The high costs associated with mobile roaming have caused immense concern for travellers. Numerous horror stories of people incurring charges in excess of £3000 whilst on holiday has dissuaded most travellers from using their phones whilst abroad. These charges can easily accumulate when considering the ‘data hungry’ nature of smartphones, which, given the usefulness of phones makes it a considerable irritant.
However, a number of changes have taken place recently that will help reduce these costs and bring these charges down.
In 2014 the EU announced proposed new regulations that would abolish user-roaming charges across Europe. This move was due to become effective in December 2015 but has since been delayed to 2018.Unfortunately, it will drastically change the way mobile operators make money and this is already raising the costs of contracts in the UK!
Mobile operators have always been competitive when it comes to cost, but roaming charges have become a new battleground. There are some operators in the UK who have already begun removing roaming charges or have devised specialist plans to benefit consumers. Depending on where you’re travelling, it’s worth researching what your mobile operator provides. Sometimes you can get contract add-ons that could protect you from high costs.
You still need to be careful
Even with the above two developments, there are no plans to scrap roaming charges outside of Europe. It’s not just data usage that costs money; phone calls and texting can raise bills as well. Check with your mobile operator before you travel, make sure the settings on your mobile are adjusted (you may need to switch off data roaming if you have a smartphone), and keep track of how often you’re using your phone. If you are able to find a WiFi connection whilst away, then this may be a cheaper option.