No Data Please, We’re Roaming

It’s estimated that around 1.5m Brits will have travelled abroad over the Easter weekend. But according to research from, while 54 per cent of them were planning to use their mobiles to make and receive calls and text messages, very few planned to make any use of data services.

GOSIM’s survey of 1,012 UK consumers found that just 11 per cent considered data services to be the most important feature of their phones when on holiday, though the figure rises to 22 per cent and 19 per cent respectively for 18-22 and 23-35 year olds. 

“Using your mobile abroad can be a costly and often unknown expense, leaving many Brits hesitant to use their phone in the same way they would at home, but that needn’t be the case.” Says GOSIM’s John Assiter.

The company notes that even those who use their phones sparingly can be caught out, particularly if they have talkative friends and family at home. One cost that consumers often overlook is receiving calls, which can range anywhere from 11p per minute in Europe to more than £1 per minute further afield, depending on the recipient’s operator.

“Holiday-makers generally cut back on calling, texting, social networking and web browsing when abroad, primarily because of their exposure to roaming costs, but for savvy travellers who opt for an international SIM card, it is possible to use the phone’s full feature set overseas without taking out a bank loan,” says Assiter.

The European Union and Ofcom last month announced a phased plan, starting in July this year and running until 2014, to force EU operators to cut costs for phone calls, messages and data for their customers when roaming in Europe. Currently EU travellers that choose to use roamed data within Europe, without a bundle plan in place, will be cut-off once they hit a spend of €50. warns British travellers not to rely on their domestic providers when heading abroad and advises that they should include their mobile phone in their preparations, and  consider using a specialist international SIM card that includes significantly discounted roaming rates.