This week, leading Australian mobile operator Telstra was warned by communications watchdog, Australian Communications and Media Authority (Acma), for overcharging 260,000 customers $30 million for data roaming. The network billed single data sessions as multiple sessions between 2009 and 2012 and although this was an administrative error, it clearly highlighted customer confusion surrounding data roaming and how much it costs because very few subscribers questioned these charges.
This episode will hardly distil consumers and businesses with confidence when it comes to data roaming. With modern business now part of a global network, organisations are required to travel internationally. Yet data roaming is still seen by many businesses as something of a hot potato; we have heard of businesses turning off the data roaming feature on their mobile devices in fear of experiencing bill shock.
Avoiding data roaming altogether can have a detrimental effect on business: employee productivity will be reduced and the lack of an always on connection means communication with head office is sparodic – especially when only relying on hotel or public Wi-Fi. But it doesn’t need to be like this. Transparency around data costs is key for businesses to better manage its IT budget and costs and remove any uncertainty.
At Uros, we think a daily flat rate with no hidden costs is a pricing model pivotal to put businesses at ease with working on the move abroad. Offering a generous amount of data capacity is also important – 500MB-1GB is plenty to carry out a full productive day without the fear of extra costs. There is no doubt a lot of work has to be done to get businesses on board with the advantages of a data roaming but here at Uros, we are up for the challenge.