MY AMERICAN FRIENDS are starting to drop into Ireland for their summer vacations and I've rewarmed several of my data shock stories to let them know that their iPhone tap, listen and view addictions could set them back one thousand dollars when they return home to their phone bills. One quick insurance policy is to slip a Maxroam
SIM into a phone or for me to give a loan of one of my O2 SIMs while friends visit Ireland. I've started watching my data usage with my Xperia X10 Android
phone. I'm a hard user of Listen
(at right) and during two days, I burned through my entire month's data limitation on my O2 account, notching up 2.8 GB of over the air data in less than 20 days on my account. That podcatching foray cost me nearly 100 euro. A quick call to O2 Customer Service got me hooked up with the Advanced Broadband Plan, meaning I'm saving five euro a month with the new contract. It's normally unusual for me to spend more than 100 euro every month with O2-Ireland
, using more than 5 GB of data, sending as many texts to Irish numbers as I wish and getting free landline and mobile phone calls in Ireland. I'm with O2 for its signal strength and dependability of service. On some days, O2's broadband download speed is faster than I get from Eircom at home.
Previously: "Essential Tip When Visiting Europe", February 21, 2008.