Unsuspecting mobile users are being stung by expensive satellite roaming fees of over £1000 after accidentally using data during flights. Here’s what you need to know to avoid getting caught out:
About Satellite Roaming Services
When traveling by air or sea, mobile devices can automatically connect to satellite network services provided by air and maritime travel companies. These services are different from conventional roaming services and require no authorisation from the end-user to connect. If your phone connects to and uses these services, you risk being charged large usage fees.
Satellite roaming services are not considered to be the same as standard mobile network roaming. This means that any costs incurred will not be covered by your regular roaming bundles (even if you have unlimited standard data back home). What’s more, these separate costs are often far higher than standard roaming costs, so you can easily rack up expensive bills in a matter of minutes.
If you don’t turn your phone off or place it in flight mode, it may continue to run in the background accessing data services for updates, messages and more. This can happen even if you have stored your device away in a luggage bag or storage compartment.
Surely my network provider protects me against these costs?
Yes and no… The EU spend cap of 50 euros does not cover satellite roaming services at all. However, the Worldwide Data Cap which covers data consumption over £35 does, but only if users are opted-in to this restriction.
If you find that the default £35 cap is too low for your needs, you can opt-out of the cap and instead apply a mobile bill limit based on your expected usage and acceptable spend values.
How to Avoid Excess Satellite Roaming Fees
There are a number of simple steps you can take to avoid incurring satellite roaming fees during your travels:
1. Use Flight Mode
If you do not wish to use satellite services while travelling, ensure your device is switched off at all times. Alternatively, if you need to use your device, ensure flight mode is on so that only offline functionality is available.
2. Opt-In to the Cap
Make sure you have not opted out of the Worldwide Data Cap. Providers have to cut you off once you reach the cap unless you ask them to lift it. If you do, you run the risk of unlimited bills.
3. Make use of Usage Alerts
Make use of Usage Alert services to get notifications for the amount of data/minutes/texts you are using. This way you can keep tabs on your spending without placing fixed restrictions on your usage.
Looking for advice?
Should you have any further questions about managing your business mobiles, call our expert team on 0121 716 8888.