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Data roaming cost: is there a non-travel clause in the mobility era?

Sogeti Labs
June 11, 2013

DataRoamingAfter traveling outside of my residence country for the past two weeks, I just realized that I was becoming dumber. Some of you probably noticed that long time ago, but reality just hit me last week. How come: Cost of data roaming. I don’t have unlimited fund to pay for my phone cost every month, so I need to be careful when abroad, otherwise I will have to pay the bill, because my manager will not accept to pay more than the max allowed in the company policies. Fair enough, so I don’t use the data on the phone, and try to only take important phone calls (sorry Mom). Yes, but what about my emails? What about the GPS to find my meetings place, my hotel and restaurant? What about ‘around me’ to find good restaurants in the area? What about all the apps I am use to consult /use for work or personal life? In the USA the data roaming would had cost 16.81 CHF per MB (when traveling in Europe, it would cost 1 CHF per MB), so I basically spent two weeks looking for Wifi everywhere I was going, and I got lost so many times on my way to meetings that I know my customers’ neighborhood better than them. Not to mention my Spanish coworker yelling at me because I was not answering email quickly enough. What about mobility? We can all access all kind of content, professional and private through our mobile, and simplifying our life, but for that we need a network at a reasonable price. Should I understand that in the mobility era there is a non-travel clause? I can understand the fee for using a different network outside of your country, and I for sure understand the extra money providers are making with travelers, but please I think it’s time to propose European data & voice plan, and affordable price between continent, it will really help people leverage mobility. I dug into my mobile provider options and found something for international roaming, like a special rate for 100 Mbytes/month to use when abroad in some specific limited country. And I remember the international option I was using with my Blackberry when living in the USA. Despite my rather desperate tone when starting this post, some options exist but are far too expensive for the moment. And frankly, I don’t want to check how much data I am using to make sure I am still within my plan boundaries. This would remind me of the beginning of internet providers when I had a 20 hours per month plan. If any telecom provider reads this post, feel free to propose a European plan, and I will be your first customer and hopefully not the only one!

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SogetiLabs gathers distinguished technology leaders from around the Sogeti world. It is an initiative explaining not how IT works, but what IT means for business.


    One thought on “Data roaming cost: is there a non-travel clause in the mobility era?

    1. Perhaps we could start a reverse bidding war: if enough international travelers join forces, perhaps we can negotiate with providers! 🙂

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