using your mobile abroad

Using your mobile abroad

We have all heard the horror stories of people who’ve used their mobile abroad and ended up with a bill in hundreds. Here are some hints and tips when using your mobile abroad.

Using your mobile abroad

If you use your mobile abroad, you will be “roaming”. This means you are connected to an overseas network and calls/texts/mobile data is routed via the roaming network partner instead of your home network. Unfortunately, this also means your home network provider can charge you extortionate fees for making and receiving calls when you are connected to a mobile network in another country. In some cases, you may not even realise you are connected to another countries network, particularly at borders, or even to a French network from the White Cliffs of Dover! Here’s some things to remember when using your mobile abroad:

  1. Remember that you are roaming on an international network and that everything will cost – even receiving a call.
  2. Speak to you network provider about voicemails. If you listen to a voicemail whilst abroad, you will be charged. Some mobile network providers even charge you if some leaves you a voicemail when you are abroad, regardless of whether you listen to it or not. Personally, I have turned off my voicemail, both at home and abroad.
  3. Know how much using your mobile will cost you. If you travel within the European Union, the cost of using your mobile phone is capped under EU legislation which sets out maximum tariffs. If you are outside the European Union which isn’t legislated, chances are you will pay a lot more.
  4. Buy a local PAYG sim card. You should be able to get these at most airports or international train stations. Just make sure your phone is unlocked.
  5. Make use of free WiFi and turn off your data roaming.
  6. Add on a roaming bundle to your mobile package. This can cut the costs of international calls by between 10% and 90%.
  7. Don’t forget Skype. If you need to make a toll-free call, do it via Skype. Search on for freephone numbers.
  8. Don’t forget you can also call international toll free numbers through Skype. Sometimes you may find a number in your home country is a premium rate, whilst for another country it’s a freephone number. A simple search could save you hundreds if using Skype.
  9. Make use of free messenger apps such as Whatsapp to send messages – be sure to connect to WiFi to make further savings.
  10. If you need to use mobile data, d0n’t use it for any big downloads- you may get stuck with a bill that goes in to the hundreds.

Happy travels!

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