While planning to travel abroad, you also need to know that communication should be one of the things to take into account. Being able to use your phone and mobile phone number in another country is normally overlooked, yet it can be very costly if not looked into. Global roaming allows you to use your line and phone to make and receive calls, send and receive SMS messages using another country’s network while the network provider back home is billed.
While travellers abroad can use global roaming by automatically connecting to a local network, there are 3 things that you need to know and consider lest you come back home to a huge bill from your network provider.
High Global Roaming Charges
Even with the new free roaming services that have been offered to European travellers visiting the EU, global roaming charges still apply to those using their phones in non-EU countries. Different countries worldwide have different charges for the different services like voice calls, SMS, and MMS.
In general, SMS and MMS are normally less costly compared to voice calls. There are also charges incurred when you receive calls which include calls that have gone straight to your voicemail. Other services like data roaming are usually more costly than voice calls. To ensure that you enjoy the time spent abroad without worrying about a high phone bill, there are a few measures that you can take and spend less on roaming which include:
- Using a phone that has no internet access.
- Restricting your internet usage by turning off automatic features, updates and data roaming.
- Setting your phone on airplane mode and only turn it on when you have access to a free internet hotspot.
- Downloading and making use of Apps such as WhatsApp, Skype or Viber to communicate through messaging, make or receive calls. However, ensure that they are turned off once you are through.
Phone Compatibility With Local Networks
Contact your service provider to find out how you can still roam at a reasonable rate during your stay abroad. Different providers offer different options. Some provide rental services where you can use a local phone during your travel, others have data plans for international calls, others do not offer the service for fear of the exorbitant phone charges that might total in your bill. The GSM technology is used in most countries worldwide and since most phones have it, you can use your phone in most countries, but it’s best to check with your provider to see if your device is supported.
Phones’ Network Status
Find out if your phone is locked and cannot work with another service provider. Phones that have been locked do not accept SIM cards from other service providers and while some can be unlocked, others cannot. Find out if you can unlock your phone to use other SIM cards so that you can get yourself a local SIM card in the country you will be visiting. Getting a local SIM card will reduce the cost of local calls and you can also utilise data networks at a fair cost.
It is advisable that you know all the costs before you even travel. This is because any overseas network that identifies your phone will automatically start roaming. Consult HandsetExpert to find out more about the roaming charges in different countries.