Roaming charges are "untapped market", says Acision

Messaging company Acision has published research which indicates that 75% of consumers believe they're being overcharged when they use their phone abroad.

2000 phone users were surveyed in June 2009, and 62% of those admitted that they were "completely unaware" of what they were being charged to call, text and use the web abroad.

Intriguingly, 42% of consumers said that if they were made aware of exactly how much they were spending, then they'd use their phones more, which Acision VP Mike Beech calls an "untapped market":

"Consumers would be put at ease and would actually use their mobile phone more when abroad if they were able to view their real-time spending".

Although that would be easy to do for pay-as-you-go customers, it's a little more tricky for pay-monthly customers. "It's a complete change in their systems - a major upgrade", Beech told Pocket-lint.

However, operators shouldn't be scared, he says: "There is an opportunity to make more money - if you implement minimum legislation, it's likely to cap people's spend - the upside will be difficult to see, (however) if you can offer other limits, packages in advance, there is demand there".

Vodafone is making inroads into that space, with its removal of extra roaming charges for UK customers this summer and recently-announced roaming data package offerings.

However, it'll take more than that, says Beech. "There is varying levels of interest from different operators". If roaming charges weren't so costly, Acision claims, over half of consumers would talk and text more, and over a third would send photos home via their mobile.

Do you know how much you're charged for roaming? Have you been hit with a sky-high bill after a few mobile Facebook sessions in Europe? Would you use your phone abroad more if you knew what it cost? Share your thoughts with Pocket-lint in the comments box.