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PostHeaderIcon Travel Warning: Mobile Roaming Rort Continues

When travellers return home, being knocked out by jetlag is nothing compared to opening their mobile phone bill. Bills in the hundred, and even thousand of dollars are common for mobile roaming.

BackChat Mobile, Australia's leading provider of mobile roaming solutions, has released its Mobile Roaming Index showing that mobile roaming charges continue to increase as an alarming rate. Over the past two years the cost of making a call while overseas has increased by a massive 20%, and the cost of receiving a call while overseas by 30%. Calls from some countries, such as Hong Kong, have increased by a whopping 75%!

Danny Nathanson, CEO BackChat Mobile said, "Travellers continue to be ripped off by the larger carriers when it comes to roaming charges. BackChat has shown that you can cut roaming charges by up to 80%." "It is unbelievable" he added "that the carriers have increased their roaming rates substantially over the past few years, while other telecommunications pricing has fallen".

He said, "Travellers certainly cannot rely on the government to make any difference to the exorbitant roaming charges. In the recent Parliamentary Inquiry into Mobile Roaming (March 09) it was noted: "Users of roaming services hoping for costs to fall should not be in any doubt that regulatory action will take time and is likely to only be periodically successful."

In some popular destinations such as Indonesia, China and Germany, travellers can pay up to $6 per minute for making a one-minute call home.

Examples of a 1-minute roaming call back to Australia:

Telstra Optus BackChat
UK $2.74 $3.50 $0.99
UAE (Dubai) $4.33 $5.80 $0.99
New Zealand $2.45 $3.50 $0.99
Germany $3.86 $5.80 $0.99
Indonesia (Bali) $5.84 $5.80 $1.49
China $4.85 $6.60 $1.99

All rates per minute, from carrier websites 7 July 09

It is clear that roaming users wishing to reduce the cost of staying in touch while travelling need to consider some of the alternatives to roaming. These include using hotel phones and BackChatís GlobalSIM.

BackChat Mobile has deals with more than 400 carriers in over 130 countries to give customers the best price when using their mobile phones overseas. Using their unique java-encoded SIMcards, BackChatís GlobalSIM has rates that are up to 80% lower than with traditional mobile carriers, and receiving calls is free in 50 countries. This Australian based company offers one SIMcard for all countries.

BackChat starter packs are available from $49 include GlobalSIM card and calls. Contact 1300 422 252