Channel Islands mobile roaming caps to be introduced

Channel Islanders will be able to avoid large mobile phone bills due to data charges when travelling abroad, the telecoms regulator has announced.

Changes to the billing systems of the three operators in the islands should allow spending limits for customers to be introduced by the end of the year.

The system already operates across the European Union.

A spokesman for the regulator said it would protect customers from "bill shock" when returning from holiday.

Andrew Riseley, chief executive of regulator CICRA, said: "Local operators have made, or are committed to making, significant investments to upgrade their billing systems in order to enable them to monitor customers' usage when roaming on another operator's network."

He said operator Sure expected to introduce the cap later this month, although JT and Airtel have not set a date, but he understood it would be before 2014.

Mr Riseley said: "Until the caps are formally introduced we would strongly recommend that customers in the Channel Islands seek advice from their mobile phone provider on how to manage or disable data roaming on their device before going abroad.

"In addition, some operators offer separate 'Travel SIM cards' for use overseas or data 'bolt-ons' as ways to minimise the cost of using mobile phone services when travelling overseas."

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