in and out as you choose, perfect for those going on holiday.

Vodafone does not state how much it costs to retrieve your voicemail, but it is usually the same as making a call.

Costs for Using your Vodafone phone in Europe


Vodafone also has another option for those on pay as you go and who spend time abroad called “Vodafone passport”.  It is cheaper to call and text in 35 countries, there is a list on their website with the countries, which include Australia and New Zealand, even the French West Indies and many countries in the EU but not the United States and Canada. In all these countries it costs 75p connection charge plus your standard home rate or you can use your Vodafone Freedom Freebee minutes. It costs 75p to receive a call and 8p a text message (free to receive).

For those with Vodafone who want to find out about Vodafone passport, you can login in to your account or call 5555.


The information about making international calls is on the footer of www.orange.co.uk under “roaming” which then clearly shows the costs of using your orange mobile abroad.

On a pay monthly plan it works out slightly more expensive to call Europe and the UK and to use mobile internet on a per MB basis but the rest of the calls and texts are cheaper than on a pay as you go package.  There are also data bundles for pay monthly customers.

Costs for using your Orange phone on pay monthly plan in Europe


For those on pay as go with Orange, it costs 80p to call other countries and 7p to receive.  It also costs 8p to send a text message, which is quite competitive.


T-Mobile has a clear international section under “Help and Support” accessed directly via their home page.  Customers have to select individual countries before they can see the cost of using their mobile abroad.  The price depends on the zone.  For example the EU countries are in zone 2A.

It costs the same as for those with the mobile operator, Orange. It is 28.8p to make a call, 7.9p to receive,  8.9p to send a text and free to receive.  For those who want to use the internet on their mobile while abroad, it costs £1 for 3MB, £5 for 20MB or £10 for 50MB within the EU.

People should not be worried about using their mobile phone abroad.  For those who prefer to just text and call, some plans on pay monthly allow you to use your minutes and texts allowance in Europe.  Internet data can be expensive, depending on how long you use it for.  Some accommodation such as Worldwide Accom Holiday apartments, have free WiFi in their serviced apartments all over Europe.


Information about using your mobile phone abroad is under the support tab, on Three’s home page which is easy to find on Three’s website.

Those customers who are on Three have to activate international roaming, before they can use it abroad.  Customers can either go to Planet 3 on their Three App to access their My3 Account or access their My3 Account by logging in online.

By activating international roaming, customers can use their phone in over 240 countries which is far more than with Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange.  The prices for making and receiving calls is competitive with the rest of the network providers in Europe.


Using your phone abroad does not have to cost a fortune.  Some mobile operators such as Vodafone offer automatic monthly spend cap on using mobile internet abroad.  This will help to avoid having a big surprise bill when you come back from holiday.


  • Dave Tantano

    Definitely not using Orange when I go abroad

  • Number Talk

    Orange has its ups and downs like any other telecome provider! I would contactorange customer service before going abroad.