Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Be careful of data charges when travelling overseas

If you aren't on some form of a data plan in Australian and you use data on your mobile phone, you could end up getting an extremely large bill. When you go overseas you may think you are covered with your plan. You should think again. Even with very light use you could end up with a bill for hundreds, or possibly thousands of dollars.

The following is from an article published on the Australian which shows the range of prices for data when overseas. This is called roaming.

The charges for data roaming vary by operator for Australians ranging between $5.12 and $20.48 per megabyte for postpaid customers and $15.36 and $51.20 per megabyte for prepaid customers, the report found.

I read recently where one person was overseas using their iPhone as a street directory and ended up with a bill for hundreds of dollars.

During a month with very light internet usage, mostly checking emails, I would use around 100MB on the iPhone. The cost for the 100MB in Australia is $10 using Telstra prepaid. However if I were to do the same overseas, that same very light usage could end up costing from $1,536 to $5,120, which to me is one of the reasons we are seeing staggering excess charges.

When I've travelled I've purchase credit for wireless internet at the hotels and used internet cafes. At least that way I know what my costs are. There is nothing worse to spoil a great holiday than to get a staggering unexpected bill when you return.

I personally prefer prepaid because if you do something wrong, most of the time you end up only going through your credit. On a plan you may not be protected.

Take care.

- Kelvin Eldridge

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