Sunday 4 December 2016

Pricey sim cities: we don't know how lucky we have it with mobile data rates in Ireland

Published 30/07/2015 | 02:30

Sim card
Sim card

We crib about mobile phone services in Ireland a lot. But there is one area where we actually beat most other countries on: mobile data pricing.

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In Ireland, we get deals such as 'all you can eat' (meaning 15GB) of 4G data for €20 per month.

It's only when you journey to other European or North American parts that you realise what a relatively good deal this is.

In the US, for example, mobile data is exorbitantly expensive both for locals and travellers.

Earlier this month, I spent two weeks in Chicago. The best sim card deal I could find for a plan that would guarantee me at least 5GB of data was $50 (€45).

That is twice the price of an Irish sim card deal for less than half of the data.

I paid it, because it was still cheaper than the best 'add-on' deal I could get from any Irish operator as a traveller to the US.

Little wonder that Americans place so much reliance on wifi: their mobile data services are exorbitantly expensive.

In European countries, it varies more.

It generally does not make sense to buy local sim cards within the EU as roaming rates have fallen sufficiently to make the difference marginal, unless you spend a lot of time in a specific country.

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