With over 1 billion users expected to be connected to mobile broadband devices by 2016, chances are as a tourist or overseas property owner, you'll be accessing the internet from your phone next time you pop over to your holiday home. But whether you're unaware of the hidden charges associated with your provider, or you just can't resist checking your emails in spite of them, many of us end up with simply horrifying bills upon the return home. The American communications watchdog FCC recently published a report on this phenomenon, known as 'bill shock', and identified that 1 in 6 mobile users have experienced it recently.
While the EU is currently working on standardising mobile broadband charges, in the meantime it pays to be aware of your service and costings. The website Broadband Genie specialises in providing a one-stop resource for consumer information on broadband products, where customers can compare prices across the major providers on everything from iPhone plans to pay-as-you-go broadband dongles.
Another practical way to reduce international browsing costs without having to cut your internet time is to switch off international data roaming whilst abroad, and instead use local wi-fi connections. Due to the increasing prominence of smart phones these connections are available in most hotels, bars and restaurants across Europe, so it's always worth asking staff for the connection details. You might have to buy a coffee or a sandwich, but an extra few euros will certainly beat the hundreds you could be saving in roaming charges.