UK mobile operators will start charging customers extra for using their phones in Europe this year, as a result of Brexit.

The abolition of roaming charges in 2017 has been one of the most popular reforms for EU consumers, allowing them to use their national mobile plans throughout the European Union at no extra cost.

The Brexit trade deal of December 2020 gave UK mobile operators the option of reintroducing charges, which they plan to do in 2022.

Today, Vodafone said it is delaying the reintroduction of roaming charges in Europe for UK customers by three weeks because it said it is not ready to bring in the new system.

EE has also delayed resuming its roaming charges until March. The Three network plans to bring in roaming charges between the UK and Europe, but not until May 2022.

O2 is the only operator that has not announced any plans for the reintroduction of roaming fees for British people using their phones in the EU.

None of the networks will be charging for roaming in the Republic of Ireland.

Last month, it was announced that EU mobile phone users will continue to enjoy free roaming across Europe until 2032.

The arrangement was renewed after a political agreement between the European Parliament and Slovenia, which is currently holding the EU's rotating presidency.

According to the European Commission, mobile data usage increased 17-fold in the summer of 2019, compared to the summer of 2016, before these costs were removed.

"The 'roam like at home' policy has made communication easier and cheaper whenever people are travelling in Europe," said Slovenia Public Administration minister Bostjan Koritnik.

He called it one of the EU's "greatest success stories".