During my recent trip to Sydney, Australia, I racked up a monthly mobile phone bill of US$5,300 (S$7,300), my highest phone bill so far. I checked the detailed bill from my mobile operator and I saw several roaming data charges like this:
47200 Kbytes - GPRS/3G Data - US$758.68 (S$1,032.50)
This worked out to roughly US$0.016 (S$0.022) per KByte of roaming data usage. This may not seem much, but when you're sending/receiving e-mail messages with large file attachments and downloading/uploading large files (for example, to Google Apps) like I did, you'll rack up a huge bill fairly quickly.
I was using 3.5G mobile broadband in Sydney; on a slower data network I probably wouldn't have incurred such a high bill. My roaming voicecall charges were a lot lower than my roaming data charges.
I don't regret paying the hefty roaming data charges out of my own pocket. I appreciate the convenience and the business benefits of sharing large volumes of information with my colleagues and customers from anywhere in the world.
I just wished there was a billing meter that could tell me, in real-time, how much I'd have to pay for my roaming data charges. I'm even willing to pay for such a service if my mobile operator offers it.
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