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Three customers will be free of roaming charges when making calls, sending texts and surfing the web in the US, with the announcement that the carrier will no longer levy extra costs for using smartphones over The Pond.

The move, as part of Three’s extension of its so-called ‘Feel at Home’ initiative, also sees the controversial higher fees for smartphone use waived in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau.

Three claims that Feel At Home will enable customers to “call home, text friends, tweet, check-in on Foursquare, update a status on Facebook or post photos on Instagram while abroad, using your UK price plan allowance as if you were still here in the UK”.

UK Three subscribers will also continue to benefit from using their UK allowances in Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark and Republic of Ireland.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “It was great to see Three take the initiative and help protect customers from bill shock with a simple and easy to understand proposition when Feel at Home launched in August, but with only seven countries covered, there was still more to be done.

"The news today that the network hasn’t rested on its laurels, but has added another four countries, is very welcome.

“It is the addition of the USA that now makes this plan really stand out. A fifth of Brits have returned from a trip across the Atlantic to a mobile bill shock – averaging over £90 – so this could be make a real difference to Three customers.

Doku added: “While the Government plans to scrap roaming charges in the EU by 2016, nothing has been set in stone. Anyone taking their mobile abroad should always check before they travel to find out the costs, and what they can do to reduce them.

“But hopefully this isn’t the last we will see of networks working to cut costs abroad. Three’s latest move puts more pressure on other providers to follow its lead and protect their own customers.”

All Three customers on pay monthly, Pay-As-You-Go, SIM-only, mobile broadband and business plans are included in the Feel At Home scheme.

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