I have taken my iPhone abroad for the first time and have made a few observations.
- When you arrive in a new country, you get a text message from O2 warning you to switch off data roaming if you want to avoid high roaming charges. I don’t know if this warning is something they were forced to do, but it’s a good idea.Lord knows how many people forget to switch off roaming.
- The moment you enter the passenger terminal of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport, you get free wifi access. This is quite unlike the rip-off BT Openworld you’re forced to pay for when using Heathrow or Gatwick.
- I try and avoid making phone calls on my mobile whilst abroad, but as I use the iPhone for everything other than phone calls, I hardly notice the difference.
- I can’t use any of the roaming apps such as Google Maps or the Compass, but this is more than compensated for by the fact that you can pick up wifi just about everywhere. And it’s usually a lot faster than the patchy 3G access you get in England. Just the other day, I took a bus through the centre of Jerusalem and was able to pick up wifi hotspots throughout the journey.
Spending time in Israel makes you realise just how backward the UK is when it comes to the internet.