Don’t let data roaming ruin your holiday
If you're travelling overseas these holidays, you've probably checked your
passport is valid, booked in your vaccinations, organised your visa and bought
travel insurance. But to avoid losing the fond memories of your trip faster
than your tan, do one more thing-call your mobile provider and ask about
While many consumers avoid making calls while overseas because they know it
can be expensive, more and more people are experiencing 'bill shock' when they
return from an international trip and receive a substantial phone bill. The
culprit is often data roaming charges for using mobile services or
applications, particularly on smartphones. Even simply turning on your
smartphone while overseas may activate data roaming or enable automatic updates
that you will be charged for.
However, making a quick call to your mobile provider before you leave and
adjusting some of your mobile settings will help you save a lot of money and
avoid unnecessary stress.
Make sure you:
- Ask about international roaming on your service, including the rates
for calls, data, message services, SMS and any other services you use.
- Clearly explain how you intend to use your phone to ensure you receive
- Ask about deactivating international roaming or
changing your settings.
- Find out if you can monitor your usage online while overseas.
- Consider disabling data access while you are overseas.
- Read your manual and understand your settings.
- Do your own research so you understand your mobile phone and your
options-for example, you may find it is more cost-effective to purchase a
prepaid SIM card in the country you are visiting rather than using your own
You can find further information on international
roaming on the ACMA website.
Last updated: 03 March 2019