Business Travellers Spend ‘£855m A Year’ On Roaming And Wi-Fi

mobile phone roaming charge europe SIM card © anaken2012 Shutterstock

iPass claims it can save business travellers money and that new EU roaming regulations won’t help

European and North American business travellers are spending a combined £855 million on connectivity when travelling aboard, according to new research from Wi-Fi firm iPass and Rethink Research.

The company claims European travellers are spending £275 million while travelling in other European states and splashing out £243 million on journeys outside the continent. North American businesspeople are forking out £337 million on their foreign trips.

iPass says the charges are racked up through cellular roaming and paid-for Wi-Fi, while at other times users are switching to free Wi-Fi, which requires registration, can be unsecured and is too slow for many business applications.

International cost

Wireless broadband, Wi-Fi © 24Novembers, Shutterstock 2012The company estimates that if Northern American travellers only used roaming, they would splash out between £531 and £1,141, while Europeans would spend between £935 and £1,366 outside Europe.

iPass says even within Europe, European business travellers would spend up to £273 a month and suggests new EU roaming regulations will not have a massive impact as the caps imposed would be below the average 4.5GB consumed by business users.

The research also estiamtes the cost of premium Wi-Fi in hotels, airports and on planes could reach £83 a month, whereas a monthly subscription to iPass’ network of 20 million hotspots costs between £16 and £35.

iPass does not own any hotspots itself and instead agrees partnerships with various providers to offer businesses a single log-in and billing service that promises to make it easier and cheaper to use wireless Internet services around the world.

“Failing to have a practical and convenient policy for mobile connectivity can be a costly mistake for businesses,” said Gary Griffiths, iPass president and CEO.  “The amount of mobile data consumed by business is growing rapidly, as more employees adopt the use of cloud-based mobile applications of all kinds and look to replicate enterprise working environments on their smart-phones, tablets, and laptops.

“Although there are millions of free and pay-on-demand Wi-Fi hotspots, connecting to them often poses multiple annoyances – from having to enter personal and credit card information repeatedly – to the threat of exposing sensitive business and personal information on unsecured networks.”

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