UK mobile broadband contract customers could be charged as much as £250 for downloading a 5 minute video clip whilst on holiday outside of the EU this summer and up to £150 within the EU.
The research carried out by broadband comparison site www.Broadband-Expert.co.uk, has revealed massive discrepancies between the UK’s top 5 mobile broadband providers for data usage abroad. Orange was the most expensive, charging £3.94 per Mb inside the EU and £6.32 per Mb outside the EU. (1Mb equates to downloading one 3 minute music track). Vodafone were found to be the cheapest provider, charging £9.99 for a day’s use of up to at 50Mb inside the EU (which equates to 20p per Mb).
Mobile broadband usage abroad (cost per Mb)
Provider - EU Countries - Rest of World
Vodafone - *£0.20 - £4.99
T-Mobile - £1.50 - £7.50
O2 - £2.94 - £6.00
Three - £3.00 - £6.00
Orange - £3.94 - £6.32
*£9.99 per 24hrs (max 50mb download per day)
It will come as a surprise to many that Vodafone is the cheapest provider, after reports last week of a British man who was billed nearly £22,000 after downloading TV programmes with a Vodafone mobile broadband card on a skiing holiday (Vodafone did waive the bill). Rob Webber, Broadband Expert’s Commercial Director, explains that whilst Vodafone’s current rates for usage abroad are by far the cheapest, the excessive Vodafone bill reported last week was due to the customer being on an old tariff contracted through a third party retailer.
Webber stated that “whilst we would like to see companies be more proactive in moving their customers away from unreasonable rates, Vodafone has come a long way in addressing this and is now by far the cheapest provider for those who want to access mobile broadband abroad.”
Webber believes that mobile broadband providers need to be more consistent in their charges and communicate them more clearly. Webber explains that the “information relating to mobile broadband charges abroad is often hard to find on many providers websites leaving customers open to excessive charges.“
Webber urges consumers planning on using mobile broadband abroad this summer to carefully read the small print on their contract to avoid any nasty surprises. He also recommends only light usage, such as checking emails and general web surfing and to completely avoid downloading videos and music whilst abroad.
Broadband Expert (http://www.broadband-expert.co.uk) is part of RichWeb Media, a privately owned UK company. We aim to provide expert advice and information to allow consumers to make more informed decisions when purchasing broadband or mobile broadband services.
For further information, please contact Rob Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org
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