and when I'm in Europe I tend to use a laptop or Netbook with a mobile broadband dongle. The dongle seems to have no problems finding one of my UK mobile company's partner networks in France and Spain.
My provider bills me at £1:50 per Mb in most EU countries, but the price soars to £7:50 if I connect in say, Singapore. To give you an idea, you could deal with your email for a week inside 1Mb, but upload ten images to Facebook and you'll use up another Mb quite easily.
Browse ten web pages and there goes another Mb
Download a music track from iTunes and you can say goodbye to 5Mb - that makes Cheryl's latest hit an expensive £8:20 if you include the iTunes cost.
Speed isn't really an issue - I find the dongle clips along at a reasonable rate, and of course you're billed for the data you transfer, not for the time you're online.A one-week business trip to Spain usually results in a bill for around £15 to £20 in my case.
If you use a Blackberry you'll need to remember that you'll be charged extra for email abroad - it's not included in your plan costs. Everything that a Blackberry does, other than making and receiving phone calls and text messages, is done via the internet, so costs can mount quite easily. You'll be charged at the same data-transfer rate as the dongle.
Whichever way you slice it, using a mobile broadband connection abroad isn't cheap, although it's a lot cheaper in Europe than anywhere else. Beware of ads for temporary mobile broadband services via USB dongles - in Spain such a service will typically cost you around £49 per day, although that does include a fairly generous data transfer allowance of about 750Mb a week.
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