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Abroadband: Data roaming in 50 countries for €0.59/mb

Screen shot 2011 02 18 at 15 49 33

While I was running around like a mad man at Mobile World Congress this week, reader Kerry Ritz spotted news that Telecom Austria has decided to break apart the mobile roaming marketplace.

Abroadband uses Telecom Austria’s existing international roaming agreements to offer PAYG data roaming across 50 countries for just €0.59 per megabyte.

And that’s it.

No strings, no nonsense. You need to stump up €19 for the sim card and there’s a yearly access fee of €10 to keep the sim active.

And then you just pay per megabyte. €0.59 per megabyte seems highly reasonable. Indeed, it’s at least half the per-megabyte price that Three UK and Vodafone charge me for EU roaming.

With Abroadband, you just top up when you need to. You get real time usage statistics from the service so you’ll never run up a crazy bill.

Telecom Austria’s existing agreements ensure that you’ll be roaming on to quality operators in the supported countries too.

You can have a normal sim card, a microsim card and you can get a USB stick if you’d like one. Me? I’m going to get a couple and see how I like it.

I’m particularly impressed that it’s the same rate in a ton of different useful countries from South Africa to the United States — and of course, Europe.

I’m going to order one. I’ll let you know how I get on.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

19 replies on “Abroadband: Data roaming in 50 countries for €0.59/mb”

True, the bills and hidden charges we encounter after we return home is simply astronomical. We are helpless as we cannot make out megabytes we use in the data roaming across when we travel in Europe. I have often paid more money than the amount used to fly back home and return.
If you forget to leave your mobile phone at home and by mistake switch it on when abroad or request tosuspend roaming service just a day before you fly, you will have a huge bill to pay.
I tried buying PAYG simcard abroad but that is also expensive and difficult to set-up as they are in local language.
This looks exciting and I am also going to try and will let others know.

Would love to hear an update about the abroadband offer. Several commenters have wanted to try it. Any updates?

Would love to hear an update about the abroadband offer. Several commenters have wanted to try it. Any updates?

OMG what a scam.   I ordered this for my parents who were going to Spain.  it all seems great and then they make a 4 minute skype call and a message flashes up on their screen to say they have gone over 50 Euros!  We immediately disconnected the call and I checked the bill and for out first day of three minutes checking emails and  then a 4 minute call we now have a lovely bill for 56 Euros!  Unbelievable.  I am so annoyed and disappointed and fed up with being scammed.  Tried to contact them via their website and the screen just freezes!  DO NOT GET SCAMMED. 

I have bought one, but I’m nervous to use it because of the possibility of inadvertantly consuming a large amount of bandwidth and hence receiving a huge bill. Although the idea tha one device will work in many places is attractive, the concept is fatally flawed if a threat of massive bills hangs over you. A far safer alternative is to buy a local pay as you go sim card. I note that many of the comments here are from people still in the initial enthusiasm about the idea phase, it will be interesting to find out what they have to say once they have used the Abroadband device and have been charged.

I’m still getting huge value from my Abroadband sim. I was in Geneva for 6
hours yesterday — used it then. I’m in France for 24 hours — used it
today. I don’t have time to go and get a local Pay As You Go Sim. This is
where the real value comes from for Abroadband.

I keep an eye on the data usage through my MiFi unit — and I really value
the flexibility!

I’ve used it and love it. Like Ewan I often visit somewhere for 1 or 2 days and don’t have time to pick-up a local SIM (or when I do I don’t always have time to figure out how to purchase and activate data bundles) : http://wirelessworker.net/2011/04/abroadband-update-working-well-plus-a-top-tip/

Although the data is post-paid you can set a limit so you’ll never get an unexpected bill. I leave mine at the default €60 but you could change it to any value you want.

I agree – it’s a major issue for all 3G data users paying by the megabyte. I tend to use mine with a MiFi and a tablet / smartphone as this is a little more restrained in chewing data.

As a rule, though I set all my updates to ‘alert’ but not to auto-download because even in the UK I spend most of my time on 3G (albeit with a high bundle allowance) and don’t want to be slowed down by large background updates. 

I tried to buy one but their site is absolutely CRAP. Can’t get past step 2 and it comes up with general error messages – after I put in my credit card details. IS THIS A SCAM ?

Hello Ewan, I would like to talk to about Abroadband SIM. If, Ok with I shall phone you. Thank you & regards. Samir

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