Batelco initiates roaming charges campaign
Manama, October 16, 2012
Bahrain’s leading telecommunications company, Batelco, has initiated a campaign to help its customers avoid high roaming charges while they travel internationally.
Batelco has noticed that with the increasing popularity of smartphones which support the use of many applications that use data roaming, some of its customers are unwittingly running up big bills while they travel outside of Bahrain for business and leisure, a statement from the company said.
While international roaming rates for calls and text messaging are competitive and comparable from operator to operator, the rates for data roaming can differ significantly, said Ahmed Al Janahi, Batelco Group’s general manager of media relations.
“Accordingly, our first piece of advice is for customers to read the messages they receive on their mobiles as soon as they land in any overseas destination. Customers will receive automated messages as soon as they land but it appears many customers ignore these messages. The messages include full details of the roaming rates charged by the local providers for voice, SMS and data,” he said.
“By being aware of the various rates charged, customers can select the provider of their choice to avoid any surprises with their bills. For example, in some destinations our customers can benefit from the low rate of 600 fils ($1.60) per MB for data roaming with our partners, but if they roam with other operators the rate will be over BD6 per MB in some cases, which makes a considerable difference.”
All of Batelco’s postpaid mobile customers can benefit from Batelco’s unified data roaming rates while roaming in a number of overseas countries.
Customers pay only the local Bahrain rate of 600 fils per MB for data access, when they are roaming in countries with designated telecom partners such as Saudi Arabia (Mobily & STC), UAE (Du), Oman (Oman Mobile & Nawras), Kuwait (Wataniya & Viva), Qatar (Qtel), Jordan (Umniah), Yemen (Sabafon), Egypt (Mobinil), UK (Telefonica O2), Spain (Telefonica Moviles Espana), Czech Republic (O2), Ireland (O2), Australia (Telstra), Germany (Telefonica O2), Malaysia - (Celcom), Philippines - (Smart), Japan - (DoCOMo).
Additionally, Batelco has over 475 international partners with over 1,090 roaming services worldwide. “By having an extensive network of partners, Batelco’s customers can benefit from competitive rates while using roaming services all over the world. However, to be well informed it is advisable for customers to check on the rates for the specific regions they will travel to,” Al Janahi said.
Customers who have mobile packages which include free MBs should also be aware that the free MBs are only applicable for local usage and do not apply while roaming. The customers’ credit limits also do not apply during roaming so it is possible to exceed any pre-set credit limit while roaming internationally.
“If customers prefer not to use data whilst roaming, they must turn off data roaming on their handsets as soon as they leave Bahrain,” Al Janahi added.
“If data roaming remains active, even if the customer does not use email or browsing, many of the applications on a smartphone continue to update in the background and such activity uses data continuously.”
“International roaming charges are billed from the roaming partner in the overseas location to Batelco, who pays the overseas charges and in turns bills the customer. The international roaming charges are not Batelco charges only,” he concluded. – TradeArabia News Service
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