High Roaming Costs: a thing of the past

June 14, 2024

Scotland's Health Secretary, Michael Matheson, found out the hard way about how much data roaming can cost when you're on holiday.
His £11,000 bill for data usage on his work iPad during a family trip sparked controversy. But is this truly a political scandal, or is it highlighting a bigger problem with unfair charges from providers?

Many individuals, like Matheson, have faced the frustration of unexpectedly high bills after using their mobile devices abroad. However, it doesn't have to be this way.

In this article, we discuss what roaming charges are, why they are so unnecessary expensive and how to avoid roaming charges. 

What is data roaming?

Data roaming is when your device uses data (such as 4G or 5G) abroad for things such as streaming video or browsing online. It costs more as your phone provider has to pay a foreign carrier for using its networks.

Here's how it works: suppose you're a customer with Operator A, and you travel abroad. There, you use your phone on Operator B's network. Before this can happen, Operator A and Operator B have negotiated a price in secret. This is the price that Operator A pays to Operator B for using their network. Operator A then adds an extra amount to this price, and that's what you ultimately have to pay as a customer. The higher the price the operators have secretly agreed upon, the higher the costs for you as a customer. And all of this without the operators themselves incurring any extra costs.

Why Roaming Costs Are Too High

Operators do need to incur some one-off costs when enabling data roaming, but these costs do not justify the charges imposed on consumers. The retail prices for data roaming bear no correlation to the actual costs of data transport, which range between 1p and 3p per megabyte depending on the operator. Essentially, the cost to the operator is similar to the cost at home, with a slight increase for billing expenses and integration with external systems. But somehow, they make us pay way more. It is comparable to being charged €500 for a glass of wine in a bar in Germany simply because you are an American or a Chinese.

Simply put, roaming charges are often much higher than they need to be, leaving consumers to foot bills that far exceed the actual cost of data usage. Operators might try to justify these charges by pointing to occasional expenses and integration costs. But the truth is, they're making a profit from inflated fees, and it's the consumers who end up paying the price.

It begs the question: How can this be? The answer lies in a simple fact: there's just not enough competition.

High Roaming Costs: a thing of the past

Enter Firsty, the solution to this ongoing problem. Firsty was born out of a commitment to providing fair and affordable mobile data access to everyone, everywhere. We believe that access to mobile data should be a basic right, not a luxury reserved for those who can afford it.

With Firsty, you can say goodbye to high roaming costs and hello to a basic global data connection for free. We're leveling the playing field by prioritizing people over profits, ensuring that everyone has access to true worldwide mobile data without breaking the bank.

So why wait? Join the Firsty revolution today and say goodbye to unnecessary roaming charges forever. It's time for a change, and Firsty is leading the way towards a fairer, more connected world.

  • Seamless Global Connectivity: install the Firsty app and get online in just minutes, no matter where your travels take you.
  • Effortless Setup: simply download the app and automatically have a global connection wherever you are. Unlike traditional eSIM providers, Firsty offers a single eSIM solution for the entire globe, eliminating the hassle of switching (e)SIMs every time you change countries.
  • Free Access to Essential Services: when you download the Firsty app, you immediately experience seamless connectivity with Firsty Free. Enough to book that last-minute taxi, or send important emails. Or even make an online call, without the hassle of searching for Wi-Fi when entering a new country.
  • Quick Upgrade to Firsty Fast: the premium, paid version of our app. Upgrade and gain instant access to high-speed internet in over 200 countries and regions.

Get the app today and unlock seamless connectivity wherever you go!

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