Watch out for paying over R580,000 per GB while roaming

LazyLion

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You can't rack up a bill like this if you take your sim card out of your phone as soon as you leave the country.
 

Skerminkel

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Anyone travelling overseas will therefore be well advised to take the SIM out of their phone when they leave South Africa and purchase a local SIM in the country which they are visiting.

Or just switch off the data connection.
 

bwana

MyBroadband
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You can't rack up a bill like this if you take your sim card out of your phone as soon as you leave the country.

Which is what the article suggests doing.
Anyone travelling overseas will therefore be well advised to take the SIM out of their phone when they leave South Africa and purchase a local SIM in the country which they are visiting.
 

CR Gold Member

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Well with allot of people that are not IPhone literate they will not know what to do when they use there phone correctly.
So additional charges would apply.
 

Arthur

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I wonder how much of that is billed by the foreign networks, and how much is Vodacom's?
 

garp

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Well with allot of people that are not IPhone literate they will not know what to do when they use there phone correctly.
So additional charges would apply.

Fortunately, the default setting on iPhones has Data Roaming set to off. You'd have to deliberately turn it on to get caught like this.
 

LazyLion

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Personally I would rather physically remove the SIM card just to be on the safe side. Software can still fail you.

And anyway, you are probably going to buy a temporary sim card at your travel destination.
 

garp

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What justifies this cost in the first place? :confused:

Local operators claim it is out of their hands and that is largely the rate the foreign operators bill back to them. But the foreign operators claim the same when their customers go abroad so it is a cosy circular setup where they can all blame the other country's operators.
 
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Local operators claim it is out of their hands and that is largely the rate the foreign operators bill back to them. But the foreign operators claim the same when their customers go abroad so it is a cosy circular setup where they can all blame the other country's operators.

Just like price-fixing, they're all in it together...
 

Arthur

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Of course the charges are preposterous. Anyone have any real facts? Right now it seems we're flailing about in darkness, raging at the Void(acom).
 
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What people seem to forget is that, the telephone systems around the world, speak a common protocol, which is not indistinct from TCP/IP used on the internet.

The whole "roaming" thing, is actually just making money out of thin air. It likely doesn't cost much more to make a call to another country than it does to make one locally. They are, after all, using the exact same link to carry internet traffic, and the protocol can be encapsulated inside of MPLS I think.

They have gotten away with it for decades, until the internet came and proved to the whole world that it is not expensive to send a packet all around the world. They will fight tooth and nail for their money printing machine and their OOB shark that keeps them high.
 

garp

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What people seem to forget is that, the telephone systems around the world, speak a common protocol, which is not indistinct from TCP/IP used on the internet.

The whole "roaming" thing, is actually just making money out of thin air. It likely doesn't cost much more to make a call to another country than it does to make one locally. They are, after all, using the exact same link to carry internet traffic, and the protocol can be encapsulated inside of MPLS I think.

They have gotten away with it for decades, until the internet came and proved to the whole world that it is not expensive to send a packet all around the world. They will fight tooth and nail for their money printing machine and their OOB shark that keeps them high.

Whether converged to TCP/IP or not they will always have infrastructure and marketing costs to cover so it's not exactly making money out of thin air, however, yes, in the case of roaming they do take the piss I suspect since they are not bound by their local country's price gouging and consumer protection laws, so they exploit it to the max.

They obviously also maintain the artificial distinction between voice and data in their local networks and rely on general ignorance to keep their local OOB and SMS data costs high. I've always thought that there is a space for a fully converged operator that bills strictly only by the data packet whether voice/internet/sms with a universal cost per mb which they price according to the actual underlying cost plus some reasonable profit. It would be interesting to know what the combined/converged actual cost is of 1mb. IMHO, this is the only way they can survive in the long run unless government allows them to block voice/messaging over their IP network.
 
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