"Planning on taking your iPad 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab on holiday with you this year? Well you might want to think twice about turning on any 3G roaming features while you're abroad, as a new Which? study has revealed that you may be charged as much as 1,000 times more for using your mobile connection on a slate whilst outside the UK. 3 aren't having a great day today, already singled out by Ofcom earlier as having the highest rate of dissapointed customers, they're under fire again here from Which?, who note that using just 1Mb of data in certain countries costs a whopping £10 on the network. That would equal out to £10,000 to watch an average length HD film of 1GB in size. Though 3 cap data roaming charges at £50 when abroad, there is still a massive disparity between UK charges and roaming ones.
"People know it's more expensive using tablets abroad, but they don't realise just how much more expensive," says Ceri Stanaway, Which? magazine's telecoms expert.
Other network providers fare a little better:
"O2 doesn't allow roaming on its tablets, while Orange and T-Mobile have two tiers for inside and outside Europe," says Stanaway. "T-Mobile sends you a text in whichever country you're in alerting you of the charges, but whether most people know what the per MB charge equates to is a different matter. And with Orange you have to call up to activate it to use abroad, when the rates are explained. Vodafone charges in 50MB chunks, so while it may seem a lot it will work out cheaper for heavy users."
The moral of the story? Stick to Wi-Fi connections when using your tablet on holiday, or it wont just be the lure of duty free deals pinching your pennies."
Extortionate tablet roaming costs revealed: iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab users beware : Tech Digest