If you are going on holiday outside Europe this summer, think carefully about using your smartphone. With a bit of bad luck, you can use tens of euros worth of mobile data traffic in a few seconds. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid a hefty phone bill at home.
We’ve become quite spoiled over the years. Because on a trip within Europe you can use your smartphone just like at home. You do not have to pay anything extra for calling, texting or using the mobile internet in other countries of the European Union. In addition, your data bundle is also valid on the Spanish costas and the Italian Lake Garda.
But you leave the EU faster than you think. For example, Turkey is only included in the EU by Vodafone. And T-Mobile surprises customers with extra costs in Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra, according to a tour of NU.nl along the three largest Dutch mobile providers.
Those who go on holiday even further outside Europe are completely screwed. For mobile internet outside Europe, mobile providers sometimes charge as much as 10 euros per MB. You use up a MB in the blink of an eye. Sending or receiving one photo via WhatsApp will cost you a tenner in the least favorable case.
To protect you against a high telephone bill, KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile work with a data ceiling. If you use more than 60.50 euros in mobile internet abroad, your data connection will be blocked. You can then no longer use mobile internet.
You will soon reach the data ceiling
You will soon find that amount outside the EU, with data rates of 2.50 euros to 10 euros per MB. In the worst case scenario, you can already reach the data ceiling with a WhatsApp video call of only two minutes.
If you cannot do without mobile internet while on the road, KPN, Vodafone and T-Mobile offer bundles with calling minutes, text messages and mobile data traffic. Internet with such a bundle is cheaper than the normal MB rate. But the prices are still much higher than in the Netherlands and the bundles are smaller.
Turn off mobile internet outside Europe completely
If you do not want to be confronted with a higher telephone bill when you return home, it is wise to switch off the mobile data connection, advises the Consumers Association. Don’t make the mistake of switching on fast mobile internet in between.
If you do turn on the mobile internet connection, all apps will check for new notifications. Your device will then consume several MBs of data traffic in a few seconds. Those few seconds can therefore cost you tens of euros.
Use Wi-Fi networks outside Europe
According to the Consumers’ Association, it is wiser to only use Wi-Fi networks when on holiday outside Europe. This allows you to call or send messages to family members via WhatsApp.
As long as you use the WiFi network, apping or calling via WhatsApp costs nothing. This saves you a lot of money unnoticed, because calling outside the EU via the mobile network costs between 1 and 4.75 euros per minute. Being called costs between 25 cents and 1.75 euros per minute.
According to the Consumers’ Association, those who want cheaper mobile calls or use the internet outside the EU can often save money by buying a local SIM card. This allows you to call and use the internet at local rates. These are usually much lower than the foreign rates charged by Dutch providers.
Source: NU by www.nu.nl.
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