Mobile users encouraged to save money when abroad

Visitors from the UK using their mobile phone in Europe this summer can save themselves around 40 per cent or more on their bill by following advice published by Oftel.

While many mobile phone users are still unaware of the higher charges for making and receiving calls when abroad, the Oftel survey gave a few simple tips on how consumers can save money when using their mobile phone abroad.

Key findings of the survey are:
  • Pre-pay customers can reduce their phone bill by 18 per cent by changing the settings on their phone and using a different mobile network when abroad.
  • Holidaymakers, with a monthly contract, going on a two-week holiday to France can reduce their phone bill by 21 per cent by signing up for their mobile operator's international traveller services.
  • Frequent travellers, or those spending a long period of time in France, can save themselves money by using the SIM card of a French mobile operator during their stay.
This latest research follows on from an Oftel survey into the savings possible for mobile users travelling between the UK and Ireland. The results of both surveys suggest that similar savings can be made by applying the same principles wherever you are in Europe.

David Edmonds, Director General of Telecommunications, said that the most important thing was for users to check charges with mobile operator before travelling: "When using your mobile phone abroad it's easy to get caught out by higher charges - and the fact that you get charged for receiving as well as making calls.

"Call costs vary a lot between different tariffs and many customers are taken by surprise when they tot up their phone bill at the end of their trip.

"Check how much it will cost to use your mobile phone abroad before you travel. You then have time to decide if it is worth changing your tariff. You may find it best to change from pre-pay to contract for example."

Oftel's advice about how to use mobile phones overseas is backed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's 'Know Before You Go' campaign. The campaign aims to help British travellers better prepare for travelling overseas so that they are more likely to enjoy a trouble-free trip.

Oftel advice is available on the website at www.oftel.gov.uk.

Advice is also available on the 'Know Before You Go' website at www.fco.gov.uk. along with other useful hints and tips for travellers going abroad this summer.


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