When Signe Lidén came home from a holiday trip to Morocco, she got
she an unpleasant surprise. The mobile phone bill for her holiday weeks ended up being SEK 3,000.
– Of course I knew that it cost a lot of money to use the mobile phone abroad, but I never thought it would be so expensive.
Signe Lidén had indeed turned off the data traffic on her smartphone for almost the entire trip, but she turned it on a few times. Together with text messages and phone calls, it was enough for the mobile phone bill to skyrocket.
– When I checked the bill, it turned out, for example, that I had had to pay SEK 127 to check a single website in Morocco.
A quarter of a million in Turkey
Using the internet abroad is incredibly much more expensive than doing it in Sweden – regardless of whether you use a computer or a smart mobile phone. Consuming two gigabytes of information during a month in Sweden costs, for example, one hundred Swedish kroner – including a mobile broadband subscription. If, on the other hand, you use two gigabytes when you go to Germany or Spain, it costs SEK 65,000, and in Turkey almost a quarter of a million.
Two gigabytes is not very much. For example, it is only enough for two hours in front of SVT Play in the highest quality.
Rune Pedersen, who is consumer manager for mobility at Telia, agrees that the price level is unreasonable – and he is self-critical.
– We have to admit that the price level is not particularly customer-friendly. Here, the industry has a huge challenge.
The explanation why it is so the price tag set by the foreign operator is expensive, he underlines:
– The prices are determined through bilateral agreements, and it is the local operator who sets the price level.
But you decide the prices in your own networks, right? Why is it not cheaper to surf with Teliasonera in other countries?
– You are right that we are part of a large group, but Telia in Sweden acts as a local actor. Here, we have focused on good offers at home and calls abroad, but have not thought enough about those who surf in other countries.
However, this is changing. Just before the summer, Telia decided to lower the surfing price in the Nordics and Baltics by up to 90 percent in its network.
Maxtak protects the consumer
A few years ago, the media reported on customers who received bills of hundreds of thousands of kroner after surfing abroad, but Rune Pedersen at Telia points out that this cannot happen today. At least not by accident.
– Our mobile broadband is blocked for international surfing right from the start. So you have to contact customer service to unlock it. In addition, we have a maximum ceiling for how much you can spend.
The maximum ceiling is an EU rule for mobile operators within the EU and EEA countries, but many operators have chosen to let them apply worldwide. In practice, this means that it is only possible to surf for SEK 650 abroad. When you have surfed this much, a warning will be sent via SMS, and you who do not unlock the subscription cannot surf any more.
Signe Lidén received that warning, but she chose to unlock the subscription in order to continue surfing.
– It is clear that I have myself to blame, but I think it is remarkable that it is so expensive to surf abroad. As a traveler, you benefit from the internet at least as much as when you are at home.
Rune Pedersen at Telia agrees, and he believes we are moving towards lower prices. Not least the breakthrough for smart mobile phones and tablets means that more and more customers expect to be able to surf abroad.
– I think a lot will happen with prices in the near future. We are moving towards a situation where there should not be a huge difference between local and international prices.
8 wise tips for better surfing abroad…
Turn off roaming. By turning off roaming, you prevent the phone from surfing abroad.
Stop updating. By default, a smartphone automatically makes a series of updates. Be sure to unplug it!
Get a cash card. In many countries you can get a local prepaid card for mobile broadband. So you insert a new SIM card into your smartphone, tablet or computer dongle and can then surf their mobile broadband network. You can find examples of subscriptions in the most popular tourist countries at pcforalla.se/kontantsurf.
Turn on the latch. Several operators offer an international restriction which means that your surfing possibilities are closed when you have reached 650 kroner. Check with your operator so that you really have such a ceiling for the whole world. It is only a legal requirement to have it for mobile traffic within the EU.
Check the prices. There can be a big difference between the prices the foreign operators charge for both phone calls, text messages and data. On your Swedish operator’s website, you can see which foreign operator can provide the best offer. Then select the correct operator on the phone.
Avoid the lake. When you go by boat between two countries, it may happen that you end up outside the normal mobile network, but you can still surf via something called boat roaming. However, the price is sky high. Telia, for example, charges SEK 145 per megabyte.
Lock the mobile. Make sure to lock the mobile phone, so that no one else can use it to surf the internet if it is stolen.
Use Wi-Fi. Avoid mobile broadband abroad and use WiFi instead. It is often available for free in hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, etc. You can find wifi zones at wi-fi.jiwire.com.
… and then you set up your smartphone
Turn off surfing abroad
Android: Click Settings and choose Wireless and networks. Scroll down to Mobile networks and look up Roaming, Connect to data services when roaming. This box must be unchecked when you are abroad.
iPhone: Go to Settings and click on General, Network. Here you should choose to deactivate Data roaming.
Android: Click Settings, Accounts and Synchronizations. Deselect Background data and Automatic synchronizations. Also make sure sync is turned off below Manage accounts.
iPhone: Select Settings, Email, contacts, calendars. click Download new data and turn off Push.
Choose the right operator
Android: Click Settings, Wireless and networks, Mobile networks. Choose Network operators and click on Search mode. Change from Select automatically to Select manually. By clicking on Search for networks you get a list where you can select an operator.
iPhone: Click Settings, Operator and select the operator you want to use.
Lock the mobile
Android: Click on ISettings, Location and Security. Mark Request graphic password and follow the instructions. You can also increase security by selecting Set password for SIM card.
iPhone: Click Settings, General, Passcode. Enter a four-digit code, and repeat it.
Surf with wifi
Android: Click Settings, Wireless and networks. Make sure the box WiFi is highlighted. To search for your wireless network, click on Wi-Fi settings. Now a list of available wireless networks is displayed. Click on the one you want to use and fill in any password.
iPhone: Select Settings, WiFi and enable Wi-Fi. You then connect to a Wi-Fi network by clicking on Settings, Wi-Fi.
That’s how expensive it will be to surf on the trip
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