Business without Borders

Ciara O'Reilly
By:
On: 20 Jun 2016
Share this post

New EU regulations mean that you can finally travel without fear of roaming charges. So what does that mean for your business?

It’s a hard habit to break. You head out on business to London or Frankfurt or Amsterdam—or even that “work” trip to Costa del Sol—and immediately start the evasive maneuvering needed to avoid roaming charges. You seek out Wi-Fi hubs around cafés and hotel lobbies. Suffer through the broken connections of video conferences powered by shoddy internet service. You make calls using numbers that your business partners don’t know and struggle to retrieve messages left on patchwork systems.

You know it erodes your professional appearance, but everyone does the same—and those roaming charges do add up.

Here’s the good news. The EU is on track to eliminate roaming charges for member states—and they’ve already reduced them dramatically. Consumers will pay the same price for calls, texts and mobile data wherever they are travelling in the EU. Making a call when you are at home or in another EU country won’t make a difference on your bill (For details, see our recent posts here and here). So now that there’s nothing standing in your way, what are you going to do to make sure that every interaction tells the story you want people to hear about your business and your team?

First and foremost, turn your roaming back on. Your days of forced Wi-Fi searches are over. Your phone works the same in Cologne as it does in Cork, which means that you can keep in touch with your business contacts without any secondary systems or temporary numbers. And just as importantly, it means that your employees or partners can keep in touch with you when they’re the ones who’ve gone abroad, leaving you to mind the shop. When emails and IMs don’t suffice, you can get on the phone and talk it through without compunction.

But we’re living through an era of incredible communications options, and using your mobile phone as a regular phone is only scratching the surface. Which is why it’s critical to understand that, with the new EU regulations, all those surcharges for using data abroad are on their way out too. So you can update LinkedIn and Twitter about your big business win—or stream a bit of football when no one’s looking.

Of course, good data means you’re never without a strong signal for your laptop, now with a password-protected personal hotspot instead of the public Wi-Fi and all of the attendant security risks.

And here’s where it gets really interesting. Using your newly liberated data along with 3Connect, our innovative, value-added mobile features, you can create the appearance of having a locally established presence wherever you roam or being in the office when you are out and about. Doing a major pitch abroad? Set up an international number. Or—this is a tempting one—want to seem like you haven’t left home whilst enjoying a well-earned holiday? 3Connect, Three Ireland’s cloud-based telephony service allows you to make calls using the number associated with your office phone no matter where you are in the world. And anyone who calls your office line will be able to reach you seamlessly.

Brilliant.

As with any watershed moment in our relationship to technology, we can all expect to be surprised at the creative uses people find for this new freedom. But while we can’t predict what all those uses might be, we can safely say that your next trip is going to be a lot more productive—and enjoyable.

Happy travels!