Fear of costly data roaming charges send us back to basics with our mobiles.
An estimated 1.5 million British holiday makers travelled abroad over the Easter weekend, and although research shows that we will continue to use our mobile phones whilst overseas, 54% of us will restrict our mobile activity to making and receiving calls and text messages.
Despite the rise and rise of social networking and other data services we usually access on our mobiles, it seems that we don’t pack our Facebook addiction along with the sun cream and passports when we are heading off on our hols.
Just 11% of those surveyed by GOSIM.com considered social networking to be the most important feature of their phones when on holiday - although this figure was higher among the 18-35 years age groups.
The cost charged by mobile operators for data roaming is one of the great unknowns, and according to John Assiter of GOSIM.com, leaves “many Brits hesitant to use their phone in the same way they would at home.”
Even those who use their phones sparingly can be caught out as there are costs incurred when using your phone abroad that do not apply back home, such as the cost to receive calls. Getting a call from chatty Auntie Beryl can set you back anything between 11p per minute in Europe to more than £1 per minute further afield depending on your operator.
These charges make us so nervous that a significant proportion of us, especially those in the upper age brackets, will switch their phones off altogether when on holiday.
However, Assiter says it needn’t be so costly, and savvy travellers should opt for an international SIM card making it “possible to use the phone’s full feature set overseas without taking out a bank loan.”
Last month the European Union and telecoms regulator Ofcom announced a phased plan, starting in July and running until 2014, to force EU operators to cut costs for phone calls, messages and data for their customers when in Europe.