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Saturday, April 23, 2011

International Data Roaming costs are sending you broke!

Telstra sign on an Telstra Telephone ExchangeImage via WikipediaWe continue to hear stories of travellers with smartphones (particularly iPhone users) incurring huge data-roaming bills, particularly Telstra customers.

One (big) reason for this is the charging mechanism used by Telstra (Optus also has its problems). Telstra charges 1.5 cents per kilobyte, PLUS a 50c per-data-session flagfall. A data session is a connection from your handset.

There can be (and often are) many simultaneous data sessions running on an iPhone, for instance the default e-mail setting is to check e-mails every minute - that means that even if you don't send or receive e-mails but don't change the settings you will incur a charge of more than 50c each minute.
Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase 
If you leave your phone on whilst roaming for a 16-hour day, that is more than $720 per day, just for (no) e-mail! It makes a mockery of the per-kilobyte charge, as the effective rate jumps up to perhaps as high as 2.5 or more cents per KB when the flagfall is included

People are constantly confused by the topic..  is it a call cost or a data pack cost?
You can actually use one for the other and vice versa - but be warned doing so will either save you a bucket of money or bury you in debt.  They accumulate cost diferently .. see this forum article about the data rate for either and how it is effected by which application you use (ie., talking or surfing the web)
Good News
  For the Aussie Business Exec's travelling to Bangkok
The "Asoke PA" service has set up a bargain deal on Thai Sim cards with Phone and Data Packs!
They can hook you up to include unlimited Internet use for about 15% of the rate you would pay in Australia.   The idea is to switch sim cards on arrival and use the local service.  
Lovebettie at RockFest Stage I 
Apart from the massive savings on net use you will also save huge costs on phone calls
Make sure you have made sure you phone is unlocked so you can switch sim cards.
Asoke PA service is a new concept to provide "Personal Assistants" for busy travellers or those on short term stay. The PA's fastrack everything for you  to ensure a seamless experiencfe; Orientate, Translate and Negotiate.
see more at Asoke PA.

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