Smart Tricks to Reduce Your Mobile Roaming Charges

We understand that our non-profit customers need their mobiles to operate well, no matter where they are in the world. Whether you’re travelling for work or you want to share photos of your latest volunteering trip, this definitive guide to saving money on international roaming will help. Roaming allows you to stay connected to the internet via your mobile while travelling – however this can come with some unexpectedly high costs without careful management. Here are GoodCall’s tips for reducing your mobile roaming charges for your organisation.

  • Keep an eye on how much data you’re actually using

Many phones and network apps let you keep track of your usage and set data warning that will alert you when you are close to your allocated limit. This can be done via your networks’ mobile app.

  • Set a Data Roaming Cap

You can set a data roaming cap on your phone. This will help give you peace of mind that if you do end up going over your allowance, you’ll know how much you are being charged. The networks often send you test alerts when you are close to reaching your cap and will tell you when it has been reached.

  • Get an add-on

Get in touch with GoodCall – most networks offer add-ons for roaming, especially when it comes to travel in non-EU countries. Data can be purchased in blocks to fit your requirements before you travel.

  • Avoid uploading, sending or downloading large files

Large files can quickly eat up your data allowance – if you need to send, upload or download high resolution images or large files, try and do this over a Wi-Fi connection. If you need to use data for navigation with your mobile, you can find many options to make maps available offline. You can use apps like Here We Go and Google Maps offline settings to help reduce data usage.

  • Turn off automatic or background updates

Popular apps like Whatsapp and Instagram stay up to date by constantly refreshing in the background, which means you could be eating through your data allowance without even realising it. Head to your settings and make sure that updates are turned off or are only allowed when your device is connected to Wi-Fi.

  • Take advantage of public Wi-Fi

You can find reliable and free public Wi-Fi across many places in the world, with connectivity only set to increase. You can find Wi-Fi hotspots readily available in hotels, coffee shops and a range of other public places. (Remember to check the public wi-fi is secure!)

Roaming Charges and Brexit

There are lots of questions and concerns in the third sector about the impact of Brexit. One of the issues that may impact those who travel to Europe regularly will be changes to roaming charges at the end of the transition period. For organisations with users that travel to Europe regularly, one of the issues that most concerns them is the mobile phone roaming and the associated cost of data usage.

As there is no current agreement in place, UK mobile network operators will be able to reintroduce roaming charges.  That’s because usage will incur costs for the networks when you use your device abroad and there will be nothing to stop them passing this charge on to end users.  There could also be some issues about accessing networks in other parts of Europe as the UK will no longer have the same availability as it does currently. However, the government has already passed some early legislation that will protect consumers and plan users post-Brexit. These include:

  • A £45-a-month limit on the amount that customers could be charged for using mobile data abroad before having to opt into further use
  • Requirements for customers to be informed when they have reached 80% and 100% of their data allowances
  • Operators would have to take steps to avoid accidental roaming. This would particularly important in the case of devices in Northern Ireland accidentally locking on to networks in the Republic of Ireland.

Mobile network operators will be able to implement roaming charges after the end of the agreed transition period, however EE, Vodafone and O2 have stated that they currently have no plans to change their roaming services in the EU due to the popularity of the current ‘roam like home’ experience.

If any major changes are made to the roaming policy, we will continue to support our customers to get the best possible deal on their mobile phones. As part of our analysis, we also offer roaming bolt-on’s that can help keep costs low.

 

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