Mobile telephones are among the top five most popular travel items taken overseas, and are a convenient way of staying in touch with your family and friends back home.
The network service that allows you to use your U.K. mobile telephone abroad to make and receive calls and messages is called international roaming. See the following tips for being well prepared. Some of this information may also be useful for buying a mobile, by showing you how to get the best deal on price or coverage for international roaming.
Before you go….
- Contact your U.K. mobile network provider to ensure your mobile phone is enabled for international roaming. Do this well in advance of your departure date, as it can take up to fourteen days, and you cannot do it from overseas. Check that your existing handset will work in the country you are travelling to; this may not be the case, particularly outside of Europe.
- Check with your U.K. network provider how much it costs for an international roaming service. Charges can be a lot higher than, and very different to calls in the U.K. For example, while roaming you will pay to receive calls and listen to voicemail. Sending text messages may be much cheaper, but you can be charged twice per message (once by your operator and once by the overseas operator) to convey messages to and from home. Rates can vary according to your network and the country you are visiting. Information on charges may be available from your network's web site, customer services or literature.
- Confirm the current charges just before you leave as some charges can change at short notice.