We’ve all had a bill shocker (or two).
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But now it seems users of the 4G iPhone 5 are prime candidates for some massive shockers, the Communication watchdog has warned.
Devices running on 4G LTE networks are much faster and thus consume data quicker than their 3G equivalent, so mobile users could be using far more data than they realise.
The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) issued the warning in a new ad campaign, which cites research that suggests 4G iPhone users are likely to double their Internet data usage, compared to usage of a 3G device.
The warning is timely considering the highest profile 4G ready smartphone in the world, Apple’s iPhone 5, on sale since Friday last, is selling like hot cakes and sold out in several telcos including Telstra on pre-sale alone.
Telstra has 300,000 on its 4G network with Optus’ LTE network going live this month and Vodafone to follow suit early next year.
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|This little baby could be the cause of some nasty surprises.|
However, its not just iPhone 5 that could spell major mobile bills, Samsung are about to release a 4G Galaxy S III and already have S II version and HTC One XL, all available in Oz.
“Before you tap into the 4G network, make sure data charges don’t catch you out,” the ACMA warns and gives several tips on how to avoid a heart attack when opening your next phone bill.
Know the exact charges per megabyte of data and for excess usage, use Wi-Fi when available, turn off data roaming when overseas (a massive cause of bill shocks) and disable location services.
14% of Australian phone and internet consumers experienced difficulty paying a bill in the last 12 months.
ACMA recently stepped up enforcement on Telstra, Optus et al after finding high number of consumers couldn’t pay a bill due to ‘bill shock’ and is forcing telcos to introduce safeguards for consumers against bill shock and give notification alerts for data, voice calls and SMS usage no later than 48 hours after the user has reached cap thresholds of 50, 85 and 100%.
7 million Australians or around half of all mobile users suffered bill shock in 2011.