Mind Your Mobile Data Spending

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21st October 2009, 04:06pm - Views: 527





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MEDIA RELEASE



New tips help consumers gain affordable

access to mobile phone data services 


October 21, 2009

The mobile telecommunications industry joined the

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman today to launch new

tips to help consumers manage their spending on mobile data services.


The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association

(AMTA), Chris Althaus, said the industry was committed to promoting consumer

awareness of managing spending on an increasing array of mobile data services,

such as web browsing, email, video, chat, social networking and GPS navigation,

which could be accessed on smartphones and mobile enabled-broadband.


“We are committed to providing practical advice to help prevent misuse and promote 

responsible and affordable use of mobile telecommunications. Our new tips are

designed to list some key considerations for consumers to be aware of so they can

access a range of data services on their mobiles and keep within their budget,” he

said.


The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Deirdre O’Donnell, said: ``The TIO

welcomes any initiative that will allow consumers to make practical, informed

decisions.”


According to findings of the 2009 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index, 77% of

respondents used their mobile phones for purposes other than texting and/or voice.

Almost 50% of respondents used email and social networking daily.


IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker recently found shipments of smartphones

surged 29% in the first half of 2009, with data-centric devices with touchscreens or

keyboards up 235%.


Mr Althaus said Australians were strongly embracing mobile data services including

mobile broadband, however, it was important that consumers were aware of costs and

did not run up unexpectedly high bills. 


To gain affordable access to data services, AMTA advises consumers to:



Get the right plan: Choose a plan that meets their needs. Consumers may

choose a prepaid if they want to control their spending with upfront payments.

Prepaids also allow people to get started using data, such as browsing the

internet, safe in the knowledge they can’t get into debt.



Stay within your plan’s limits: It is very important to stay within your plan

because data used over and above the plan’s download allowance or limit can

be charged at a higher rate for each additional megabytge. If your plan does

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not meet your needs, call your provider, but be aware to check if there are

early termination fees.



Use bill management tools: Service providers have self-help tools to assist

consumers keep track of data usage and spending. There are free online

accounts to check your spending – daily if needed – to keep track and ensure

you stay within your spending limit and don’t incur an MB surcharge.



Watch out for big downloads and streaming: Downloading music, video

files, podcasts, vodcasts and games can use a lot of data. Video streaming can

also eat into your data allowance. If you are incurring mobile data charges you

should buy a pack that will allow you to do things you want at a lower monthly

fee than going over your limit and getting hit with excess data charges. 




For more information contact: Randal Markey, Communications Manager, AMTA

(02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550

 







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