The Western Roamer (WR) is a regular visitor to Europe, the US and Australia. She travels for up to ten weeks a year and has a reasonable, although not excessive, usage profile.
In addition to keeping in touch with New Zealand HQ when she’s outside the country, the WR is a regular texter to friends in the UK. When travelling overseas she limits her mobile use to phone, and access the internet using hotel connections while overseas (the charges vary, but by way of an example the international hotel chain Hilton charges 24-hour internet room access at $NZ 29 in Auckland, $US 9.90 in Los Angeles and £UK 10 in London).
Given a modest calling and texting profile of between 60 – 120 minutes a month, there’s little difference between the mobile providers who offer a decent roaming option. WR can expect to pay between $55 and $60 a month for an on-account plan to cover NZ usage. Roaming charges in the US and Europe – her most frequent destinations – aren’t competitive for either calls or texts between the providers, but special mention to Telecom’s XT website for making it so easy to work out pricing for each country based on your mobile model. WR might want to think about Vodafone’s mobile data roaming however, given that she mainly uses data for emailing. The fees are between 30c and 10c for 10KB and this could be more cost effective then paying hotel connection fees.