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Think twice about using your smartphone overseas

Mon 22 Mar, 2010 // Firstnumber Team

Thinking about connecting to the internet, downloading a video or making a video call from abroad? Unless you have very deep pockets you might want to think again!

Consumer association Which? is warning owners of smartphones that they could face enormous bills should they feel the urge to venture onto the internet during their holiday.

Currently people travelling anywhere in the world face uncapped bills meaning there's no limit to the charge for downloading data abroad.

The European Union have pledged to tackle the problem of sky high roaming costs by capping download bills from the start of July this year.

In a BBC News report, a German man was reported to have been charged £41,000 for downloading an episode of a television programme onto his smartphone.

Bills of hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds are not unheard in the UK as well when nationals return from their holidays to find a hefty phone bill there to greet them.

Which? reported that smartphone users could expect to pay almost £10 for every megabyte downloaded which equates to one email with a photo attached.

The main concern however is the number of consumers who are unaware that their phones are connecting to the internet whenever they are switched on.

Using phone applications like Skype can also prove costly meaning its often cheaper for the person you intend to call contacting you instead using cheap international calls.

Receiving an email message from someone else or consulting Google maps for directions all adds pounds to your downloading bill.

It's time to think twice about using your smartphone abroad!

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