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Reducing Cellular Costs

Cellular use continues to expand and more cellular plan features are available and have become more complex and co-dependent.  As a result, department administrators are spending more time, asking for more detail, and finding that charges can be significant if the plan options aren’t well understood. In some cases, the lack of a plan choice or a plan change can be very expensive - roaming charges, for example, can quickly amount to thousands of dollars in a single month. Below are some reminders that you can share with users on how to avoid unnecessary costs. 

  1. When planning to travel abroad update your voice and data plan to an international plan. Call University IT to update your University device to an international unlimited data plan before traveling. Below are links to both ATT and Verizon web sites for more details on international plans:

Check here for information regarding Verizon international rates
Check here for more information regarding ATT international rates

Please see the ATT iPhone international data plan options here

DO NOT tether with your data device unless you are on a tethering plan.  Tethering connects your cellular device to your computer and allows you to use the cellular network to connect to the internet.    Tethering plans average $15/month in addition to the monthly data plan.  Tethering a device without the tethering plan can result in exorbitant charges. 

  1. Stop making 411 calls for directory assistance. 411 calls can cost up to $1.79 per call.
  2. Monitor texting closely.  If users in your department do not have text plans they should not be using the service unless they have a way of monitoring their messages manually.  Monitor text messaging closely on your monthly usage charges. Text messages can cost up to $.50 per message. Below are current text message plans for both ATT and Verizon:
Text Message PlanVerizonATT
200 MessagesNA$5.00
250 Messages$5.00NA
500 Messages$10.00NA
1500 MessagesNANA
5000 Messages$20.00NA
UnlimitedNA$10.00

    As the number of iPhone users in the University community continues to increase, we would like to share some recommendations with iPhone users regarding international plans and usage. Please forward this information to iPhone users in your department.

    iPhone Tips for International Roamers:
    When using your service outside the U.S., Puerto Rico or U.S. Virgin Islands (for either voice or data), international roaming rates apply. Your iPhone provides access to email, Visual Voicemail, Web browsing and other applications that can use a significant amount of data. REMEMBER-INTERNATIONAL DATA ROAMING GETS EXPENSIVE QUICKLY.

    How iPhone Users Can Minimize International Data Charges:
    Turn Data Roaming "OFF": By default, this setting for international data roaming will be in the "OFF" position. To turn data roaming "ON/OFF" tap on Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming. Turning "OFF" data roaming blocks email, browsing, and downloads, but it will not block text or picture/video messages. When traveling abroad, international roaming rates will apply when sending text or picture/video messages.
    Turn Fetch New Data "OFF": Check email and sync contacts and calendars manually instead of having the data pushed to your iPhone automatically. This way you can control the flow of data coming to your iPhone. To turn off the Auto-Check functionality, tap on Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>Fetch New Data, Change Push to "OFF" and select option to Fetch Manually.
    Utilize Wi-Fi Instead of 3G/GPRS/EDGE: Wi-Fi is available in many international airports, hotels and restaurants to browse the web or check email.
    Purchase an International Data Package: Purchasing an international data package can significantly reduce the cost of using data abroad. iPhone users on the University of Rochester corporate account can purchase an international unlimited data plan for $64.99/month.
    If an iPhone user on the University of Rochester corporate account has exceeded their data plan, University IT will receive a data alert notification in the form of an email. University IT will then contact the Department Administrator or end user for approval to adjust the data plan. The end user will also receive a data alert notification in the form of a free text message from ATT (see examples below). If an end user receives such notification they should contact their Department Administrator to have the data plan adjusted and check their iPhone settings.

    Example ATT notifications:


    International Data Plan Pay Per Use Message

    Your intl data usage is high. To prevent costly bill & service disruption contact your Telecom Web site or Dept for a cost effective intl plan. AT&T Free Msg

    International Data Plan Notification Message

    Your Intl data usage exceeds plan. To prevent service disruption contact your Telecom Web site or Dept for rate plan assessment & possible change. AT&T Free Msg

     

    Departments are expected to monitor cellular costs monthly and can ask for training and auditing assistance any time. Please contact University IT Center at x52000 for any questions regarding this information. Thank you.