Nowadays more and more consumers use mobile data services when travelling abroad. As mobile data roaming charges are much higher than domestic rates, consumers may incur exorbitant data roaming charges as a result of unintended use of mobile data roaming services. As such, consumers are advised to make smart use of mobile data roaming services.
When will Mobile Data be Consumed?
Mobile data will be consumed when a mobile device accesses the Internet via mobile networks. Mobile data will also be consumed when you share your Internet connection (also known as “tethering” or “personal hotspot” function) with other devices or activate the automatic update function of some applications on mobile devices. For more information about mobile data usage, please refer to "Understanding Mobile Data".
Measures to Avoid Unexpected Mobile Data Roaming Charges
If you need to use mobile data roaming services when travelling abroad, please take the following measures to avoid unexpected mobile data roaming charges -
- Before you leave Hong Kong, please check with your mobile operator -
- the availability of mobile data service at the destination;
- the roaming partners available at the destination
- as different roaming partners may impose different service charges, you may choose the network(s) which best suit(s) your needs
- please make sure that you are always connected to the network(s) that you have chosen when using the services, otherwise higher charges may be incurred;
- charging method and associated charges
- whether mobile data roaming services are charged on a monthly/daily basis or according to the mobile data consumed.
- Switch off the automatic functions for updating apps / software, playing video clippings on social networking platforms, retrieving emails, and fetching Really Simple Syndication ("RSS") or Podcast before departing from Hong Kong in order to avoid unexpected mobile data roaming charges.
- In some circumstances, such as upon entry into a country, you may receive notifications generated by individual mobile applications or greetings and promotional messages from your destination roaming operator or your home mobile operator. Some of these messages may provide instructions that guide you to select their suggested services. You should be alert to such instructions or hyperlinks as once triggered, they may activate the mobile data connection and incur unexpected mobile data roaming charges.
- Sometimes, users may mistakenly think that mobile services are not available at their locations. For instance, mobile services may be available on board aircraft or vessel, but users may not be aware of this. Use of mobile services on board aircraft or vessel may be subject to roaming charges.
Other Mobile Data Service Options While Travelling Abroad
Besides using roaming services provided by your mobile operator, you may consider other mobile data service options while travelling abroad. You may refer to "Other Mobile Data Service Options While Travelling Abroad" for further information.
If Mobile Data Services are not Required while Travelling Abroad
If you do not foresee that mobile data services will be required while travelling abroad, you may -
- request your operator to deactivate the roaming function of your mobile data service (the arrangements for deactivating mobile data roaming service vary from operator to operator. Consumers are advised to check the details with your operator direct); and/or
- disable the data roaming and mobile data functions of your mobile devices and check the data usage of your devices regularly to ensure that the two functions remain disabled throughout the period while you are travelling abroad.