Reducing roaming rage

Published Thursday, 03 July 2014
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Coming home from your holidays can often be tough, especially if you've been surfing the net, making phone calls or updating your social networks with fabulously sunny snaps.

The thought of the dreaded mobile phone bill awaiting you on your return can be nauseating. (Enough to drain you of your holiday colour.)

Now new caps have been introduced courtesy of the EU on what mobile operators can charge. (Even better it looks like roaming charges will be abolished at the end of 2015.)

For the state of play at the moment, here's a quick breakdown:

  • Making a call within the EU: 15p a minute
  • Receiving a call within the EU: 4p a minute
  • Text: 5p per message
  • 1 Megabyte of data: 16p plus VAT (20P)

The biggest drop is data. If you check out one map five times it amounts to around 95p.

You can check out the EU's jaunty press release on all the changes here.

Plan and download before you go

Download what you need before you leave. So city maps, guides, books, films, music etc. are stored on your device. It may also be worth checking with your provider to see if they have specific packages designed for using your phone abroad.

Turn off data roaming

You could always abandon your phone/tablet at home. Another way to to avoid running up an unexpected bill is to switch off data roaming. Your smartphone will automatically seek out an internet connection when you reach your destination and you may start using data without realising it.

Outside the EU

It's worth saying that popular destinations like Turkey, Switzerland and Tunisia aren't in the EU. Also, of course, the cost of data can really be eye-watering if you're travelling beyond Europe.

There is a limit

Ofcom says all mobile operators have to cut off your data connection once you have used around £50 of data per month, unless you choose another limit. The precise figure varies from company to company. The provider must send you an alert when you reach 80% and then 100% of the agreed data roaming limit, and must stop the data at the 100% point, unless you agree to continue.

Ofcom have some helpful tips here about avoiding racking up enormous bills abroad.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Doug in Ireland wrote (198 days ago):
Make sure to disable all apps on your smartphone if you are even checking email. Chances are these will seek to update automatically and you will get a jaw-dropping bill. You simply wouldn't believe the cost of this. Recently, I travelled to Glasgow and my bill reached £300 in the space of a few hours. Be afraid, be very afraid!
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Naomi McMullan
Naomi McMullan

Before joining UTV, Naomi worked in CNN International's London Bureau, on a business show.

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