PRN: Don't Roam Without Knowing Where it Leads

12/lug/2011 16.00.57 PR Newswire Turismo Contatta l'autore

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Don't Roam Without Knowing Where it Leads

 
[12-July-2011]
 

CHESTER, England, July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


 

  • Costs for Using Your Mobile Abroad are Much Higher Than in the UK
  • Using Your Mobile Beyond the EU Remains Uncapped

If you're using your phone while you're abroad on holiday this year, ensure you know what charges are being applied for calls, messages and data downloads, warns moneysupermarket.com.

On Friday 1st July, new maximum limits on mobile roaming from the European Commission came into force. The amount mobile phone operators are allowed to charge their customers for mobile roaming on another network within the European Union were further reduced to bring costs down for consumers.

Eurotariff maximum roaming charge per minute in Euros (without VAT)

                                           Making a Receiving Sending Receiving     Eurotariff maximum price while abroad   call    a call   an SMS   an SMS                                                                11     Summer 2009                           43 cents 19 cents   cents    free                                                                11     Summer 2010                           39 cents 15 cents   cents    free                                                                11     Summer 2011                           35 cents 11 cents   cents    free 

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/roaming/tariffs/index_en.htm

A cap of €50 also exists to ensure charges for mobile data roaming don't deliver 'bill shocks' to customer who are unaware using their mobiles for downloading data and internet browsing are charged at much higher rates when in EU countries. Mobile providers charge mostly per MegaByte (MB) but some do offer a set amount of data allowance for a one-off cost. Examples of data usage are:

  • Web browsing for one hour = 1.5MB
  • Downloading/uploading a quality jpeg/image = 2MB
  • Music downloading = 3.5MB per track
  • Opening emails = 1MB per 20 average sized emails

Although things have really progressed in favour of British travellers heading to EU countries, there is still a huge difference in the cost of calls, texts and data roaming when using your mobile further afield.

When travelling to Turkey, a country some people mistake as being part of the EU, making a call with Vodafone can cost as much as £1.65 per minute, whilst receiving a call can cost a hefty £1.50 with T-Mobile. For other popular destinations, costs can be even higher. For example, making a call from Egypt with the operator, 3, can cost £2.00 and receiving a call can cost around £1.50 with Virgin and T-Mobile.

When it comes to data roaming in these countries, it can cost a substantial £8 per MB with Orange. As they are outside of the EU, the €50 cap wouldn't come into force and bills could easily escalate. Some providers do try to combat high data bills, Vodafone applies a cap to data roaming outside of the EU and will put a block on accessing data when costs reach £100.

(Costs for using your mobile in the USA and Australia are also available in the notes to editors).

There are ways consumers can cut the costs of calls and texts. By speaking with their provider before heading off on holiday, they can often opt-in to a specific add-on which is tailored to make the costs of using a mobile cheaper when outside of the UK.  Vodafone, Orange and O2 offer the best deals with O2's ITS package (Worldwide) a great deal for their customers who already have a contract with them that includes 600mins or more and Vodafone passport (EU only) available free to all customers.

Mike Wilson, manager of mobiles at moneysupermarket.com said: "The cost of using your mobile increases significantly when you leave UK shores. Any inclusive texts, minutes and data allowance become void and everything you do with your phone is more expensive. Although there is a lot being done by the European Commission to bring down the costs for using your mobile in EU countries, there is no such action in process when travelling beyond.

"It is vital consumers are fully up to speed with the charges that could be levied on them should they use their phone whilst on holiday and do what they can to combat arriving home to an expensive bill. Ensuring you are on a provider's specialised overseas tariff is one way to do this but there are other ways to avoid bill shocks."

moneysupermarket.com offers tips and advice on avoiding expensive mobile bills when holidaying outside of the UK:

  • Be aware that when abroad you will have to pay to receive calls - It's free to receive texts in the EU so if people want to get in touch with you make sure they text you as opposed to calling. 
  • To avoid costs from using voicemail, ask your provider to de-activate it before you go, but only if you don't need it.
  • Be careful when travelling beyond the EU (remembering that the popular tourist destination of Turkey is not within the EU). Pricing caps are in place within the EU but beyond costs are significantly higher and vary greatly from country to country.
  • If you go to the same destination regularly it is worth getting a local SIM - the bigger charges will still apply when you want to call home, but you will save on local calls whilst there. This is really beneficial if you're spending an extended period in one particular place.
  • If you're on a gap year or spending time travelling around a lot of different countries the best option may be to get a global SIM card. These offer greatly reduced rates across various destinations. Just check that the majority of the places you intend to travel are covered and then decided which of the global SIM cards available is the right one for you.
  • Unless you really need to use it, do not use your mobile internet whilst abroad. Within the EU there is a cap at €50 to ensure you don't get a shock bill when you return home. However, the current cost per MB means that even within the EU it wont take much surfing the net to reach your this cap.
  • If you go outside the EU think very carefully about using data. With no regulation currently in place there is no end to the charges customers can run up. when
  • To avoid accidently running up large data bills turn off your data roaming and automatic updates. Smartphone Apps (such as weather, news and email) will update automatically, typically every hour. When this happens you are using data. Most Smartphones make it quite simple to switch off your roaming and automatic update functions. 
  •  Use Wi-Fi - a lot of hotels and cafes will offer customers free Wi-Fi. This will enable you to surf the internet for free. It also serves as a great way to keep in touch with people at home if you have a Skype account.
  • Check your mobile insurance before you go. Most insurers will cover you worldwide but the levels of cover will differ.

Notes to editors:

Standard Call Charges in Europe (Spain)

                             Receiving   Cost per   Cost of              Making a Call    Calls       Text    Receiving Cost of using                Cost per     Cost per    Message     Text        Mobile     Network     Minute       Minute       Sent    Messages     Internet     O2            36p          11p        11p       Free    GBP3.07 per MB                                                             GBP5.00 per MB                                                             1 hour travel                                                             pass - GBP4.00                                                             24 hour travel     Virgin        36p          11p        11p       Free    pass - GBP6.00     Three        36.6p        11.5p      10.2p      Free    GBP1.28 per MB     T-Mobile     36.6p        11.5p      10.2p      Free    GBP1.53 per MB                                                             GBP2 a day for     Vodafone     36.6p        11.5p       11p       Free         25MB     Orange       38.8p        14.3p      10.2p      Free    GBP3.00 per MB 

International Bolt-on Options Europe (Spain)

                                                                     Receiving                                                                       Calls                                          Making a Call               Cost per     Network  Bolt-On Option             Cost per Minute               Minute                                                                        75p                                                                     connection                                                                       charge                                                                     Free up to                 Vodafone                                             60 mins                 Passport                                             20p per               Free for all           75p connection charge             min     Vodafone   customers.   Standard home rate or inclusive minutes thereafter                  O2 ITS                 Free for              tariffs of 600                minutes or              more. GBP2.99              per month for                all other     O2          tariffs.                      35p                      15p                My Europe                  Extra               GBP10.21 per     O2           month                        25p                      Free                  Europe                                              200 mins                Traveller                                             for free               GBP5.10 per          200 mins @ 28.6p per min           14.3p     Orange       month                 38.8p thereafter             thereafter 

Standard Call Charges in Turkey

                                             Cost per  Cost of                                               Text   Receiving Cost of using              Making a Call  Receiving Calls Message    Text        Mobile     Network Cost per Minute Cost per Minute   Sent   Messages     Internet                                                                GBP5 a day for     Vodafone    GBP1.65         GBP1.30       37p*     Free         25MB     Orange      GBP1.30           70p         40p      Free    GBP8.00 per MB     O2          GBP1.37           85p         30p      Free    GBP3.07 per MB     Three       GBP1.40           99p         35p      Free    GBP3.00 per MB     Virgin      GBP1.40         GBP1.25       25p      Free    GBP5.00 per MB     T-Mobile    GBP1.50         GBP1.50       40p      Free    GBP7.50 per MB 

*Plus standard plan charge for sending a UK text message.

International Bolt-on Options Turkey

                                                 Making a Call  Receiving Calls     Network           Bolt-On Option           Cost per Minute Cost per Minute                           O2 ITS             Free for tariffs of 600 minutes or              more. GBP2.99 per month for all     O2                other tariffs.                 81p             52p                      World Traveller     Orange          GBP5.00 per month                91p             70p 

Standard Call Charges in Egypt

                             Receiving   Cost per    Cost of              Making a Call    Calls       Text     Receiving Cost of using                Cost per     Cost per     Message     Text        Mobile     Network     Minute       Minute       Sent     Messages     Internet     T-Mobile    GBP1.50      GBP1.50       40p       Free    GBP7.50 per MB                                                              GBP5 a day for     Vodafone    GBP1.65      GBP1.30      35p*       Free         25MB     O2          GBP1.70      GBP1.11       40p       Free    GBP6.00 per MB     Virgin      GBP1.70      GBP1.50       25p       Free    GBP5.00 per MB     Orange      GBP1.75      GBP1.00       50p       Free    GBP8.00 per MB     Three       GBP2.00      GBP1.25       35p       Free    GBP6.00 per MB 

*Plus standard plan charge for sending a UK text message.

International Bolt-on Options Egypt

                                                 Making a Call  Receiving Calls     Network           Bolt-On Option           Cost per Minute Cost per Minute                           O2 ITS             Free for tariffs of 600 minutes or              more. GBP2.99 per month for all     O2                other tariffs.               GBP1.20           85p                      World Traveller     Orange          GBP5.00 per month              GBP1.75           80p 

Standard Call Charges in USA

                             Receiving   Cost per   Cost of              Making a Call    Calls       Text    Receiving Cost of using                Cost per     Cost per    Message     Text        Mobile     Network     Minute       Minute       Sent    Messages     Internet     Orange      GBP1.10        70p        40p       Free    GBP8.00 per MB     T-Mobile    GBP1.20      GBP1.20      40p       Free    GBP7.50 per MB                                                             GBP5 a day for     Vodafone    GBP1.35      GBP1.00      35p*      Free         25MB     O2          GBP1.37        85p        25p       Free    GBP6.00 per MB     Three       GBP1.40        99p        35p       Free    GBP3.00 per MB     Virgin      GBP1.40      GBP1.25      25p       Free    GBP5.00 per MB 

*Plus standard plan charge for sending a UK text message.

International Bolt-on Options USA

                                                Making a Call  Receiving Calls     Network           Bolt-On Option          Cost per Minute Cost per Minute                           O2 ITS             Free for tariffs of 600 minutes or              more. GBP2.99 per month for all     O2                other tariffs.                90p             39p                      World Traveller     Orange          GBP5.10 per month               77p             49p 

Standard Call Charges in Australia

                                              Cost per Cost of                                                Text  Receiving Cost of using               Making a Call  Receiving Calls Message   Text        Mobile     Network  Cost per Minute Cost per Minute   Sent  Messages     Internet                                                                 GBP5 a day for     Vodafone       80p             75p         35p*    Free         25MB     O2             85p           GBP1.11       30p     Free    GBP6.00 per MB     Orange         85p             70p         40p     Free    GBP8.00 per MB     Virgin         95p             80p         25p     Free    GBP5.00 per MB     T-Mobile     GBP1.20         GBP1.20       40p     Free    GBP7.50 per MB     Three        GBP1.40           99p         35p     Free    GBP3.00 per MB 

*Plus standard plan charge for sending a UK text message.

International Bolt-on Options Australia

                                                                     Receiving                                                                     Calls                             Making a Call                           Cost per     Network  Bolt-On Option Cost per Minute                         Minute                                                                     75p                                                                     connection                                                                     charge                                                                     Free up to              Vodafone                                               60 mins              Passport                                               20p per              Free for all   75p connection charge                   min     Vodafone customers.     Standard home rate or inclusive minutes thereafter              O2 ITS              Free for              tariffs of 600              minutes or              more. GBP2.99              per month for              all other     O2       tariffs.       60p                                     43p              World              Traveller              GBP5.10 per     Orange   month          60p                                     49p 

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