Data roaming is one of the most common causes of bill shock, with some customers facing bills several hundred pounds higher than anticipated. Let’s take a look at what is meant by ‘Data Roaming’ and how to avoid the associated charges.

Data roaming is the term given to data usage, calls and messages made through an overseas network provider whilst outside of the UK.

Before travelling abroad find out how Apps2Data can help you share your holiday photos without any unexpected data charges.

Data roaming – European Union

When travelling within the EU you will not be charged data roaming fees for using data, call minutes and texts within your normal allowance owing to recent ‘Roam like at Home’ regulations passed. It is worth noting however, that if you have an unlimited data plan you will still be subject to a ‘fair use’ policy from your provider.

A common misconception since the EU banned data roaming charges is that data roaming charges have been completely banished. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Data roaming charges have only been banned in the 28 countries of the EU and EEA. If you are travelling outside these countries you are still liable for additional data roaming charges.

Data roaming charges – rest of the world

Before travelling outside the EU, it is wise to check the data roaming charges in your mobile phone contract. Some networks offer special bundles or add-ons which may reduce the costs of using your device abroad if agreed before your trip. You can expect to pay around £5 per day whilst you are abroad, depending on your network provider and the country you are travelling to. Be careful when it comes to the cost of calls and messages too, with calls from some countries costing up to £2 per minute and around £0.60 per SMS.

The best way to avoid using your limited data allowance is to connect via Wi-Fi whenever possible.  Failing this, avoid streaming apps and other high data usage apps whilst abroad unless necessary. Switch your app settings from ‘automatically update in the background’ to ‘only update when connected to Wi-Fi’.

Data roaming on cruises

If you’re travelling on a ferry or cruise ship the situation changes slightly as most ships have their own phone network which is operated by a satellite and as a result you will be subject to International Maritime Data Roaming charges. This will apply even if you have a data bundle for the countries you are travelling within/around. Check with the cruise or ferry company before travelling to confirm potential charges.

How can Apps2Data help when data roaming?

Apps2Data offers near real-time monitoring of your data roaming activity. When your mobile device begins to roam you will receive an alert. This is ideal for those who may forget about data roaming charges whilst travelling and need a reminder to be aware of the potential increase to their mobile phone bill.

Even if you have added a travel bundle onto your contract, it will be limited. Using Apps2Data throughout your travels will help you stay in control. You will know exactly how much of your data allowance you have used each day and how much you have left for the remainder of your travels.  Do make sure you have updated the Apps2Data interface with your travel bundle details prior to your departure to ensure you are adequately protected.

For those of you typically relying on Wi-FI connections when travelling, Apps2Data can also provide an alert when your Wi-Fi connection has dropped and you have started to roam instead.

Business users can also keep track of potential data roaming charges whilst their employees are travelling through Apps2Data’s online dashboard.

Click here to find out more and sign up to Apps2Data