European businesses are "wasting at least £2.4 billion a year" on "unmanaged connectivity costs", according to research.

Corporate mobile connectivity provider iPass has published its WiFi Cost Index report, which says European businesses are "overspending by at least 50 percent" through unmanaged connectivity charges from business travellers making international trips.

As a result, at least £2.4 billion per year is being "wasted", it said. During 2012, says iPass, European business travellers made 65.1 million international business trips, with an average spend on essential connectivity per trip of £73.91 when travelling within Europe.

When travelling to the US the cost was £128.73, and when in Asia it was £138.56.

This means, says the report, that a minimum of £4.8 billion was spent in 2012 by European business travellers merely to get online. In contrast, it says, enabling business travellers with a global authorised WiFi network would realise savings of at least 50 percent - as documented by the WiFi Cost Index report - equivalent to £2.4 billion per year.

The high costs reported are mainly down to "unchecked" data roaming on mobile phone networks, as opposed to finding corporate authorised WiFi points. However, many executives find they have no other option but to use those mobile phones networks when travelling, despite the increased availability of WiFi.

Rene Hendrikse, vice president of EMEA at iPass, said: "Mobile working has become ingrained in the fabric of many businesses, yet even in today's cost-cutting environment, businesses are wasting money unnecessarily by failing to manage connectivity services and costs for their business travellers when working abroad."