Beware of Unexpected Mobile Data Roaming Charges When Travelling Abroad during Summer Holidays

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) today (9 July 2018) reminded consumers to be cautious about the use of mobile data roaming service while travelling abroad during summer holidays so as to avoid mobile bill shock, i.e. unexpectedly high mobile data roaming charges.

"Smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are essentials for most consumers when they travel outside Hong Kong nowadays. Irrespective of the types of mobile devices they use, consumers are reminded that when accessing mobile data service outside Hong Kong, they would incur mobile data roaming charges which are in general a lot higher than local mobile data charges.  In addition, downloading of large files/video clips, video streaming, access to mobile online games or automatic update of applications (apps) may consume unexpectedly large volume of mobile data and result in a hefty bill," a spokesperson for OFCA said.

For their peace of mind when travelling abroad, OFCA advises consumers to consider adopting the following measures to avoid mobile bill shock:

If mobile data roaming service is not required, consumers may:

If mobile data roaming service is required, consumers may:

"At present, some operators will proactively activate the data roaming service for their customers.  If consumers do not need the service, they should contact their operators to deactivate it so as to avoid using the data roaming service inadvertently.  In some circumstances, such as upon arrival at the destinations, consumers may receive notifications generated by individual mobile apps, or greetings and promotional messages from the destination roaming operator or the home network operator, some of which may provide instructions that guide the consumers to select their suggested services. Consumers should be alert before responding to such instructions or click the hyperlinks provided, as mobile data connection may be activated upon such act, and high data roaming charges may be incurred as a result," the spokesperson added.

Additional consumer alerts on smart use of mobile data roaming service and data roaming day pass can be accessed via the following links:

Office of the Communications Authority
9 July 2018