A survey by Vanson Bourne for Tru, the global mobile network, says 94 per cent of Australian business travellers who are increasingly required to be in contact with the office (and vice versa) by both phone and email on a 24/7 basis, are contrained from using mobile phones while abroad, and that the high roaming charges by telcos threaten their competitiveness.
Among the results, half of the respondents admitted checking email and browsing the internet less when abroad than they would at home to reduce costs.
68 per cent said they made fewer or shorter phone calls, while one quarter tied themselves to landlines to make calls and a further 19 per cent juggle phones and voicemail accounts by swapping to a local SIM to avoid high charges.
Ben Pullen, country manager for Tru Australia, said the charges by big telco providers highlighted the need for alternative solutions, and that switching to Tru would take the financial and technical pain out of staying in touch.
“The monopolies that our major telcos hold here in Australia are undoubtedly forcing businesses to pay over the odds, but we also know that using your mobile less when overseas is not good for business,” said Pullen.
Those surveyed indicated potential reduced customer service/dissatisfied clients (67 per cent) as well as possible missed opportunities and lost deals (76 per cent) as contributing factors.
The company’s flagship GSM SIM based service helps international business by charging local rates instead of roaming rates, and low cost international calls.
It also offers multiple local numbers on one SIM card, allowing customers and contacts to reach each other without footing the bill of high international call charges
The research also shows that despite the cost of mobile data, 47 per cent of IT decision makers don’t even know the cost of data roaming.
63 per cent of business travellers surveyed use mobile email to stay in touch when travelling on business.
According to a recent report by Gartner, use of email on phones is expected to boom from 354 million users in 2009 to 713 million users in 2014 worldwide.