I really rather like Abroadband - it's a simple deal... buy a SIM card for about €10 (that's half the normal price at the moment) and then pay €0.59 per megabyte for roaming data across huge swathes of the world. It is often cheaper to buy a local SIM but for short trips or the time whilst you try to get a local SIM data-enabled (I failed fantastically for several days on my last trip to Spain) it's a winner [1. Although Vodafone's improved deals make it better value in Europe for their customers, I wouldn't switch from Three as I get a better deal on domestic data from them at the moment.]. However, I've seen several tweets and blog comments mis-understanding how Abroadband's services are billed. The key things you need to know are:
- There's no monthly or standing charge unless you don't use the card for a year in which case you're charged €10.
- You pay for the data after you have used it - like any roaming on a regular pay monthly tariff.
- Payment is taken from a credit card or PayPal account. For credit-cards they pre-authorise (like a hotel or car rental company) €100 but they only ever bill what you actually use[2. Be careful for pre-pay credit cards or other accounts that operate from a positive balance these funds will not be available to spend.]. There's no pre-authorisation with PayPal.
- When your bill reaches €60 two things happen:
- You recieve an alert to avoid 'bill shock'.
- You are billed immediately for that €60 - any further charges are billed as the end of the normal 14 day billing cycle.
- You can't adjust that €60 level yet, but they plan to allow this in future.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any other questions or check-out Abroadband's own FAQ.