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Tag: verizon

How to save on international data roaming charges

by on Apr.03, 2009, under Business Travel, Travel Partners

If you’re a global traveler from the US and need to check emails and have Internet access when you’re abroad, get a BlackBerry if you don’t already own one. I have been abroad and used local carriers (3, Telus, Telstra, Vodafone, etc.) for voice and data then found out my weekly bill was over US$100. The reason for the high fee is due to my data usage. Most international phone companies charge data by the kilobytes or megabytes of upload/download on your device.

The frugal way to get on the Internet and check emails is to leverage the BlackBerry network. If you have a BlackBerry plan from the US, your data service such as email, browsing and BlackBerry Messenger will be traveling on the BlackBerry network. International carriers will allow BlackBerry traffic to go through free of charge (they actually charge BlackBerry but you as the consumer don’t have to worry about it).

I recommend you buy a BlackBerry and join a BlackBerry data plan which is available for T-Mobile for around $40 a month with international roaming – $20 per month for US only (for the record, I am not compensated by T-Mobile or RIM for this post). If you already own a BlackBerry from Sprint, Verizon, etc., get your carrier to enable international BlackBerry service which is around $20 more per month. For the extra $20 a month, you’ll buy the piece of mind of having Internet and email without losing your pants. I have tried this approach in Canada, France, Hong Kong, and the UK, and did not see additional charges on my bill.

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Cost comparison between hotel wifi and mobile broadband

by on Mar.23, 2009, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Hotels

Most hotels charge $10 to $15 per night for Internet service. Furthermore, the Internet connections at hotels are spotty – especially wireless connections. Companies and consulting firms generally reimburse their employees for in-room Internet access because it is work related or expects the employee to be doing something billable when they are in their hotel rooms.

If you are frequent traveler staying at hotels and accessing the Internet for at least 5 nights a month, you have enough budget to get a mobile broadband card from Sprint or Verizon for the same price ($50 a month). The mobile broadband cards from Sprint and Verizon offer faster service and allow you to access the Web or your corporate network when your clients doesn’t allow you on their network. Additionally, you can access the Web and your corporate network while you’re idle at the airport or at a Starbucks. A full day Wifi pass at an airport or Starbucks is around $10.

So internal finance team or auditors, you need to wake up and smell the coffee. Let your consultants and employees charge in the $50 a month for a mobile broadband card because it actually saves your company and clients money. Five Internet access at a hotel, Starbucks, airport or any where for paid wifi will pay for the mobile broadband card monthly fee (of $50). Clients should also realize they are paying their consultants less when they reimburse for mobile broadband cards vs paying for the nightly Internet charges. I have used this business case at my prior employer and was able to get this through the corporate bureaucracy. I urge our readers to try the same. FYI, I own a Sprint card for nearly 3 years and love the freedom of mobile broadband.

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