Summer Roaming – How Was It For You?
We’re now back to work after a wonderful warm summer. Many of us travelled abroad during the school holidays and enjoyed a period of relaxing in the sun. However, we’re now back to work, and re-adjusting to our own cool damp UK weather. The “Back to School” period is not helped by receiving a large mobile phone bill at the end of the holidays. It can be something of a shock to see how call charges and data charges mount up while you’re on holiday abroad.
Being on holiday doesn’t mean being out of contact any more – it actually means there is more time to update Facebook and share photos, while tablets provide great entertainment for everyone during long journeys. As well as entertaining the family, most business people like to use a laptop or a tablet or a smartphone to keep in touch while they’re away. The trouble is, unless you are vigilant about phone tariffs and charges, you may be dismayed by the bill from your mobile operator upon your return to work.
The mobile operators’ standard charges for overseas calls are fairly high, with Vodafone charging around 20p per minute for calls to the UK from Europe, and a whopping £38.29 per megabyte of data, and mobile Internet rising to £95 plus VAT per month, for locations outside Europe. O2’s charges are slightly different, with calls to the UK from Europe at 23.33p per minute, and as much as £1.20 per minute from other locations, depending on the country you are calling from. O2 caps data usage and charges at £33.34 per month, with a limit of 100MB for travellers in Europe, and a 50MB limit for the rest of the world. At these levels, if you are unprepared, roaming charges could add quite a lot to the cost of your holiday, especially if your family owns several mobile phones, so it’s well worth changing to the operators’ overseas call packages.
Companies that provide mobile phones for business use can find it difficult to distinguish between business and personal call charges. Company policies in this area differ. Even so, mobile call charges and data roaming are usually a large element of a business’s telecoms costs, and at Connect we are able to advise clients on the most economical tariffs for their needs.
We would also suggest installing a Mobile Gateway, such as one of the Avaya products we offer, to help control the costs of all of your mobile calls and data. This can often halve a company’s mobile phone costs.
A mobile gateway works by sending the calls via the most cost-efficient route. For example, fixed-to-mobile calls can be converted to mobile-to-mobile, so that they qualify for the best tariff. For businesses that have more than one location linked by an IP network, the mobile gateway can route the calls over the network, so that they cost next to nothing – they are routed through the corporate network, regardless of location.
Connect provides a totally impartial view of the mobility solutions market working with all the leading manufacturers in this area.
So the technology does exist that helps avoid those nasty September surprises – the inflated mobile bill you receive just as the weather’s getting murky again!