Which? finds roaming data costs 1000 times higher than UK

If you're thinking of taking your new tablet abroad with you this summer you might want to think again as a Which? report suggests that you could be paying up to 1000 times more for 3G internet use abroad. All in all it's not looking like a great news day for mobile networks.

Although it sounds a bit over the top, the report bases these claims on the per MB usage that many telecoms operators state for data roaming on tablets. Which? states that: "Many operators that allow data roaming on their tablet plans charge at least £1 per MB of data used overseas. Multiplied up, this would equate to a cost for just 1GB (1,024MB) of thousands of pounds."

An example given is of tablet data roaming in the USA, where a charge of £3 per MB is charged by Three - meaning for 1Gb usage you're looking at over 3 grand, with the same usage being around £7.50 in the UK. However, Three does have a cut off system where a £50 credit limit is placed on accounts. Not all companies do this though.

Another company which seems to have extortionate rates is T-Mobile, charging £7.50 per MB when outside Europe.

To be fair it's unlikely that you'll notch up this much use in a 2-week holiday, unless it ends up raining for the duration, but on principle these charges seem hard to justify.

Another question to be asked is whether the costs are made clear enough on the operators' websites, something that the Which? report suggests isn't the case, stating that: "One of the first places you might look to find out the data costs for using your tablet abroad would be the operators' websites. When we took a look in late March, we found it wasn't always as simple or clear as you might hope to find the information".

What do you make of the Which? tablet data roaming findings? Underhand or fair play? Let us know in the comments below.