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Roaming free: Airport Parking & Hotels compares data roaming charges on mobile networks when travelling abroad
29/Oct/2015
According to recent research by the mobile network Three, travellers can save up to £330 each year by taking advantage of their new ‘Feel at Home’ scheme whilst travelling abroad. With this in mind, Airport Parking & Hotels (APH) is helping savvy travellers avoid unnecessary high bills by comparing data roaming charges on the UK’s most popular mobile networks.

The research compares seven of the largest mobile networks in the UK including EE, GiffGaff, O2, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone, and highlights the differences between the cost of using data in both Europe and worldwide, data limits whilst roaming and the travel data bundles available to customers.

When travelling in Europe, mobile networks such as Giffgaff, O2, Tesco Mobile and Three were found to charge between 14.5p per MB and 19p per MB for both Pay As You Go and Pay Monthly customers. However, customers travelling within Vodafone’s ‘Europe Zone 2’ boundary will be charged 45p per MB when exceeding over 100MB of data whereas Three customers will be charged £3 per MB when travelling to ‘Data Band 2’ countries. Travellers should also note that some networks, such as EE Extra and Virgin Mobile, will automatically block data roaming access until a customer has activated a travel data bundle.

When travelling outside of Europe, data roaming charges also vary significantly. Vodafone was found to charge the least providing data roaming at a cost of £3 per MB in 153 countries and Tesco Mobile charging the most at £8 per MB. Three customers can benefit from being charged from their UK allowance whilst travelling in seven ‘Feel at Home’ countries outside of Europe including Australia, Hong Kong and the USA. On the other hand, EE customers are not allowed to access the internet unless they purchase a travel data bundle.

Travellers concerned about overspending, should note that six of the seven mobile networks limit data usage whilst abroad with Three, Virgin and Vodafone limiting customers to £36 spending per month and O2 capping roaming usage to £48 per month. Customers requiring additional data whilst aboard can modify the spending limit if needed. Giffgaff does not limit any type of data usage abroad but customers may request a complete bar on data roaming. For travellers on Pay As You Go for all mobile networks, there is no limit on spending but data access will be stopped once the credit balance is empty.

Travel data bundles are available from five of the mobile networks researched, with Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile both not offering travel bundles to their customers. Pay Monthly customers with EE can benefit from the EE Euro Pass, charging £4 per day for unlimited texts and calls whilst abroad and 400MB of data, whereas O2 charges £1.99 per day for unlimited data roaming in Europe. Giffgaff and Tesco Mobile both do not currently offer travel data bundles. - See more at: http://www.traveldailynews.com/news/article/68766/roaming-free-airport-parking-amp#.dpuf
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