Free SatNav Might not be Free whilst Roaming

Garmin released a press release today saying the following… “Using “free” navigation abroad could cost over *20p per mile in roaming charges”.

185 mile Calais to Paris trip costs *£24 to £39 in roaming charges one way, *£52 to £78 return journey

Of course we should expect either TomTom or Garmin pointing out the “Shocking Costs” of a free satnav when they obviously don’t like the “free” model offered by Google and Ovi. But, it does raise an interesting point and a good warning for those navigating out of their own country where data costs would suddenly apply.

The company found that using one of the most well known turn-by-turn navigation services on a mobile phone generated a bill of £36 in data roaming charges for a journey from Calais to Paris some 185 miles – meaning a cost for navigation alone of over 20 pence per mile.

Garmin’s Head of Communications, Anthony Chmarny said: ‘Using free satellite navigation isn’t as free as it would like to make out, especially when you are using your mobile phone abroad. Many of the well known navigation products use the mobile phone network to download maps as they go, meaning people could end up with a nasty shock when their mobile phone bills arrive the costs could be double that of the fuel used for the journey they were navigating.

If you are travelling out of the country then check costs of roaming before you leave. An alternative option is to use Ovi Maps Navigation on a Symbian device that has an off-line mode. Using it in off-line mode takes away the dynamic features such as traffic cams, weather, traffic etc… but allows you to plan your journey in a free WiFi hotspot and switch off all data.

Via: Business Wire

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