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Majority of European fliers avoid roaming costs like the plague

Posting in Technology

According to a new survey, one in four European travelers disconnects from mobile technology abroad to avoid expensive roaming charges.

A poll of 28,000 EU residents carried out by the European Commission found that many travelers restricted or stopped using their mobiles entirely while abroad. Only six percent of respondents said they continue checking their social media accounts in the same manner as at home, one in ten check email as frequently, and 47 percent turn off the Internet entirely.

Three in ten respondents said they would not make any phone calls while abroad, and in addition, 20 percent will turn their phones off completely as soon as they touch down.

The Director General of The European Consumer Organisation, Monique Goyens, branded "excessive" roaming charges as the reason for restricted mobile device use, commenting:

"They are serving as a restraining leash on mobile internet usage in the EU. Roaming costs are a telecoms industry throwback to another era without a single market and they have long been unjustifiable on that basis.
There are no winners in such a situation. Consumers are not getting the services they use when at home and providers are shooting themselves in the foot with high prices. What networks must realise is that they are self-shackling their own market and consumers."

The report comes ahead of a vote next week by European Parliament to eradicate roaming charges within the European Union by 2015. The ruling would mean that carriers would only be able to charge 24.5p for voice calls, 8.1p per text message and 46p per megabyte of data used.

Via: The Telegraph

Image credit: Flickr

— By on February 18, 2014, 12:20 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure