Using Mobile Broadband Abroad. A Guide From UK Mobile Broadband Deals
 
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Using Mobile Broadband Abroad

A guide to mobile broadband roaming charges

Orange Unlimited Mobile BroadbandMobile broadband can be a great and relatively inexpensive way of accessing the Internet on the move in the UK but if you want to use your mobile broadband connection abroad you need to be aware of roaming charges from your network. Roaming charges have been in the news recently as there have been many complaints from mobile phone users of sky high bills when they return from holiday having used their phones abroad and one of the biggest problems has been high data charges abroad, the same charges that mobile broadband is subject to. In general you can use your mobile broadband connection abroad and it will usually work just as well as at home if you have good coverage but you need to be aware of the costs associated with it. These vary significantly by network and you should also think about this when taking out a mobile broadband deal if you do plan to use your mobile broadband outside the UK. Below is a summary of the various roaming details by network (current as of September 2010):

 

T-Mobile Mobile Broadband Roaming Charges:
T-Mobile broadband abroadT-Mobile have an excellent ‘Europe Booster’ if you want to use your mobile broadband throughout Europe, It’s valid in all European countries and you can move from one country to another on the same package. The main booster lasts for a day and you are charged £1 for 3mb, £5 for 20mb or £10 for 50mb. Each megabyte of data will typically last for about five minutes regular surfing if you aren’t downloading or uploading so £5 will get you about two hours and if you just need to check in quickly you can do so for just a pound. Outside Europe it’s a different story and data is charged at a whopping £7.50 per megabyte so unless you have a very large overdraft this should only ever be a last resort.
You can find out more details on this roaming offer here

 

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Roaming Charges:
Vodafone mobile broadband roamingVodafone have probably the best offer for light mobile broadband roaming. In Europe you can use your mobile broadband connection for just £1 per day for up to 5mb which should last for about half an hour of typical web surfing and then £5 per 5mb afterwards. There’s also a cap of £34 plus VAT per month for European data charges although you’re likely to find that your connection is stopped after that. Outside Europe prices are more expensive at £3 per megabyte so you don’t want to be using it excessively but are unlikely to rack up a big bill if you just need to check an urgent email or travel information.
You can find out more details on this roaming offer here:

 

Three Mobile Broadband Roaming Charges:
Three mobile broadband abroadThree don’t have a package to attract international mobile broadband users but they have a flat price of £1.25 per megabyte in Europe which is capped at a maximum charge of £45 per month. Outside Europe it’s a little more complicated with different prices depending on the country you are going to, for example in the USA and Australia its £3 per megabyte but in China its £6 and in some other countries even more. You should check with Three for the charge for the particular country you are going to if you plan to use your Three Mobile Broadband connection outside Europe.
You can find more details on Three roaming charges here

 

Orange Mobile Broadband Roaming Charges:
Orange mobile broadband roamingOrange mobile broadband dongles are not automatically set up to be able to be used abroad but you can get them activated for roaming by calling 07973 100150. Once set up you can use your Orange Mobile Broadband anywhere in the world where there is a signal but prices are fairly expensive at £3 per megabyte in Europe and £6.46 in the rest of the world.
You can find more details on this from Orange here

 

O2 Mobile Broadband Roaming Charges:
O2 Mobile Broadband AbroadMuch like Orange, O2 explicitly recommend that you do not use their mobile broadband abroad because of the high roaming data charges. O2 charge a flat rate of £3 per megabyte in Europe and £6 in the rest of the world and helpfully point out that this means that downloading a 4MB music track would cost either £12 or £24 depending on where you are in the world. We agree with O2 and would recommend you only use their mobile broadband abroad in an emergency and look to T-Mobile, Vodafone or Three if you want to use your dongle abroad on a regular basis.
You can find more details on O2 roaming charges here