Archive for the ‘roaming rate’ tag
A new service aimed at contract customers, called World Traveller, is going to be launched by Vodafone. The deal gives pay monthly customers a possibility to use their allowance in US, India, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Ghana, Qatar and South Africa for £5 per day. Moreover, incoming calls and texts will be free of charge. Travellers will be allowed to take advantage of the deal from the end of August. All they need to do to opt for this service is to call 5555. Additionally, customers will only be charged 5 pounds for the days the use their mobile phones abroad.
This deal is a nice compliment to Vodafone’s Euro Traveller that was launched few years ago. The second service costs 2 pounds a day and allows customers to use their allowance in the EU. It seems that World Traveller was created due to high demand for its European version – over 1.5 million customers use that service and catering for the needs of more exotic travellers.
The new focus of operators on roaming fees originates from two facts. First, we are in the middle of summer high season and people are holidaying around the world right now. Second, from July 1 new roaming rates were enforced by the EU according to the plan that will completely get rid of roaming rates inside the EU by the end of 2015.
The European Commission passed a proposal that will lead to creation of a single telecoms market and thus abolishing roaming charges within the EU by July 2014.
Following the call to action delivered by Neelie Kroes last month, EU Commission voted through the axing of roaming fees across Europe and a promise of implementing a single integrated telecoms market. Moreover, EU Commission wants to push this idea forward fast as it may come into effect as fast as July 1, 2014. All this happened on Tuesday a week ago and unsurprisingly some stakeholders are not so keen on that idea. First of all, mobile operators say they will lose money on roaming charges on which they benefit greatly especially during the holiday season. Secondly, national regulators fear that one single market will curb their authority as they reckon a new Pan-European regulator will have to be formed and it will be governing local regulators. To counter such accusations Neelie Kroes has put forward the example of the USA. The American mobile market is almost twice as big as European one despite the fact that call rates are more than three times lower than in Europe. Additionally, in practice one single market will lead to development and growth. Customers will happily benefit from that by using new services and enjoying better quality of service, thus making the mobile operators’ revenue grow. Ms Kroes’ point is that “we shouldn’t be fighting over crumbs: we should be making the pie bigger. And that is exactly what we will do: with fewer barriers, better services, and fairer prices.” As to the national regulators Ms Kroes said that she doesn’t want to attack national regulators and they will have their function in a new united market.
Finally, we, the customers, will be the biggest beneficiaries of such a new order. For us it means that mobile operators will have to upgrade their network, bring better services, increase mobile coverage and provide competitive deals as a European market will demand that from them. However, this is all in the perspective of few years. If everything goes well in the nearest future we will be able to call and use the Internet from abroad as if we were in the UK – at no extra cost.
Neelie Kroes, a European Commissioner, called on the European Parliament to support her in her cause to abolish roaming charges within EU.
The famous European Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, who is known for capping roaming charges in the European Union, addressed the European Parliament asking for help in passing through a legislative package that would lead to one single telecommunications market. She sees that such market is an opportunity both for the Union and its citizens. Her estimations say that it could bring 110m euro of profit for Europe while the people will enjoy calls without roaming charges, which are an annoyance to all of us. She is so determined to finally introduce a single telecoms market that she strives to have such legislation approved by May 2014. This is not an ordinary date as it coincides with the next European Parliament election. Kroes says it is important to reach an agreement on single market before the election to show people that European Union is positively influencing their life. The Commissioner admitted that her proposed package is not perfect and not everyone will be satisfied, but the time for change is now and change might demand some form of compromise.
It is yet to say how mobile operators and telecoms industry bodies will react to Neelie Kroes call to action. However, it is not a secret that many service providers earn a lot on roaming charges which people have to pay even using the same operator but in different European country.
According to new British Telecom’s research 93 per cent of Brits are “mobile-phobes”. This kind of phobia develops while phone users are abroad. It means that using mobile in other country than UK arouses fear and results in reducing normal phone usage or ceasing it completely.
There are several reasons for which Brits abandon their mobile phone habits once they cross the borders of their country. First of all, 79 per cent have no idea of costs and thus they are anxious about expensive charges. 62 per cent don’t use mobiles or do it intermittently whereas 20 per cent don’t even dare to take mobiles while travelling abroad. 57 per cent of Brits answer only calls of the utmost urgency and 63 per cent reply only to the most important texts. On the other hand, 23 per cent never answer calls and 18 per cent never reply to texts.
Although being abroad Brits avoid using mobile phones, they still want to stay in touch with their friends and family (58%) but use text or e-mail (62%) instead of calling (25%). Among British people travelling abroad there are only 6 per cent who feel comfortable using mobile phones. If it was not for the fear of paying horrendous bills, the number of people who would choose to call would double and the number of those texting or e-mailing would fall by a third.
BT wanting to cure the disease has launched a new free app – SmartTalk. It links smartphones to BT home calling plan and customers are able to take advantage of the inclusive call allowance in their calling plan. The app makes phone calls are billed as if customers were calling from their BT home phone. For example, five-minute call from Thailand on O2’s PAYG card standard rate would cost a total of £14.90 but using BT SmartTalk the call would be included in one’s home calling plan.
We are almost in the middle of the summer seasons and many of had already or probably plan to go on holiday somewhere abroad. Thanks to the new EU rules the roaming costs have been cut down. Because of them if you make a mobile call from another EU country you will pay a maximum 24p/minute, a text costs 7p while 1MB of data can’t be more expensive than 58p. Thanks to that most holidaymakers won’t experience so called bill shock. Although you should remember that those limits are applicable only EU member states (so it excludes, for example, Croatia or Turkey). On top of that there is a cap of 50 euros (around £44) on data after which your mobile provider should cut you off, but it’s better to check if you have it on, as some data bundles automatically opt you out of the cap. Besides, it only works for contract owners and PAYG SIM card users will not enjoy the benefit of having the EU cut-off on. That is why below you will find a couple of tips that will save you money when you go on holidays abroad.
- Turn off your phone – this is the simplest strategy that makes sure you will not pay extra for that roaming data and calls. But frankly speaking it is just impractical and sometimes impossible to do.
- Switch off 3G and only use Wi-Fi – It’s a good idea to turn off data through 3G so the only way you can receive data is through Wi-Fi. You might think that if you don’t check e-mails or don’t surf the Internet you won’t use your data. Unfortunately, it is not true as some apps update automatically and most smartphone users have automatic e-mail checking enabled. In case you want to use 3G data just remember no to watch films, TV or download music as this consumes loads of data and my result in bills ranging from £100 to £1000 or more.
Turning of Internet data on:
– an iPhone: Settings > General > Network, and then move the data roaming slider off.
– a Blackberry: Options > Mobile Network > Change the data services field to off or off when roaming > Press menu key and click save
– a Samsung Galaxy: Menu > Settings > Wireless and network > Mobile networks> Untick data roaming
- Turn off your voicemail – Not many people know that it may be a hidden cost, as some mobile providers charge you for people leaving some messages on your voicemail.
- Get a local PAYG SIM card – If you are going to stay longer than one week or you are going on holiday with a group of people, then the most economical way is to buy some local PAYG SIM cards and use them during your holiday.
- Sign up for a daily roaming bundle – this new service has been introduced by some of the mobile providers and gives you a certain amount of allowance to use every day for a fee of £3+ a day. It’s a way to monitor your spending, but once again it is not available to pay-as-you-go customers.
Vodafone UK launched a new roaming tariff for the upcoming holiday season. This service is eligible to contract customers and thanks to it they will be able to use their monthly allowance when travelling in Europe. The price of this new service, dubbed Euro Traveller, is 3 pounds a day. If you are a Vodafone contract customer all you need to do it is call 5555 and then whenever you go abroad and start using the phone you will be charged £3 and instead of paying standard roaming rates you will unlock your monthly allowance. To prove that Euro Traveller is cost-effective Vodafone gave an example of a customer that would make three 10 minute calls, send 10 messages and use 5MB of data during one day and for that he would have to pay £17, but thanks to Euro Traveller he would pay £3 instead.
As this service is only available to contract customers Vodafone decide to reduce the prices in 35 European countries to measure up to the expectations of pay as you go SIM card owners. This means that calls will cost 28.8p/minute, texts 8.9p and for 1MB of data you will be charged 69.6p.
Euro Traveller is only available in so called Vodafone’s Europe Zone. A full list of countries supporting the service is available through the link below.
The European Parliament voted in favour of the new EU lower roaming rates regulation in Brussels on May 10. This means that across the European Union we will see a gradual decrease of roaming rates spread in time until 2014 and the first one is coming this summer.From July 1, according to the new EU law the roaming call price will be lowered to the maximum of 29c/min and 70c/MB for internet access (this corresponds respectively to 24p and 58p). In upcoming two years we will see even lower rates and finally in 2014 the roaming rates will stop at 19c/min and 20c/MB. MEP Angelika Niebler said that using mobile devices abroad remained expensive, but during summer holidays European citizen will be able to choose better roaming tariffs and from July 2014, they will be able to select a mobile provider not from their country for roaming services. The new regulations will also affect people who travel outside the European Union, as operators will be obliged to send them a text if they cross 50 euro line in a month.
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.