Chewing up data by phone or 3G data card when abroad is a reliable method of chewing up money.
Even with a roaming plan in place, even when travelling within the EU, it is all too easy to clock up punitive charges. That may not be so important to people who travel abroad a lot. These profitable customers tend to have employers who foot the bills - and who tell them off when they go off piste with their dongles.
But what about the holiday makers and the occasional travellers with their shiny new iphones? Orange has a plan for you. Today it introduces a €2 for 2MB Travel Data Daily roaming tariff for customers in selected countries using mobile internet services anywhere in the EU. (The local pricing equivalent for UK customers is £2 per MB, so we are paying more than consumers within the Euro-zone).
This opt-in bundle is designed for email, internet surfing and social networking usage levels. Without the bundle, data roaming costs £3 per MB. As a safety net, Orange will send a text message to customers, warning them when they are approaching their daily limit. But is it be too much for Orange to allow for automatic opt-in and to charge £2 per MB, full stop?
And what about heavier users? In France, Orange's home territory, the cellco is launching a €5 for 10MB daily data roaming rate for iPhone customers. Other countries will follow, Orange says. Also, for business users, the company has introduced a 50MB a day roaming allowance for £7 plus VAT. ®