UK Roaming Costs Affecting Companies

Data collected by Ofcom shows that UK mobile operators received EUR 450m (£350m)  in annual roaming revenue from UK customers travelling to European Economic Area countries (EAA). Data shows that consumers use approximately 5 billion MBs per year in the EEA. UK consumers spent 343 million nights abroad in the EU. This equates to 14.56 MB per day, or 443 MB (0.443 GB) per month. 

Roaming charges across other parts of the world are significantly higher.

The Telegraph previously covered a story where a Recruitment agency employee was handed a bill for almost £18,000 after returning from a four-day work trip to Dubai by a well known Network Operator. The bill was paid automatically by the employer through direct debit before anyone was notified. It was a shock to both employer and employee and course correcting these types of billing issues directly with the networks require time, patience and effort which many cannot afford.

Our Top Tips to Reduce Roaming Charges and Avoid Bill Shocks

Due to reliance on mobiles, especially due to their rapid data access capabilities – any disruptions to service can cause significant impact amongst the workforce and subsequently affect revenues. 

At the start of our relationship with a new customer, our teams run a discovery phase where they assess past records, usage and consult all relevant teams before producing a personalised service plan. These plans can also be scaled up or down based on company growth.

Our service is also backed by a very knowledgeable customer support team. They are easy to reach, quick to troubleshoot problems and helpful when it comes to active management of client needs.

In 2018, a customer used a total of 13GB of excess data while roaming. This could have cost the customer tens of thousands of pounds had we not proactively flagged it early on and put a monetary roaming cap for this user.

Here are some examples of how excess data builds up:


Activity  Data Usage
Web Browsing (one page)   1 – 4 MB
Stream Music (one hour) 35 – 135 MB
Skype / Video Call (one hour)    350 MB
Download Emails (upto 100)    10 MB
Download PDF (e.g. 1 page plane ticket)   2 – 5 MB


Our well trained support team monitors usage and educates customers on what they can do to avoid excessive bills. In their experience, data is often the culprit that leads to increased and unexpected billing – particularly streaming or hotspotting. 

Our team analyses trends before it has an impact and follow-up by communicating best practices and tips such as:

  • Putting a safety net

Our team can implement a safety feature that ensures a cut off point upon roaming data consumption so that there are no additional charges. Customers can also ask us to block data roaming or put a monetary cap.

  • Essentials settings

In order to prevent background data (satellite roaming charges) from automatically downloading and operating actions while roaming, we recommend the following settings:

Airplane/Flight Mode: Airplane/Flight Mode turns off all wireless connections, including your mobile data. It may turn off when you turn on a wireless connection (eg wifi or Bluetooth).

Data Roaming: Ensure that data roaming is turned off. Some iPhone and Android devices have a specific setting where you can turn off data.

Turn off ‘auto sync’: Search the settings menu for a ‘sync’ page option, and ensure auto sync is turned off to prevent apps from updating in the background. Some devices also allow you to turn off background data. 

  • Making use of free Wifi spots

To access the web without roaming data, use free Wifi in places such as hotels, restaurants and airports. However, we advise not using public connection for accessing or viewing sensitive business information due to this presenting a high security risk.

We work with our customers to secure company devices as well as provide security training and awareness workshops to defend against security breaches.

  • Downloading information in advance

We educate our customers to keep handy information (such as maps, routes and guides) pre-installed for offline viewing to avoid unplanned costs while travelling for business.


Our managed business communications service not only assists our clients with rapid responses to often complex business challenges, but also offers a proactive layer of assurance that helps to avoid bill shock via dedicated, personalised account management. Our direct and long-standing relationship with network providers allows us to access the best roaming tariffs for our clients. 

Case Study:

This is how we are working with a leading global agency to provide them with a bespoke & managed communications service:

>>Read the full case study | >>Read client testimonial

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