Key tips you ought to know to manage your telecom expenses
Most of us have had the killer experience of consulting our phone bill after spending time abroad and because we know what it feels like, we swore never again! Now, once you pass custom lines you instantly turn off the data on your mobile and use
WiFi... That is, when you can find one! This alternative works, even if it is common to discover that - out of nowhere - some megabytes of data leaked through and add a pretty unpleasant amount to your bill.
The truth is we cannot really live without our phones anymore. 66% of the North American population use their smartphone everyday* and 45% use them every hour. And when carriers charge from $4 to $20 one megabyte of data and apply roaming fees around $1.30 to $2.60 a minute, one must find alternative options to still have a pleasant time on a business trip .1. You can set up an international coverage plan with your carrier before leaving:
Most providers (Bell, Rogers, Telus) have travel plans, but you need to negotiate it with them before going abroad.
Tip: Bell offers a wide range of travel plans that you can choose wisely depending on where you are going and optimize your savings on the bill. Telus travel plans offer interesting rates on short or long stays, but only in the USA.
Bonus: You can use your own phoneafter calling your provider and the different plans are a guarantee for a less harmful bill.
2. You can usually buy or rent a phone in the country you are travelling:
You can easily rent or purchase a local handset at the airport or at the closest mall in the country you will be visiting. Local fees are even sometimes cheaper on call and data than they are in Canada.
Tip: In France, for less than 30$, the carrier Free gives you a phone and 2 hours of international calls (Europe and North America), unlimited text and FreeWifi (available almost everywhere in France).
Bonus: Most providers include international calls so you are still connected to your office or home while away and for less.
3. You can buy a local prepaid Sim card:
You can buy Sim cards at mobile phone stores for $2 to $25, depending on the country and the options you want. You will have to use you mobile phone, which means it will be unlocked. In the Unites States, T-Mobile offers for 30$ or less for unlimited data, text and talk plans.
Tip: Since the 2011 Cell Phone Freedom Act (Bill C-343), you can now have your phone unlocked by your carrier on request, at any time.
Bonus: You can use your own phone, your own contact list, your own habits, just like home!
4. You can use VoiP apps:
Basically, you can make free calls over the Internet. But because Skype is widely used nowadays you may not be satisfied with their service. You can try Rebtel, Localphone or Keku.
Tip: Keku offers the possibility of conference or group calls, ideal for business calls!
Bonus: Most of these services are free or come with free trials and when fees apply they are very cheap. Plus, for some apps, if you are in a country that have local numbers, you can even use it without Internet access!
5. You can work from and use your hotel facilities:
Most hotels in Europe, USA and Canada offer high speed Internet and local calls for free. You can also benefit from business or corporate bundles, but ask for the detailed information at the check-in before making any calls, just to be safe.
Tip: Alt Hotels or Marriott in Canada and USA offer Business Bundles and very good facilities for business trips, among others.
Bonus: You can be more efficient, as you will likely concentrate on work when in the hotel hence making it quality time.
As a manager, when it comes to taking back control on your assets and telecommunication expenses, it's wise to think of Cimpl, our telecom expense management Software as a Service (SaaS). It will give you a full visibility on what you own, where it is and how it is being used. You will know, in real-tim,e how much your assets cost you and be able to then adjust and optimize yield and efficiency accordingly.
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* Source: ThinkwithGoogle