A thought occurred to me (it does happen from time to time) as I got out of Berlin's Tegel airport this afternoon. I carry two phones - I like to keep a personal handset for, you know, my personal life - and, upon arriving in Germany (for Handsets World, since you ask), I treated the two devices differently.
I turned my workphone on, but left my personal phone off. Now, before Our Viv managed to get the operators to drop their voice roaming rates, that would have been the reason. But now the rates are more reasonable (not to say there's no room for improvement), and I still left the phone off. Why? I have my phone automatically set to download emails, and - rather than disable this function and have a working phone - I instinctively decided to forego the whole experience.
This is partly, of course, because I also have my work phone with me. But still, it made me wonder. The operators have now cut their voice roaming rates, which should encourage people to use their phones abroad. But, seeing as having your phone's browsing functionality turned on is fast becoming the norm, I wonder how many people like me arrive at a foreign destination and think, "£7.50 a megabyte? Haha", and just turn their phone off. Then the operator gets nothing at all.
Operators: cut those darn data roaming rates. Right now all you're hoping to do is either screw those unsuspecting folk who don't realise what your rates are, or punt to those who don't care (i.e. if the employer is paying for it). If the rates were more attractive, you'd get a lot more regular revenue from people not only using data roaming, but leaving their phones on to use voice roaming too.
Right, rant over...