Conferencing From the Beach: The Costs of Doing Business in Paradise

Mobile phones have made it easy to keep up to date with your business no matter where you are in the world. But at what cost to your bank balance?

It’s a familiar scenario: you’ve managed to get away to an idyllic destination, a place where the dilemmas of the mid-week rush are alleviated. However, as a relied-upon professional there may still be times when you need to reply to emails, join conference calls or keep track of ongoing projects. Or maybe you just want to upload your holiday snaps to show the office what they’re missing!

Suddenly, that feeling of dread creeps in as you wonder how much it’s costing you each time you surf the web or make a call. Large £ signs fill your brain as you imagine the possible ‘Bill Shock’ that might come your way when you return to the U.K.

Have you racked up £100s by using your mobile abroad? Well, if you’re visiting the EU then the answer is most likely no.

Roaming Costs Have Dramatically Dropped and Will Continue to Fall

On April 30th 2016 the European Commission imposed a cap on the amount that mobile networks can charge a customer for making calls, sending texts or accessing data within the EU. This is with the vision that customers should eventually ‘roam like home’, which means your mobile experience will be the same whether your care in the UK or travelling in Europe.

Roaming charges still vary depending on which provider you are with, however, the commission has stipulated that networks cannot charge more that the below fees (on top of a customer’s domestic rate):

• €0.05 (per minute) for outgoing calls
• €0.02 per text message
• €0.05 per MB of data used
• Incoming calls are charged at a set rate no higher than €0.0114

This is great news for anyone travelling in the EU, and for business travellers who need to check in with the office whilst abroad.

“A victory for consumers and a stepping stone towards a truly European digital single market.” – Viviane Reding, Former vice-president of the European Commission, The Guardian.

As of April this year, there is no charge for receiving a text in Europe, so texting is ideal for regular, immediate work updates rather than sending emails.

Each network has their own unique roaming plans, to provide a more cost-effective option when abroad. O2’s Bolton, called ‘O2 Travel’, which includes the use of texts, minutes and data, for only £1.66 (+VAT per day). To find out more about this plan, click here.

Roam Like Home: Charges will be Abolished in 2017

The EU’s next step is to ban roaming charges altogether in 2017. When this happens, all mobile activity will be charged at your normal monthly rates, so using your phone in the EU will be the same as using it at home.

Tips for Reducing Your Data Usage When Abroad

If you would like to keep your data on, but conserve the amount you use for when you really need it, then there are some changes you can make within your phone’s settings to help this.

  1. Turn off auto-app updatesphone
    Your applications are continuously using your phone’s data to keep updated. Disable the auto-updates on all of your unneeded apps.
  2. Switch off email and push app notification
    You may have set your phone up to receive notifications when something occurs on an app. This uses data also, so disable these in settings.
  3. Disable Video Auto-play
    When using your Facebook app, auto-play will play videos as you scroll through your News Feed. Turn this off to reduce data usage and save battery.

For more information on the roaming plans available for your business, call Welcomm on 0800 064 64 64.

Written by Keegan Stanton.

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