Archive for the ‘data roaming’ tag
If you are a pay as you go customer, O2 offers 50MB of data in the EU for £2, while contract customers will get unlimited data for one day at the same price.
O2 UK decided to update its data roaming deals and add a new cheap and simple deal both for Pay Monthly and Pay & Go tariffs. This new O2 Travel tariff costs just short of £2 and gives O2 pay as you go SIM card users 50MB of data to be used all around Europe. This is a good value-for-money service as standard EU data rate is 19c per MB, in short 50 MB would cost you five times more! In the case of Pay Monthly tariff, unlimited data in Europe costs £2 a day.
There are two things you need to remember when selecting this data roaming service. First, you need to have O2 Travel activated to be able to turn on the deal. In the case of PAYG SIM cards, you try to activate it by texting TRAVELON to 21300 or check it by calling customer service on 4445. Contract customers can check it on MYO2 or call customer services; however, some contracts cannot use O2 Travel. Second, in both situations, PAYG and PAYM, the deal lasts from 00.00 to 23.59 UK time, so don’t turn it on just before midnight. This also means that if you use pay as you go SIM card then try to use your allowance before midnight as otherwise you will lose it.
The idea behind the £2 O2 Travel roaming deal came after the operator conducted a research that showed that a vast majority of travellers leave their phones at a hotel when going sightseeing. Simultaneously the same group of people admitted that they feel that they lack source of information about food establishments or directions. The O2 deal is supposed to provide solution to these issues as each data roaming can give even PAYG SIM card users a confidence that they can use their smartphones abroad and not worry about exuberant costs.
Nina Bibby, Marketing and Consumer Director at O2 said: “People use their mobiles as a source of information on a daily basis; we believe it should be no different when they are on holiday. By giving our customers access to all the data they need for just £1.99 a day when they are in Europe, we are offering them a worry free way to get the most out of their smartphones, whether it’s looking for a great place to eat, or navigating the streets of an unfamiliar city.”
Using your phone abroad will be cheaper this summer as new roaming caps for the European Union will be introduced tomorrow.
According to the new legal regulations, you should not be charged more than 15p (€0.19) + VAT per minute to make a call when you are anywhere inside the European Union. Rates for receiving calls when abroad were cut to maximum of 4p (€0.05) + VAT, while roaming cap for text message was set to around 5p (€0.06). These rates are universal and should be used for both contract customers and PAYG SIM card users.
More importantly the European Parliament also tackled roaming data costs and lowered them significantly. Up until now the cap was set to €0.45 but new regulation brings it down to just €0.20, so roughly 16p. Moreover, mobile operators are obliged to cut you off if you spend more than £40 (€50) on data as long as you haven’t decided to increase this limit.
Remember that costs are usually much higher when you use your phone outside the EU. We recommend checking your operators roaming rates when going abroad. Bear in mind that such countries like Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and most Balkan states are not member states of the European Union, so even though they are European countries mobile roaming caps do not function there.
Meanwhile, many customers are not aware of the fact that they can challenge their operators if they had been charged more than the maximum rates stated by the EU law. Roughly around 40% of respondent of a recent study said that they didn’t know they could fight with their operators if they had been charged too much while on holiday, while more than 25% spent, on average, 40 pounds more when travelling abroad.
Three UK has caught up with the competition by creating a new data roaming service just in time for the summer season. The mobile operator will offer its contract customers a 5-quid deal that will give them a day of unlimited data roaming within the European Union. Euro Internet Pass, as the service is known as, is available to all holidaymakers from June 12. All the customers who have data roaming on will get a text message containing an activation link for the pass every time they enter an European country. If they choose to use the link they will have an unlimited data roaming (excluding tethering) until the midnight GMT on the day of purchase. Three UK said that the Euro Pass was designed for browsing, that is why streaming may cause some delays or buffering and the Internet connection may be slower than in the UK. Full list of countries that are within the Euro Pass zone is available here.
With Euro Pass Three UK joins the rivals who have already unveiled some services to reduce the holiday bill. Those are EuroTraveller from Vodafone, O2 Travel from O2 and a new unknown service from Orange. Unfortunately, all of these new services are catered for holidaymakers who have contracts, but what about holiday goers with PAYG SIM cards?
Natalie Kroes, European Commissioner in charge of digital agenda, has recently declared that she wants to lower roaming rates in addition to reduction of roaming call rates proposed last year. Last summer she proposed 24 eurocents per minute as the maximum roaming rate (currently the cap is 35c). These are of course detail rates, as wholesale roaming call rates proposed by Commissioner are capped at 6c. This gives a great opportunity for fair competition on the telecoms market. Mrs Now Kroes has also proposed cap on roaming data rates, and according to her 50c per megabyte is the limit for detail customers, while a wholesale rate couldn’t be higher than 10c.
However, there are voices in the European Parliament that say that the roaming call and data rates should be even lower. One of the MEPs from German sees roaming call rate in Europe at 15c per minute, while data transmission should not be more expensive than 20c per MB by 2014. Telecommunication companies from around Europe expressed their dissatisfaction with proposed rates and claim that such price caps will squeeze out new competitors from the market.
The EU will review this new regulation in April 2012, and will have to agree on one of the proposals. Nevertheless, we will see roaming call rates go down gradually from July 2012 to July 2014.