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Travellers spend billions each year on WiFi and roaming

The Business Traveler Connectivity Cost Index shows that those of us needing to use smartphones, tablets and PCs while on the move are collectively wasting US$1.33 billion (RM5.04 billion) a year in charges.

The report, compiled by Rethink Technology Research and iPass, focuses solely on North American and European business travellers and estimates that an American travelling internationally on business is racking up between US$828 and US$1,780 a month in cellular roaming charges.

For Europeans travelling internationally, the monthly costs could be as high as US$2,130 a month.

The average business traveller now consumes 4.5GB of data a month.

"The amount of mobile data consumed by business is growing rapidly, as more employees adopt the use of cloud-based mobile applications of all kinds and look to replicate enterprise working environments on their smartphones, tablets, and laptops," said Gary Griffiths, iPass president and CEO.

That's also why free WiFi is a problem. As well as being unsecure, it's often too slow to allow anyone, holidaymakers or business travellers alike, to do much more than check emails.

"Around 50% of hotels who say they offer free WiFi charge a premium for a service fast enough to actually work on," said Peter White, principal analyst and founder, Rethink Technology Research.

The report calculates that if travellers all used global roaming subscription services, as much as US$1.33 billion could be saved annually. 

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