What burns money faster: roaming rates or petrol?

Yesterday, Communications Minister Steven Joyce asked for public feedback on an MED discussion paper on transtasman mobile phone roaming rates. 

That's a bit like asking if anyone likes the Black Plague.

Kiwiblog's David Farrar forwarded Private Bin his own analysis, which the MED might want to factor in to its investigation:

"My experience with data roaming overseas is that as a destroyer of savings
it is considerably more efficient than burning $100 notes," wrote Mr Farrar.

"You see at $30/MB one can destroy $100 with just 3.3 MB. That can be
downloaded in just two seconds at top end 3G speeds.

'By contrast burning $100 notes takes around 10 seconds, so mobile data
roaming is five times more efficient than burning $100 notes at getting rid
of money.

"I have experimented using accelerants such as petrol. But even after dousing
the $100 note in said accelerant, it still takes four seconds to be
destroyed, so roaming data is still twice as effective at destroying $100 of

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2 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Or you can buy a prepaid mobile at the airport when you land - or even in town.
Use that for the duration of your stay and burn your $100 notes at home to keep warm during the winter.

As a recent traveller to the UK I found that all providers fell over themselves to offer a SIM for my data and voice use. Even calling NZ from the UK was significantly cheaper than roaming.

Why must we whinge like Aussies when we're so used to using No 8 wire to find a solution???

[Maybe not everybody wants to constantly juggle two sim cards; only one of which holds their regular number. I'm sure our customer service-focussed telcos will want to help out here. :-) - Editor]

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Given the connection issues I had with my Iphone off-shore in April and May, I hate to think how much more frustrating it would be to activate e-mail settings with a second, local sim card! If there is a solution that doesn't involve turning on data roaming (which I no longer do), I would like to know it!

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