Bill Shock is Never Funny

Thoughts on Data Roaming

Author(s): Hidekazu Maezono
Date: 6-Feb-2018

A Business Trip Trap

Photo of child crying angrily, by Allan Donque

Electronic devices are always useful even in foreign countries, but not at any cost.

This is an age in which one can broadcast oneself burning down his own house by accident, to a global audience, so no matter whether you speak English or not, the eventual business trip would be inevitable.

With such an opportunity, bringing your smart-phone, or portable Wi-Fi router and such, is the norm.

Let me tell you in this post a story that is common, yet is still being repeated periodically, related to those electronic devices.

What on earth is data-roaming?

Has your company properly notified users of the risks and pitfalls of data roaming overseas? When it comes to business trips abroad, international roaming fees on your smart-phone are truly something to be concerned with.

They are unrelated to the phone call function, and rather all about the transmission of packets. In Japan, data-roaming is basically about transmission only, but in other countries you may see a separate menu related to “voice roaming”.

If this function is set to “on”, wherever you are in foreign countries, it enables your cellphone to connect to a local carrier to send or receive emails, browse the web, or even check Google maps, just like you’re in Japan. But you should be acutely aware, that transmission fees are really, really expensive in other countries.

The other day, there was an incident at a client, that caused a 700,000 yen transmission fee in just 1 night. (Just one night..)

You may think, “s/he was just reckless because there must be an overseas unlimited packet plan available from each carrier.” And in a way, you’d be right. But it is probably the case that some prep is required, and the plan wouldn’t be applied unless you set the device properly.

Have you heard the phrase “bill shock”? I have to say, this still exists in reality, and we have a humorous phrase for it in Japan: pake-shi or “death from packets”. If there is nobody to raise awareness of it in a company, you yourself might be the one to cause a shocking bill in just one night!

In closing

For this sort of matter, please contact eSolia. eSolia’s bilingual IT helpdesk can help you by foreseeing the risks of such matters, and support you with our solid experience and knowledge.

If you’re going overseas tomorrow and are afraid of creating a sudden scene, it is still not too late! At the very least, turn your devices’ data roaming to “off”, and let your support desk know.

And be sure to contact eSolia after you return.

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