Data roaming

WHAT ARE DATA ROAMING CHARGES?

Data roaming is when your phone has been detected on an overseas network and expensive roaming rates start kicking in.

Even if you’re careful with your mobile phone abroad and avoid making unnecessary calls, you can still be charged simply to receive a call or pick up a voicemail message.

If you pick up voicemail while your phone is registered overseas, not only are you charged an overseas rate for the message being left, but you will be charged again to pick the message up.

Data roaming charges are generally the most expensive, so it’s especially important that you’re careful with your mobile internet use and keep streaming and downloads to reasonable levels.

As of April 30th 2016, charges will be capped at €0.05 per minute for outgoing calls (about 3p) and €0.014 per minute (less than a penny) for incoming calls.

Texts will be capped at €0.02 per message (about a penny) and data at €0.05 per megabyte (once again, about 3p).

HOW TO AVOID ROAMING CHARGES

Keep roaming charges to a minimum by following our travellers tips.

1) Use free Wi-Fi whenever you can

Many hotels and café chains now offer wireless internet free of charge.

It’s worth nothing however, that some only offer the service free for a limited period after which time charges apply.

Of course, you should also be aware that WiFi only extends to certain areas of a hotel, such as the lobby or a bar.

So if you’ve got roaming switched on, you could automatically be transferred to a carrier service without warning.

2) Check if your network offers a roaming add-on

Most carriers now offer the chance to pay a little bit extra and get an add-on that will provide you an allowance of data, texts and minutes to use abroad. If you pay for these, you’ll only pay the price of the add-on and won’t be liable for charges outside that.

If you’re not sure what your network offers for roaming add-ons, ring us and we’ll be able to advise you.

3) DON’T opt out of your networks’ usage caps

After years of reports of bill shocks in newspapers, most UK networks now enforce an automatic cap on data usage worldwide. This typically comes in at 50 Euro

It’s easy to opt out. You just have to make a phone call. But we recommend you don’t, or risk losing track of your spending and usage.

4) Check whether your destination is bound by EU regulations

It might surprise you which countries aren’t bound to abide by EU usage caps. Turkey, Northern Cyprus and Egypt are all popular destinations that are outside the EU.

Charges in Switzerland also vary on a network to network basis.