“It is estimated that this was costing consumers up to £300 per year. The practice by mobile communications companies of utilising two tariffs on the island of Ireland has no other motive but the generation of profit at the expense of consumers in border areas, who have no option but to roam.”
Councillor Burns said he hoped other providers would now follow suit.
“For too long people living in South Armagh, and other border areas, have simply been ripped off by mobile phone companies who exploited the artificial border in Ireland,” he stated.
Jonathan Rose, Director of Ofcom Northern Ireland, said: “Three’s decision to abolish roaming charges is a boost for customers in Northern Ireland and especially for those who incur inadvertent roaming charges.
“Last year Ofcom carried out research that showed these roaming charges can cost consumers in border areas up to an estimated £300 in additional charges per year, with those living in South Armagh and South Down worst affected.
“In this context, Three’s decision to abolish roaming charges for customers roaming in seven countries, including the UK and the Republic of Ireland, is welcome.
“This will benefit Three UK customers living in border areas, as well as those travelling in the Republic of Ireland. We urge other mobile operators to follow Three’s lead and introduce similar plans.”