When we are abroad and want to buy something, our behavior and sense price change. For instance, getting a can of Pepsi in the US is about $1, in Switzerland the same can cost nearly $2 dollars, in Hong Kong it costs only $0.35 (cents), and in Egypt it is nearly $0.20.
We will ask ourselves (how much is this in my own currency?). This is something that all of us travelers can relate to.
Also, currency exchange plays a big role.
A friend ours from Malaysia is not interested in going to Europe in recent and upcoming months because of the currency exchange rate. He would rather go to Turkey.
1. Freedom of choice
A similar argument can be made when talking about data roaming. It’s often the case that data roaming (like a can of Pepsi) is not going to stop someone from traveling.
But, it is always great to have something at hand that can work anywhere and enables you to have the freedom to choose how you spend your data, without being worried about excessive charges.
Here are several concern:
- Changing networks will change how much you pay
- Different networks/service providers have different terms and conditions
- Changing a network will require a new SIM card
This problem is resolved with something called Flexiroam X. It is basically a simple solution that transforms your home SIM or any active SIM you prefer to a global SIM card that gives you this freedom.
2. Roaming in the EU is FREE, but there is a CATCH
It was announced in September of 2016 that roaming around the EU for EU residents is free, that is not entirely true.
There are exceptions and these exceptions have some painful results. Keep in mind the following:
- Switzerland is not part of this deal, the UK’s situation is also complicated
- Swiss and UK plans usage around the EU is risky due to higher charges
- Roaming is for occasional use only
- There is a time cap for how long you can roam
- If you utilize the time cap, charges will be astronomical
- Roaming charges in Switzerland has increased
- Subject to change based on political changes
While larger operators have actually applied to take part of the unification effort to roam around the EU, the situation is much more difficult for smaller service providers in the Baltic and Nordic regions.
This goes to say that roaming in the EU is in a complicated relationship with the customer.
This can be quite the buzzkill for travelers especially from non EU countries.
Also, we can’t stress this long enough, it is not that easy or convenient to get a European SIM card if you are not a resident or a citizen of the EU.
3. How do charges compare in different countries?
One thing we should all get out of the way: the EU is not on equal terms with each other in terms of economics, the Telecommunications industry is effected by this.
So, and as we said before, not all EU countries are part of the limited free roaming agreement.
So how do these charges compare?
In the EU, average charges are:
- 2 euro per minute of voice call made
- 1 euro cent per SMS
- €7.70 per GB of data (cap in 2017), this is around US$10.00 per GB
That is very expensive because its limited to a specific time frame. Let’s look at other countries
|Data Plan 1GB||Average $$ in US 1||Average $$ in Turkey 2||Average $$ Hong Kong 3||Average $$ UAE 4|
|One Day||8.00||4.00 per MB||23.00||13.00|
|One Week||28.00||4.00 per MB||175.00||27.00|
|One Month||56.00||4.00 per MB||750.00||35.00|
- In the US, the prices can be as low as US$5.00 per day. But long term accumulation
- Turkey charges per megabyte (US$ 4.00) so if you use 100 MBs, your charges can go up to US$400.
- Hong Kong has multiple providers and charges may depend on different conditions
- UAE charges differently based on the provider and charges can go up to US$100.00 per day
4. Roaming doesn’t have to be this complicated
Here is the thing, roaming doesn’t have to be this complicated and doesn’t have to be such a stressful undertaking. Yes, an undertaking. I got stressed just by researching these figures.
It would be ideal to have the following:
- Keep my home SIM – Check – just need to add the roaming microchip sticker once
- Use it anywhere I go – Check
- I don’t get to pay the different and complex roaming charges – Check
- One payment fixed for the world but for a specific number of gigabytes – Check
- Freedom of choice for the service I wish to receive – Check
Wouldn’t this be wonderful?
FLEXIROAM X charges:
- 1 GB for US$29.99 Valid for 90 days
- 3 GB for US$79.99 Valid for 180 days
- 5 GB for US$129.99 Valid for One Year
- Le News Sàrl – LeNews.ch