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Do you know the cost of using your mobile phone abroad?

Article by Fabafterfifty

Do you know what it costs to download data if you use your mobile phone abroad?
I know I get so used to using my phone for data ( downloading my emails and updating my twitter account) when I’m in the UK, but learnt the hard way that I had to refrain from using in the same way when travelling. It seems I am not alone!
Despite EC law forcing UK mobile operators to cap data roaming bills at 50 Euros (£45), holidaymakers travelling outside the EU are still in danger of running up massive charges reaching to thousands of pounds, warns Broadbandgenie.co.uk.

Mobile broadband roaming prices in the EU can still be very high, at anything up to £3 per MB, but the cap stops things getting out of control. Outside the EU, prices can go as high as £7.50 (T-Mobile) or £8 (Orange) per MB. As streaming YouTube videos is estimated to use around 130Mb per hour that could be more than £1,000 per hour!

Most expensive zones for data

Popular destinations such as the Caribbean, New Zealand, Turkey, Australia and India often into the most expensive zones for data, depending on which mobile operator you are with.

Broadband Genie editor Chris Marling said: “While their websites proclaim the EU cap as ‘great news for travellers’, many UK operators only impose it where they are forced to – in EU countries. Anyone travelling outside, even in the rest of Europe, needs to make themselves and their families aware of the very real possibility of bill shock.

“Internet use in the UK is taken for granted by many, especially as we have some very generous – even unlimited – data deals available, both on mobile broadband and home broadband. It’s hardly surprising that some travellers don’t consider the consequences of using the service abroad.

“We say it to our site visitors every year, but we really wish we didn’t have to – we see no reason why all the UK’s mobile operators haven’t done the honourable thing and applied the data roaming cap across all of their data roaming charges. If they don’t do it voluntarily, maybe it is time for Ofcom to step in.”
So, beware. Don’t let your mobile data costs surpass the cost of your holiday!

Photo credit: Go


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  1. Jo Carroll

    February 21, 2013

    I travel whenever I can – and all over the world – so have an international Sim card – I used to use Sim4travel, but they’ve been taken over and only work in countries popular with American business people, and I tend to go off the beaten track (not much US commerce in the wilds of Nepal) and have found GoSim offers better coverage.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      February 21, 2013

      Thanks for sharing this Jo. It’s always good to have a recommendation to help avoid a costly mistake!

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