Of course, things can get more complicated and these two plans do interact. For example, you might have a rate plan with a good price in Price Zone A but it’s more expensive in the other zones. But you are using a communication plan that allows traffic in the whole world – in this situation you could end up with bill shock if your device leaves price Zone A. Why? Because the communication plan says you can do traffic anywhere in the world, while the rate plan won’t tell you whether you can do it or not, it will only tell you what it’s going to cost you.
How can you best optimize the use of rate plans and communication plans?
You should always have a communication plan that allows you to do some kind of cost control. Let’s look at geo-zone A, which will give you a few selected networks in each EU country with a good value for price. Other networks are available, but they are more expensive. These good value networks suit a lot of solutions that aren’t mission critical – you just need to make sure your devices can connect to the network when they cross borders or otherwise move around. Now, it’s not always easy to make sure you select the correct network to use, which is why you have the communication plan. The communication plan allows you to restrict access to only Prize Zone A, which will give you coverage in the EU, but you will only have the less expensive networks available.
On the other hand, if you have a communication plan that is open to all networks, your device doesn’t say ‘only use the less expensive network’ – instead it just picks one with a good enough signal strength, which means you could end up on a premium network in Price Zone B or even C, which can lead to some serious bill shock.
To put it in real terms, just say you have a truck that travels around Europe and just takes a network as it drives along. If you have an open communication plan it might include Zone A but then you drive through Serbia and boom! You will have a a high cost, because that’s Zone C and your SIMs grabbed a network due to your open communication plan. The bottom line is your communication plan should reflect your rate plan and vice versa – that’s how you maintain cost control in an efficient way.