How to avoid pricey data roaming bills

When travelling overseas, phone bills can get expensive quite quickly. This is not only due to international call rates, but also to data roaming, which smartphones are now becoming reliant on. Here's how to avoid being slugged a whopping bill on your return from travelling.

When travelling overseas, phone bills can get expensive quite quickly. This is not only due to international call rates, but also to data roaming, which smartphones are now becoming reliant on.

So, what is data roaming? Your phone requires data when you access email, browse the web or do anything that requires the internet. So when your phone can't find and connect to your carrier, it will "roam" for other mobile networks that it can use — hence the term "data roaming".

Data roaming rates can be pricier than roaming voice calls and text messages. For example, watching a three-minute YouTube video takes about 2MB of data, which, if calculated with a pay-per-use international data rate of about 2.2 cents per KB, could be the equivalent of $45. If you were to add this to any other apps that require data, the bill could reach an exorbitant amount.

To prevent getting a shock when you view your phone bill on returning from your trip, we show you some very simple and easy-to-do tips in the next few pages.

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