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UK's Virgin Media O2 customers will not face roaming charges

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  • LBTYK

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Virgin Media O2 said on Monday it would not reintroduce roaming charges in Europe, unlike its three major rivals which are bringing back the fees following Brexit, winning praise from the prime minister.

Roaming charges were abolished in the European Union in 2017, but the benefit was not protected in the Brexit agreement Britain signed with the bloc.

EE, Vodafone and Three have all announced they will re-impose charges for some customers this year.

Virgin Media-02, jointly owned by Spain's Telefonica and U.S company Liberty Global, said its O2 and Virgin Media customers would be able to use data, calls and texts just as they would in the UK.

Its rivals typically plan to charge customers on newer contracts 2 pounds ($2.72) a day to roam in EU countries, unless they buy an add-on package available from some operators.

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister who led the campaign for Brexit and agreed the divorce deal, said on Twitter that he welcomed the Virgin Media 02 decision.

Campaigners wanting to keep Britain in the world's biggest trading bloc had cited the removal of roaming fees as one of the benefits of membership in the run up to the referendum.

($1 = 0.7357 pounds)

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kate Holton)

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