Mobile industry body the GSMA reckons it has come up with a plan which should help international business travellers avoid bill shock and better understand their data usage. At a meeting in Shanghai this week, the organisation cracked together the heads of 24 major global operators including Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, …
Right, so nothing so useful as, say, actually curbing the ludicrous prices charged for roaming data? With some of these clowns it'd be cheaper to carry TCP over SMS than use their roaming data services.
That's just what happens in Europe already.
In fact I get rather sick of 5 welcome SMSs telling me which country I'm in, what the roaming rate is, what USSD code is to activate another roaming rate if I want to, what the local emergency number is, and then the numbers of services like directory enquiries to be sure. And then the same all over again when my phone roams over to another network in the same country.
But hey, now you have no excuse to say you didn't know, right? "I didn't read the text - I just deleted it" doesn't quite cut it. If they tell you a billion times and you just won't listen and rack up a bill anyway, then you have no recourse really. But then again, it's because of people who delete and don't read why you get the added restriction of... how much was it? 50 euros? roaming cost cap too.
Thank the many people who don't bother reading or doing any research and who, unlike some of us, aren't OCD at all - not even a little bit. I personally welcome such restrictions, because in the end it's these people who I hear complain when their bills skyrocket, and that's a ton more annoying than receiving a bunch of texts while roaming. Most of them would probably go crying to their OCD friends and relatives and ask them for help (of course they get offended when they get told off too).
Yeah, I mean how *dare* they provide useful, relevant, and necessary information at an appropriate time and place! The nerve of some people eh?
I found an excelent way on keeping data roaming costs cheap.
There's this little device called a Droam, you can make a wifi point out of it. Costs are about 100 euro's a month. Really handy when travelling, i wasn't dependent on any wifi spots or anything.
July 1st is arriving next week, data roaming prices (for europeans) will be reduced to 0,70€ + 20% VAT = 0,84 per MB
This is still way too expensive, but some solutions emerge with a new form: mobile hotspot rental.
You rent from a provider a small device that connects to the internet using 3G, but you do not have to worry about this part. All you have to do is connect to the wifi signal and surf. Prices can be radically different.
For France, compare the 11 to 16€ per MB an american pays, to the 0,06 to 0,14€ per MB the French provider: FrenchConnection.fr offers
When choosing a provider check:
- Price per day
- How many many MB included each day
- Can I report unused MB to the next day
- How much am I charged if I go over my allotment
- Where is the provider's support team based. In case of a problem, only the local ones can react quickly!