A recent analysis conducted for a midsize pharmaceutical company showed a savings opportunity of more than $70,000 per year by simply optimizing its 300 international travelers. Find out how To Reduce Data Roaming below.
Most of us have read the horror stories of people who have incurred massive telephone bills while holidaying abroad. The culprit for bills that have sometimes run into five figures is data roaming charges, a tariff that automatically kicks in when you use your cell phone overseas.
Even if you avoid telephone calls, receiving text messages or voice mails, still uses data roaming charges but the biggest culprits and where most charges clock up is Internet access.
Every year, a story hits the newspapers of people that have received extraordinary and unbelievable bills for using their mobile phone to access the Internet on the Bali, in the Turkey, Russia, Canada…. you name it.
Also, for companies with employees traveling internationally, the ability to stay connected with mobile devices is imperative. Unfortunately, this could means astronomical roaming fees.
It is easy for enterprise users or frequent travelers to incur charges of $1,000 or more on a week-long business trip. The high cost of roaming services arises from international transport charges incurred by the home network provider (all calls, even incoming calls originating from the foreign country being visited, are routed via the home provider’s network), the wholesale charges levied by the foreign network to the home wireless provider to originate/terminate the call on its network, and the significant pricing markups applied by all carriers involved.
What is Data Roaming and How To Reduce Data Roaming?
“It is sending and receiving of data on a mobile network that your operator doesn’t own or have coverage of. The data is used to download music, watch films, listen to music and access most social media sites including Facebook and Instagram.”
Many people might not realise that they are running up data roaming charges:
“Many apps, especially those for news and social media, download the latest data in the background, even if they are not in active use. Instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger also use data.”
There were 78 million international business trips made in 2014 by North Americans and Europeans, iPass reports. The index reveals international business travelers from North America and Europe are overspending by at least $1.33 billion on connectivity charges when traveling each year. In 2014, business travelers from North America and Europe made 78 million international business trips, according to travel researchers IPK International. The direct and indirect costs of keeping these business travelers online through cellular roaming, pay-on-demand Wi-Fi and free Wi-Fi would have been at least $2.22 billion for all of these trips. In contrast, providing business travelers with access to an unlimited global Wi-Fi network would realize savings of at least $1.33 billion.
Of the $1.33 billion being wasted, $430 million stems from business trips within Europe, a further $379 million comes from Europeans traveling outside of Europe, and $525 million from North Americans traveling internationally. According to iPass press release, the cost of connectivity varies for international business travelers across both Europe and North America depending on the methods they use. Using a cellular roaming-only approach would cost North Americans traveling internationally $828 – $1,780 per month. For Europeans traveling within Europe, the cost would be $85 – $425, and for those traveling outside Europe the cost would be $1,458 – $2,130. These staggering costs are a result of both cellular roaming charges, and an increase in data consumption by business travelers, which currently stands at 4.5GB per month.
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6 tips to reduce data use and avoid roaming costs
1. Keep an eye on how much data you use: Many phones let you set a data warning and will alert you when you are close to the usage limit.
2. Set a Data Roaming Cap: Most Mobile operators offering Data Roaming spend caps. Also most of them are sending you text alerts when you are getting close to your cap and when you reach it.
3. Get an add-on: Most networks offer add-ons for non-EU countries. Mobile customers heading to a country not covered by Roam Like Home, can consider getting the Travel Data Pass add-on via operator app or in shop.
4. Be careful how you use your phone: Avoid uploading or downloading large pictures or video files using mobile data, as these can quickly consume your allowance. Use wi-fi or download before you go. Likewise be careful using Google Maps, which requires an active data connection.
5. Turn off app updates: Apps like Instagram and WhatsApp stay up-to-data by updating in the background, which means your phone could be using data without realising it. Head to the Settings menu, look for Updates and make are turned off or only happen when you are connected to a wi-fi hotspot.
6. Take advantage of wi-fi: Wi-fi hotspots are readily available in hotels or coffee shops although they can be insecure.