Irish holidaymaker’s data consumption increased by 218% in 2017
Carphone Warehouse is advising holidaymakers to check their mobile contracts before going on holidays to avoid ‘bill shock’ when they get home.
New EU ‘Roam like Home’ regulations introduced last year saw the end of roaming charges in the EU for Irish consumers. The new regulations mean that phone plans in Ireland remain the same in the EU but it’s important to fully understand the policy before going on holiday to avoid any hidden charges.
The experts at Carphone Warehouse has put together its top tips to help consumers understand the rules and avoid any extra charges.
- Fair usage: While using data in the EU, it will be subject to a fair usage policy. This is set by your network and while some networks are allowing full usage of data while aboard, others are giving as much as 7GB EU data roaming – which should be more than enough if you use it wisely. However, it’s best to check with your network provider before you travel to see how much allowance you have while you roam as out of plan charges will apply when you go over your allowance
- Calls on networks here and abroad: If you have free calls to the same network here, this will apply in EU member states. If you’re currently charged a certain cost for sending a text to another network, this will stay the same but calling an international number, even if you are in that country, will cost more.
- Know your limits: Think about what you use your phone for to avoid going over your data limit. Phone companies can charge up to €7.70 plus VAT for one gigabyte of data if you exceed the deal in place in your bill bundle which equates to a couple of hours of normal internet usage, like Instagram or Google. Using YouTube and streaming sites such as Netflix will eat into the data quicker. If you are over your limit by even just one GB a day on a five-day trip, your bill will be around €50 more expensive.
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Last year, the Body of the of European Regulators in Electronic Communications found that between July and September 2017, data usage by Irish citizens travelling in the EU increased by 218%.
- In the period April to June 2017, Irish citizens used 390,000GB of data while travelling in the EU. From July to September this figure dramatically increased to 1.24 million gigabytes.
- The increased usage is not only data related. The number of SMS messages sent increased from 12.84 million in the 2nd quarter to 23.87 million in the 3rd quarter – an increase of 85%.
- “The number of minutes spent on the phone also increased from 20.8 million minutes to 45.8 million minutes – an increase of 120%.”
“Thanks to the EU reforms of roaming, you will pay that same for calls, texts and data usage as if you were in Ireland. You will not be charged for taking or making calls or sending an SMS,” said Declan Kenny, Head of Commercial, Carphone Warehouse. “However, we would always advise you check with your mobile operator to understand your data allowances before you go.”