How to control global roaming bill shock

Bill shock after a business trip overseas is nothing new – global roaming costs are notoriously high.

Of course, it’s important to have access to data, colleagues, and customers while travelling on business, meaning turning your handset off for the duration of your trip isn’t a possibility.

Christopher Greig of Macquarie Telecom has some tips to help keep costs under control:

  • Do some research on the roaming and call costs by country before you go. Each country is different and even an airport stop over can catch you off-guard, so it’s important to be aware of the specifics.
  • Set your email to only update on request so your handset doesn’t automatically check for mail and consume data. Only check your email when you have Wi-Fi access. Similarly, turn off notifications and updates for apps.
  • Map services use up a lot of data. Some devices allow you to download maps in Australia and then access them without using data while overseas.
  • Use free wireless hotspots wherever you can. Popular venues are airports, hotels, fast food chains, cafes, libraries, and major shopping centres.
  • Calls you receive will cost you, so use SMS where possible. Turn off diversions, including voicemail. Consider changing your voicemail message to advise that you’re overseas, and offer alternative contact methods if appropriate.
  • Avoid downloads and streaming video and music.

If you’re not sure that you’ll be able to control costs using these tips, consider purchasing a global roaming package to better suit your needs.

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