Govt Has Its Say In Data Roaming Debate

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) International Mobile Roaming Standards is now in effect takes effect from this date, although the implementation of the standard’s various components is staged.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) International Mobile Roaming Standards is now in effect takes effect from this date, although the implementation of the standard’s various components is staged.

 

All Australians travelling overseas will receive an SMS alert advising them when they start roaming and a warning that higher charges may apply.

 

In addition, customers of Optus, Telstra and Vodafone will receive SMS messages informing them of the costs of using roaming services in each country they visit.

 

Medium and smaller telcos are building systems to allow them to send these SMS messages. In the meantime, customers of these telcos will receive information about roaming prices and an ACMA fact sheet on alternatives, when they first ask for access to roaming.

 

“The increasing use of smart mobile devices has meant that people using mobile devices overseas without careful planning are at risk of bill shock, possibly running to tens of thousands of dollars,” said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

 

“These warnings are important because international roaming services are usually priced differently from services at home. The overseas charges for receiving calls and casual use of data—for activities like maps, social media, email, browsing and uploading photos—are often expensive. And these further charges vary between mobile plans and between countries.”

 

All three of the major players have made recent announcements of plans that will keep overseas data roaming charges to a minimum, although none of them mentioned that the ACMA was the driving force behind the changes.

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