With India emerging as the 10th-largest business travel market in the world in a recent report commissioned by Concur Technologies, business travellers can expect to face international roaming bills of £320 per day when traveling to India, a rate pulled from top mobile providers in the UK. With data rates for 1MB of data climbing to about £8, the pressure is on for companies to reduce their roaming costs increases while avoiding becoming less productive.
At these rates, an average business traveler who uses 25MB of data, 60 minutes of inbound calls of calls, 15 minutes of outbound calls and 15 SMS messages per day, would be hit with a £1280 bill in roaming costs alone over the course of a short 4 day business trip to India. This is a perfect example of how bill shock is caused.
International roaming costs can hinder productivity
Still, at least there are plenty of services to help you avoid this sort of mind-blowing cacophony. For example, WorldSIM’s travel SIM card would reduce the aforementioned roaming bill to a much lower £43.45 per day, which could add up to even more when taking their recently launched Pocket WiFi service into consideration. That particular service can allow up to 10 devices at once to connect simultaneously.
“It’s not realistic for business travellers to rely on slow Wi-Fi, or worse, have no data connection at all,” Arif Reza, WorldSIM CEO said of the problem. “In order to remain productive while travelling, reliable and affordable data roaming is a must. WiFi isn’t always available or reliable so it’s essential the businesses have a backup solution so they don’t have to foot the bill for thousands in unplanned roaming costs.”
According to the Global Business Travel Association, productivity on the road is becoming a business essential. The use of smart phones amongst business travelers is very high and thus European companies are spending in excess of £2.4 billion a year in unmanaged connectivity costs. Despite recent EU regulations to reduce data roaming fees, UK travellers are still estimated to encounter roaming costs of £500 million this summer, £170 million of which will lie on the shoulders of businesses. Costs for other travelers from countries such as the United States will be equally hard to swallow.
productivity on the road is becoming a business essential
In order to keep roaming fees under control businesses are often being advised to keep data roaming switched off unless they need to connect to the Internet and to ensure automatic updates are paused when not connected to WiFi.
This, of course, leads to less productivity and can ultimately hinder business’ efforts at expanding abroad. It can also keep business users who utilize free calling and messaging apps completely disconnected from both their professional and personal lives.