How to save Phone cost when travelling Abroad – Mobile phone roaming tips
Smartphone technology has changed how we live and communicate. It has nearly eliminated all communication barriers and transforming our wide world into a global village. Because of this, families and friends are Increasingly feeling at ease when their loved one decides to live or study abroad. Smartphone is loaded with smart applications (apps) with which one could audio-visually talk with one’s family or simultaneously chat with friends in different countries as if they were sitting together in a bar. But there are high roaming charges to pay for using your locked smartphone when abroad.
Why Roaming Charges?
First it is important to understand what is roaming. If a Colombian worker relocates to the USA, he will be roaming from the USA if he calls home with his Colombian mobile phone network service(e.g. Telefonica Colombia). And his home phone company will charge him for roaming. Phone companies have established a global roaming relationship among themselves. For example, Roger Wireless in Canada has a roaming relationship with USA AT&T wireless. So, if you live in Canada and on Roger mobile phone Network and you travel to the USA, you will be roaming on AT&T network for any use of your phone. Your network provider Roger pays AT&T about $0.15 per minutes for your roaming, but Roger will be charging you about $1.45 per minute for that roaming. This shows you are paying nearly 10 times more than you should if were you an AT&T customer in the USA. Roaming charges are high around the world and one must take steps to avoid being ripped off by phone companies through roaming charges.
What are the Steps
1. It is important to have your phone unlocked
2. Get a local SIM card
Most phones are locked by manufacturers(as in USA) or phone vendors in order to protect their vested interest. This means that a locked phone can only accept a specific SIM card provided by the vendor. Your right as a consumer to choose which SIM card and network for your phone is abolished. You can only regain your right by unlocking your phone. By unlocking your phone, it eliminates the vendor or manufacturer’s lock software and liberalised your phone to accept other SIM cards. Modern technologies have made unlocking process so easy and quick. Now that your GSM phone is unlocked you can shop around the multiple network vendors. This is both essential and a cost saving measure in the USA where vendors take advantage of locked phones.
Note: It is important to do unlocking of your phone before travelling to the USA as it is illegal to do certain unlocking. But the USA law allows you to bring in your unlocked phone. In the EU and most countries unlocking is legal. You can take advantage of our remote unlocking technologies by click here.
Get a Local SIM Card
When you arrive in a country like USA with your unlocked GSM phone just look for a local SIM card from vendors. This enables you to communicate at ease with family and friends at home at a local charge. It eliminates a surprise roaming bill coming to you. Unlocking your GSM phone does not harm your phone. All your downloaded apps, files and documents, phonebook are intact and unaltered.
In most countries including the USA there are two options, Pay as You go(prepaid, no contract) or the Bill pay (Unlimited , contracted). The Pay as you go allows you to top up your phone data from a specified minimum amount of money. Your calling, texting or data services end when the money is finished; and can be refilled. The Bill pay or Unlimited must be taken with caveat as there are hidden terms and conditions for usage. Take time to read the often tiny written pages, or better, ask for the key issues in the terms and conditions. Whether on a pay as you go or on a bill pay it is good to be prudent with data usage when not on Wi-Fi.
Data Cost cutting Avenue
To take maximum advantage of the unlocking phone be smart in using your smartphone abroad. Smartphones are wonderful, providing us with smart applications that could enable us to audio-visual family and friends at home without having to pay a cent. The best way to do this is by using Wi-Fi in your house, hotel, work place always. The downloading, updating of apps should also be done with Wi-Fi instead.
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