I mentioned before that a few months back I was in London for an event and I decided to forego my laptop and just bring my Nokia N95-8GB. This would provide e-mail, RSS reading and Twitter. Of course I was petrified of the roaming data charges that can happen abroad and made sure to just use Wifi where possible. Unfortunately my hotel room had a very poor wifi signal so I decided to bite the bullet and check my email using the (much maligned by me) Vodafone Live APN on the phone. I pay a few Euro a month for 500MB of Live data.

When I got back I checked my data charges on vodafone.ie to discover that they were zero for my trip! It seems as if the concept of “roaming” doesn’t occur on Vodafone Live as long as you are on the Vodafone network. I don’t know if this is by accident or not but I was thrilled. Of course the downside is that Live only gives you HTTP(S) and POP, you don’t get IM, IMAP, SSH or any other protocol/port.

I’m just back from a two week holiday in France and for the most part I tried to use Live on the SFR network which Vodafone owns. I had no idea what the charges would be so I was very conservative in my use. For some of the LouderVoice site work, I had to use the Vodafone ISP connection to get SSH access but the usage was minimal so I wasn’t too worried.

Yesterday I logged on to vodafone.ie and bless their little hearts, the trick works in France too! Zero data charges for all my GMail, RSS reading and Nokia Maps over Vodafone Live with a few cent here and there for the ISP connections.

The only other downside of this is that you cannot use the phone as a modem for your laptop with a Live connection since it is not a real access point, it’s a legacy WAP thingy. But if, like me, you can get most things done on your N95-8GB along with the brilliant iGo Stowaway keyboard, then you’ll save a packet on your travels in Europe.

Now if Nokia needs a tester/reviewer for the soon-I-hope-to-be-launched touch screen phone, I’m ready and waiting.