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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

European roaming laws don’t affect mobile usage, says research

New EU roaming regulation isn’t having much effect on the mobile usage habits of British consumers when they’re abroad, according to new research conducted on behalf of mobile roaming company MACH.

Over half (56%) of mobile users said they were aware of the rules regarding roaming, yet three-quarters of these (77%) said the rules made no difference to how they used their mobile phone when travelling abroad.

More than a third (38%) of respondents said they didn’t use their mobile phone at all while abroad, with 54% of these blaming the cost of usage as the reason.

Paul Merry, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said “There is a clear demand to use mobile data services while abroad but the perception that doing so will lead to unacceptably high bills often prevents users from doing so. In their home market, users are accustomed to paying flat–rate fees to use mobile data services, but when they roam it is often usage based, which impedes visibility on cost.”

Later this year MACH plans to introduce a ‘Data Roaming Engine’ service that’ll enable mobile networks to create customised roaming tariffs for customers based on their preferred destinations and usage patterns. For example, a consumer could choose to just have Facebook access when they visited a specific country - or a business could restrict its staff to email-only access when abroad.

We’re planning to catch up with MACH at Mobile World Congress next week. To download our MWC podcasts automatically, simply connect to our RSS feed or find them on iTunes. You can also follow @thefonecast on Twitter or through Facebook.
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Author: The Fonecast
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