The best networks for mobile browsing abroad

With all the new smart phones out that are almost constantly connected to the internet, looking for updates to apps, checking for email, or many other features that they have. This can end up costing you a fortune, so we have taken a look at the best options for you data hungry travellers. T-Mobile Surfing on your phone, in countries in the EU will cost you £1.50 per megabyte (MB) of data, the equivalent of about 15 of your holiday snaps being uploaded onto Facebook. This is if you are on holiday in Europe, whereas outside of the EU you can find yourself being charged £7.50 per MB of data, that’s 50p per uploaded photo. Vodafone Vodafone offer a much more confusing service allowing you to pay for data at £2 a day for 25MB in selected EU countries and 5MB in other countries in Europe. This would cost you about £14 if you’re going away for a week, or you can opt in to a contract add on for £10 a month where you get the same data usage a day. This is the best option as you can opt out of the service after just one month’s usage. If you haven’t opted in for data traveller it will cost you £1 per MB up to 5MB, then £5 for every 5 MB’s used after that, if used in Europe. For everywhere else in the world it will cost you £3 a MB up to 5 MB and then £15 for every 5MB after that. Confusing. 3 Three are less permitting when you are abroad and perhaps want to check the scores of your football team on your mobile, costing between £1.28 and £10 per MB depending where you are and what “data band” you are under. Countries in the EU and selected other European countries come under band 1 costing £1.28 per MB. Data Band 2 has countries such as Australia, USA, Cyprus and South Africa and will cost £3 per MB. Data Band 3 covers all the other countries apart from the last seven and costs £6 per MB. Data band 4 has the seven countries costing a whopping £10 per Mb, that’s a nugget for around 5 emails pushed to your phone, the seven countries on this extortionate blacklist of data charges are; India, Thailand, Canada, Croatia, Kenya, Malaysia and Oman. Orange Orange has chosen to hide the different band and rates at which they charge, but you can find out what they charge for the specific country you are visiting and is dependent on the cost plan you are on. What they also have in place, is a “data limit” of 16MB a month so that when you are travelling abroad, matter where you are in the EU you won’t come back to find £44 added to your bill for data usage. Seems like a nice touch, but since they make it hard to know, I’ll list a couple popular destinations and put their price with Orange. Spain, France and various other EU countries – £3 per MB South Africa, Australia, Seychelles and other Tropical Destinations outside of the EU – £8. O2 The quite interesting data roaming rates from O2 are by far the easiest to understand, they charge £3.07 per MB in Europe and £6 per MB in the Rest of the world, but it’s not this that is the most interesting point. They have a £40 charge limit for the month, but once you reach that, they will stop charging you and you can use up to 50 MB. It is a lot of money, but if you are planning to use your phone a lot, then this option is by far the best as you will hit your £40 limit after around 13 MB of data usage, and this service means you will get the next 37MB of data effectively free of charge. Conclusion Data charges abroad are confusing, but aside from the frustratingly large charges for staying connected in a world where it is demanded of us, there are some deals that are worth taking. Vodafone’s “Data Traveller” is by far the best service, giving you a flat fee for the usage abroad, as long as you don’t go over the data limit for each day. Dee Bhasin is Product Manager at Sanctuary Spa Holidays. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

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