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This has been during the UK’s post-Brexit trade partners in a move that could increase pressure on operator profit margins. Under potential treaty measures being considered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), people travelling to the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan could face no extra costs for making calls, sending SMS messages or using mobile data. International mobile roaming may form part of trade negotiations with other countries, according to a government spokesman.
The DCMS has been researching what impact the measures would have on telecoms providers, who suffered heavy losses after roaming charges for mobile phone users across Europe came to an end in 2017.
It’s believed that if roaming fees are to be stripped than they would have adverse effects on the telecoms industry.
They make significant profits from being able to charge additional roaming rates for people using their phones abroad.
However, some already offer free roaming in the US, for instance, after striking commercial deals with local operators.
Brexit isn’t the only factor applying pressure to telecom operators, companies are already facing pressure on their roaming revenues due to the reduction in international travel.
Vodafone said that roaming in Europe fell by as much as 75pc in April.
As part of it’s post-Brexit strategy, Downing Street has been in a rush to secure bilateral trade deals.
Surrounding this race are further discussions about abolishing international roaming charges.
The UK kicked off trade talks with Australia and New Zealand last week.
Negotiations are also underway with the US and Japan.
Recent agreements are understood to have included provisions on international mobile roaming.
Simon Birmingham said Australia was “ready to help the UK find new beginnings post-Brexit and in doing so, open up new doors for our farmers, businesses and investors”.
“We’ve been preparing for this deal since the UK decided to leave the EU and welcome their agreement to commence negotiations,” Birmingham said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
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The UK is Australia’s seventh-largest trading partner.
Like most countries the UK and Australia are hoping to reach an agreement as soon as possible, this would work for the UK’s plans be on track for completion by the end of summer.
Birmingham said Australia and the UK hoped to conclude the deal “as quickly as possible” – possibly by the end of this year, although he conceded that may be an ambitious timeframe.
He said both sides wanted “an ambitious and comprehensive agreement that builds on our already significant people-to-people links and creates new opportunities for exporters, generating more jobs in our nations”.
“As both our nations begin to shift our focus towards the economic recovery from Covid-19, a UK-Australia FTA will help to expand choices and export opportunities and secure stronger supply chains to better withstand future shocks,” Birmingham said.
New Zealand’s trade minister, David Parker, echoed Birmingham’s sentiments.
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