Roaming mobile phone charges "snowballing"

Monday, 06 November 2006 12:00

Brits using their mobile phones abroad could be charged as much as £12.1 million a minute collectively for making a phone call home this winter.

According to price comparison site, holidaymakers paying-as-they-go with the 3 network will be charged the most for outgoing calls – spending £1 for every minute to a UK landline from Spain.

Cricket fans enjoying the Australian sun this winter will be forking out even more to call home if they are O2 pay-as-you-go customers, paying out £1.49 per minute to a UK landline.

However, it is not just making calls that costs money when you are abroad – O2’s pay-as-you-go customers in Europe will be charged 94p a minute just to receive calls, which rises to 99p per minute in Australia and the US.

Robert Kenley, head of mobiles at, commented: “The high cost of making and receiving calls when abroad on holiday this winter may put some holidaymakers off keeping in contact with people back home in the UK.

“However, there are a number of ways they can cut the cost. For example people who travel abroad frequently should consider purchasing a local country or global SIM card, as this option is consistently cheaper than calling via one of the UK networks.

“An international SIM could bring the cost of making a call from Europe down to just 22p per minute with no charge to receive calls. However, there will be an initial pay-out for the card and a starter pack.

“For those who use their phone abroad infrequently, it’s cost-effective and convenient to use their own mobile operator.” finds T-Mobile customers get the best deal abroad, paying 55p per minute to make or receive calls in Europe and the US, and 75p per minute for outgoing or 70p a minute for incoming calls, whether on a contract or a pay-as-you-go deal.

Another cost cutting option for holidaymakers visiting Spain with O2 contracts is the new ‘High Roamer’ service, which for a monthly fee of £5, drops the rate of outgoing calls to 25p per minute with free incoming calls. Full story

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