- KNOW YOUR ROAMING CHARGES:
charges vary greatly and can be very expensive, so
make sure you know what the charges will be before you leave home. If
you aren't sure of the rates or if you know they are high, you should
deactivate the cellular Data Roaming capability of your phone. There
have been horror stories of people receiving data roaming charges in
the thousands of dollars. Even though carriers
claim they will alert you to any possible excessive charges, those
alerts may not reach you when you are out of the country.
- THE CHEAPEST
Wi-Fi is your best data option in foreign
countries. It's usually available at high speeds and normally uses
frequencies that are available even in phones that are not compatible
with foreign cellular channels. It can be used for Wi-Fi calling apps
which are Free or reasonably-priced. Remember, Wi-Fi Data transfers are
usually not secure.
- THE CHEAPEST CELLULAR
Data Roaming may already be included in your home wireless
plan or have it available as an extra-cost feature. You may need to
watch your usage when your home wireless data is large or Unlimited,
and your foreign Roaming Data is capped at a different amount or
charged at a different rate.
"International" or Foreign Local SIM can have a large amount
of Data roaming included. Since the amount is paid in advance, you have
no worries about getting surprise Data charges. Choose Among Different SIM's.
CALLS OVER BROADBAND ARE CHEAP BUT NOT ALWAYS FREE:
allow you to make free calls over broadband, but not necessarily all
calls are free. The T-Mobile Wi-Fi Calling App makes and receives calls
on a broadband connection but uses your T-Mobile minutes at your normal
domestic rate, which may be Unlimited.
- CHECK YOUR SETTINGS:
your Settings Allow (or don't Allow) Cellular Roaming. Take your
instruction manual or put the online manual in your phone's offline
documents. You can also copy the address on your laptop computer to
read the manual when you have Wi-Fi access. With a foreign SIM, set up
you APN or broadband settings before you leave the store...or home. Sometimes you need to change
your phone's settings manually. If you buy a SIM at a store, let them
help you set it up. Often, you can save settings in your phone to be
- BROADBAND SPEEDS VARY:
You might be
pleasantly surprised at nice, fast 4G LTE speeds, but be prepared for
areas with much slower downloads. Broadband speeds can be
network-dependant, but just as likely is that your phone, while it may
be a compatible "quad-band" model, may not include all
the frequencies used by foreign carriers for data. Fortunately, even
the slowest data speeds enable you to do things like send email and
check your location on
AROUND THE WORLD:
can be found in a surprsingly large number
of countries, it is usually not as widely available as it is at home.
Wi-Fi access can be found in private and public places
but the Wi-Fi band of frequencies in foreign countries can include a
larger or smaller number of channels, be located in different 'bands',
possibly none at all. The US Wi-Fi bands include frequencies
2.4 and 5 GHz, with the 2.4 GHz channels (1-12) being the most common
in foreign countries.
most smartphones provide Wi-Fi access you can use data capabilities in
foreign countries as well as Calling and Text functions with
appropriate apps installed.