Using your Mobile Phone Whilst Abroad (existing Network)

by : Gary Parsons

Many of us put any issues of using our mobile phones abroad to the back of our minds when preparing for our holidays, believing that making the odd call or sending the odd text won't do much harm to our bank balance. Unfortunately this can be a trap that many of us fall into and can easily end up being quite costly.

Fortunately people are now becoming aware of the different options available to them, especially with the introduction of a cap on charges when travelling within the EU.

There are several different routes which can be taken if you are considering taking your mobile phone abroad; the most simple and quite common practice is to contact your operator and find out what packages are available on the different mobile phone deals available

All the major networks offer a roaming tariff:

International Traveller Service (ITS) from O2; offers discounted calls when travelling abroad. This service is free to customers paying ?35 or higher per month, otherwise costing is ?2.99 per month. You will need to contact their customer services department to activate this product.

3 Like Home from Three; can be set up easily. Like other networks you will need to call them up at-least 24 hours in advance to ensure the service is fully activated before travelling. Unlike some other networks; you are able to receive calls and text messages free of charge.

Vodafone Passport from Vodafone; gives the option to pay a 75p connection fee per call made when abroad. If you have any bundled minutes left within your monthly allowance then this will still be used with the fee added on top. This service, like others, needs to be set up in advance by calling the customer service number from your mobile.

T- Mobile; offers different bundles of texts and minutes to users travelling within specified zones, hopefully making it easier and cheaper for their users to make calls when abroad. This can be setup by calling or sending a message their automated system.

Orange; much like the others have a basic tariff in place. It's always advisable to contact your operator before you travel to ensure that any services they offer are activated.

Once you've activated your tariff, it's worthwhile ensuring that your actual handset will work abroad. Your operator should be able to give you help with this and inform you which services will work in the country you're travelling too.

It's important to remember that using your phone abroad can prove quite costly. Remember that with some networks you will incur a charge to receive calls as well as when making them. Finally, you will need to ensure that you're covered should you have your mobile stolen whilst away so check any insurances you have in place.