Smartphone owners warned on foreign data costs

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Car Rental News - 01/07/2010


Travellers surfing or emailing abroad could be in for painful bills.

Holidaymakers are being warned to be cautious about using mobile phones to surf the world wide web or check their emails while abroad. A new EU law kicks in this month that limits the amount cellular networks can bill users for data roaming but that won’t be able to help those travelling farther abroad, outside the European Union.

The massive rise in the popularity of smartphones, some of which challenge conventional PCs in terms of computing power and sophistication, means more and more people expect to be able to surf the web, manage their emails, post to their blogs or keep abreast of developments via Facebook or Twitter. As some have found out to their chagrin, the cost of data roaming – the name for mobile internet access while abroad – can literally add up to thousands of pounds.

As price shopping web site MoneySupermarket points out, it is far too easy for users to inadvertently run up huge bills on their mobile devices. Orange and Tesco Mobile users run the biggest risk, as those providers charge up to £8 per megabyte of data downloaded while using a foreign network. The price at O2 ranges up to £6. T-Mobile charges £7.50 and Vodafone charges £3.

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