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England fan going to the Euro 2012? Watch out for a big mobile bill!

Got tickets for Euro 2012 and heading off to Ukraine? Before you leave, it might be an idea to dust off the old Nokia brick and leave the iPhone at home.

Because the Ukraine is outside an EU-wide cap on calls and roaming charges, it means that fans heading to the Euros with a smartphone could be expecting bills of more than £5,500 according to price comparison website uSwitch.com.

Mobile networks within the Eurozone were recently forced to cap roaming charges at 35p a minute to make a call, 11p a minute to receive a call and 11p to send a text. There’s also a €50 cap on data.

However, as the Ukraine is NOT part of the Eurozone, reports from uSwitch.com suggest that fans could be unwittingly paying up to £35 per day on charges!

The breakdown

So what do you think makes up that £35? A few movies streamed on the way to the game? A 5 minute call to everyone you’ve ever met when England win the Euros?

What actually makes up the £35 bill is nothing more than making two 5 minute calls, listening to one 2 minute voicemail, sending 5 text messages and 1 MMS.

That’s not even mentioning the fact that 1MB of internet data downloaded by your smartphone in Ukraine costs an average of £6.10! If applied to a normal smartphone user streaming a few videos, sending a few emails, browsing a few sites and checking Facebook, this could add up to a daily data bill of around £228!

You have been warned…

USwitch.com technology expert Ernest Doku said:

“Watching England might be priceless, but using your mobile phone abroad isn’t. Footie fans have to think ahead as using their phones while following England could add more than £5,000 to what is likely to be an already expensive trip.”

“The first thing England fans going to Ukraine – or indeed anyone taking a holiday outside the EU – should do is talk to their network. They may be able to advise a bundle, or at least let you know the costs involved with using your phone abroad. Those using their phone can help to limit the damage by keeping data roaming switched off as much as possible.”

On the plus side though, from July the cost of using your smartphone within the EU is set fall after a European Parliament vote.


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