The traditional holiday season has now come to an end, many of us are thinking about a late summer getaway. Omio is looking into ways for you save money, on using your mobile phone abroad.
We are rounding up what each mobile phone network offers as a holiday addition to its tariffs, to avoid that nasty bill shock, upon your return. These add-ons are not only ideal for a holiday, but also for those travelling for a long periods of time outside the UK. Perhaps, for those taking a gap year between college and university.
O2 pre-empted the need for a holiday-orientated addition to its tariffs, back in May this year. It launched O2 Travel, which came with a tag line of “use your mobile worry free when abroad”.
This allows people travelling within Europe to have a 25MB roaming data allowance, for £1.99 a day. A low-cost calling feature accompanies it. There is a one-off charge of 50p for connecting a call – where the following minutes are then taken of the tariff’s minute allowance.
This will save on the high cost of data roaming for updating or reading social networking sites, along with calling phone numbers either locally or even back in the UK.
The scheme started in July and is available as an add-on to monthly, and business customers. People on O2 Pay and Go can also use the bolt-on, excluding BlackBerry users. Unfortunately, only the mobile broadband feature is available to them and international calls start at 28p a minute and 7p, to receive them.
O2 Travel is available for use in Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Monaco, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Vatican, San Marino, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Users of the mobile phone network are still supported outside the above, and in over 200 countries. The cost for using the handset in those different places varies.
In June, Vodafone announced a similar add-on to O2, under the moniker of EuroTraveller. Pay monthly and business customers can use all the benefits of their tariffs while travelling in Europe, for £3 a day. This means that whatever minutes, text message bundle and data allowance Vodafone customers have – they can use on holiday, without incurring any additional fees.
For example, a pay monthly customer using Vodafone EuroTraveller can make three 10 minute calls, send 10 text messages back to the UK and use 5MB of mobile Internet and pay £3 (plus the UK price plan). This would previously cost more than £17, on Vodafone’s old roaming prices.
Vodafone customers can opt into the scheme by dialling 5555. This cost includes VAT and will only be charged when in used abroad. The benefits also extend to receiving calls and text messages, as they are free, just as they would be in the UK.
The EuroTraveller add-on can be used in Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey), Croatia, Cyprus (exc. Northern Cyprus), Czech, Republic, Denmark (inc. Faroe Islands), Estonia, Finland, France, French West Indies, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece. Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy,(inc. San Marino and Vatican City), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (inc. Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (inc. Balearic Islands and Canary Islands), Sweden and Switzerland.
Three launched its Euro Internet pass, in June. It allows its pay monthly customers to access the Internet from their mobile phones, outside the UK, for £5 a day. It stops users worrying about how much a bill is being run up, when they tweet, tag, browse, upload, search or use Google, while on holiday.
There isn’t any calling or text message features to this, only unlimited mobile Internet use. The Internet is one of those things that you can use without realising how much time has passed and how much it has cost. Therefore, this is a worthy add-on to have on holiday.
The bolt-on has been designed for just browsing, so video streaming might not be as good as it is in the UK and tethering isn’t included.
Three customers wishing to use the service abroad just need to open their mobile browser at http://mobile.three.co.uk/europass. It does revolve around UK time, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what the time it is back home.
The Euro Internet Pass can be used in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal (incl. Azores & Madeira), Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (incl. Balearic & Canary Islands), Sweden, Vatican City, Monaco.
Orange has a 3-in-1 bundle for travelling abroad, which is a calling, text message and a roaming data allowance – for both monthly and PAYG customers. This starts with a 30MB limit for £3 a day or £20 for 30 days, for use within Europe. The weekly deal includes 50 minutes and 100 text messages, to use over the seven days. The data allowance can be increased to 150MB for £50, and 500MB costs £150.
This can be used with the following countries: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe (inc St Barthelemy and St Martin), Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Martinique, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal (inc Azores and Madeira), Reunion, Romania, San Marino, Satellite, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (inc. Canary and Balearic Islands), Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican City (Italy)
Orange has also launched a range of applications for the real-time monitoring of a phone abroad, under the name of Travel Angel. It is available for Android, BlackBerry and Apple devices. This detects whatever country it’s being used in and if there isn’t a roaming bundle, it can recommend one that can be instantly bought. Alerts can also be set, to inform when a pre-set threshold is approaching.
Outside the EU, the 3-in-1 bundle starts at £6 a day for 30MB and reaches £15 – depending on the country. The 30 day, 30MB begins at £20 and climbs to £40. A 150MB data allowance is priced at £75 and hits £125, while 500MB cost £175 and reaches £400.
T-Mobile launched its Internet & Broadband Travel Booster add-on, in June. This is a roaming data allowance for use abroad. It is designed for both mobile phones and also dongles, on consumer and business tariffs.
Costs start at £1 for 3MB, which lasts for 30 days – or until it is reached. This limit can be increased to 10MB, for £2.50 or 50MB costs £10: for use in Europe. The fee is added to the monthly bill, or deducted from any pay as you go credit.
The Internet & Broadband Travel Booster can be used in Azores, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Martinique, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Reunion and Vatican City.
Outside Europe, the price starts at £5 for 3MB and reaches £25. 10MB starts at £10 and hits the ceiling at £75, while £37.50 will get you 20MB and that price stretches to £140 – depending where you are in the world.