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Avoiding roaming charges

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by kjaslow, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. kjaslow

    kjaslow Lurker
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    I've just had the most obnoxious phone call with my local phone company about roaming charges. I'm in Australia, and the plans here are designed to screw you when you roam. The short version of the conversation went something like this:


    Me: What can I do to make sure I don't rack up huge data charges while I'm traveling overseas?

    Rep: Can you turn the phone off?​


    The conversation didn't get much better after that, but the rep did at least attempt to explain something that I'd like to test out here in the forum. The problem has been that in the past, even when I turn off roaming on the phone, I still have some app that does polling in the background every few seconds. I'll come home from my trip to find a phone bill that's 100 pages long, filled with multitudes of 0:01 seconds of data usage at 50-cents a pop. I've had bills for close to $1000 because of this.

    The rep suggests that those apps which request permission to use location services are making contact with the local cell towers and identifying itself on the network. That incurs a roaming connection fee from my provider, and these are clobbering me. Is there any truth to what this rep is telling me? Does this make sense that I'm getting these charges even when data roaming is disabled?

    I know of some apps such as Latitude that will use my location, as well as Google maps and could probably pick out a few others. Is there any way to tell in one place which apps have requested this permission? I could easily freeze these apps using Titanium Backup if I could identify them -- and again only if that's necessary.

    My ideal setup is that I have no roaming at all, but still have all my apps ready for use when I'm connected to wifi. Can anyone help me make sure that this is really the only way I'm using data while traveling?

    Thanks!!
     

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  2. Yeahha

    Yeahha Usually off topic
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    I know some phones allow you to turn off mobile data as well as GPS if you can do that on your phone. The option should be under settings > wireless and network settings > mobile networks
     
  3. Omar Days

    Omar Days Android Expert
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    This basically.

    If you can do this then you'll incur no roaming issues.

    I'm from the UK and drove through six different countries in Europe with mobile data switched off and had no nasty surprises in my phone bill.
     
  4. kjaslow

    kjaslow Lurker
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    Interesting. I use Juice Defender and have the 2x1 widget on one of my home screens. This widget has a setting for data to be switched on or off. I believe it is either a shortcut for the setting you're referring to, or perhaps it messes with the apn setting. Anyone got an opinion if this widget might be another alternative?

    Also, if i do turn mobile data off, wifi will still work, correct?

    Thanks for your help...
     

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