According to research carried out for Vodafone, Australia’s third largest telco behind Telstra and Optus, five million Aussies (41% of smartphone owners) had been hit with international roaming fees.
The research, conducted by YouGov Galaxy, also found that 63% of smartphone users were concerned about the prospect of returning home to a large bill, while 1.5 million smartphone owners had taken the extreme step of leaving their mobile phone at home when they headed overseas.
Key statistics revealed by the research also include:
- Gen X (51%) and millennials (45%) are much more likely to have been charged fees than Baby Boomers (29%);
- The average international roaming fee per person is $290, which equates to more than $1.4 billion in fees; and
- Around 250,000 Aussies claim to have each paid more than $1000 in international roaming fees.
“Only 3% of smartphone users will continue to use their phone as normal, with the vast majority taking steps to avoid international roaming, the most popular being restricting their phone to be used with Wi-Fi (41%).
“There is no reason for travellers to fear bill shock while they are out of the country. We encourage people to review the international roaming charges with their current carrier – the vast majority of travellers should not be paying more than $5 extra a day to access their phone as they would at home.”
Mcintosh says that while each telco in Australia provides their customers with international roaming options, with Vodafone’s Roaming, consumers can use their data, call and text inclusions just as they would in Australia, in over 80 countries around the world.
McIntosh provided key stats about Vodafone roamers including:
- China is the number one country where Australians use $5 Roaming.
- Out of those who use $5 Roaming, New South Welshman (37%) and Victorians (26%) are the most active users (data 18 January to 18 March).
- People aged between 18-24 use roaming for the shortest duration, yet they use the most data when travelling abroad.
- Vodafone roaming customers used $5 Roaming on average 11 times in the last 14 months.
And Mcintosh offered tips to avoid bill shock while overseas, including using a smartphone or telco provider app to track data usage, to be aware of apps such as maps that use location services which are heavy on data use, and to use trusted Wi-Fi such as the network at one's accommodation to conserve data.