What data roaming is used for

What data roaming is used for

Summary: In the second installment of results from ZDNet's recent data-roaming survey, we present statistics that suggest how people use the mobile internet while abroad, and how they would use it if prices fell significantly


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  • Graph showing how many companies ban data roaming

    As our survey results indicate, most people find data-roaming charges excessive.

    Companies also seem to feel the pain — around one-third of respondents said their employers did not let them use data roaming on the business account. In the UK, 43 percent said their employers allow them to do so.

    Credit: ZDNet UK

    Sign the petition for fair data roaming.

  • Graph showing who pays for data roaming

    The results indicate that Americans are most likely to have their companies pay for their data roaming.

    Australasians and those from the UK are most likely to pay for all their data roaming themselves.

    Credit: ZDNet UK

    Sign the petition for fair data roaming.

  • Graph showing how many respondents use data tethering while abroad

    Europeans and Americans are the least likely to use their smartphones as wireless modems while travelling abroad, according to the results.

    The survey also revealed some interesting statistics about the applications people use on their smartphones while overseas. Globally, the top five applications are — in descending order: email (89 percent said they used this with data roaming); location and mapping (64 percent); general web browsing (60 percent); social networking (41 percent); and online collaboration and messaging apps (33 percent).

    For tablet and laptop users, the top apps are: email (60 percent); general web browsing (47 percent); business apps (31 percent); online collaboration and messaging (31 percent); and social networking (27 percent).

    This suggests browsing is more of a key application on bigger screens. In addition, social networking seems to lend itself more to the smartphone, as do location and mapping services.

    While seven percent of respondents said they currently use data roaming to download large files on their smartphones, 26 percent said they would do so if data-roaming prices fell significantly. On tablets and laptops, that same increase was from 24 percent to 42 percent.

    The biggest untapped use-case, however, appears to be video. Seven percent of respondents said they currently do video-streaming on their smartphone while abroad, and three percent said they do videoconferencing. If prices were to come down significantly, those figures would go up to 28 and 23 percent, respectively. The same sort of increase would be seen among tablet and laptop users, according to the survey.

    Credit: ZDNet UK

    Sign the petition for fair data roaming.

Topics: Data Roaming Charges, Mobility

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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