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Data Usurv

Nearly half of UK smartphone users would switch mobile phone network for cheaper access abroad, says survey

By Angela Haggerty, Reporter

July 5, 2013 | 3 min read

Nearly half of the UK's smartphone users would switch network providers if it resulted in a reduction in holiday data roaming charges, according to a recent survey.

Access: 67% of those surveyed wanted online smartphones abroad

The survey by Usurv revealed 45 per cent of people would be willing to switch and an equal number said they had avoided accessing the internet while abroad because of cost concerns.

A European Union cap on roaming charges came into force at the beginning of the month and the European Commission eventually hopes to scrap them completely. For British travellers in the EU downloading one megabyte of data will cost no more than 38p and users cannot be charge any more than £43 for data usage in one billing period.

Reasearch director at Usurv Guy Potter said: "This research shows that accessing the internet is now an integral part of many people’s holidays abroad, but cost is putting the majority of people off.

"This means holidaymakers will welcome the EU’s new rules that force operators to cut data roaming charges – but our study shows that there’s a major opportunity for mobile phone companies to gain new subscribers if they can undercut the competition."

The Usurv survey showed 67 per cent of smartphone users were keen to use the internet abroad on their devices, with 18 per cent saying free Wi-Fi internet access was an essential requirement when booking holdays.

Keeping in touch with friends and family via email was the most important reason for internet access abroad for a fifth of those surveyed, while 18 per cent wanted to keep their social media page active and 10 per cent required access to find out information about the local area.

Sending and receiving work emails, general web surfing and using Skype were among other reasons holidaymakers wanted online access.

Data Usurv

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