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Mobile Roaming: Cheapest Calls When You're Abroad
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# 1
MSE Archna
Old 23-08-2007, 1:25 PM
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Default Mobile Roaming: Cheapest Calls When You're Abroad


This thread is specifically to discuss the content of the


To discuss or ask a question about the article: click reply

Read the old Roaming discussion for more info.

Thanks for your help,
MSE Becca

Last edited by Former MSE Becca; 20-03-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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# 2
redux
Old 23-08-2007, 2:33 PM
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Although the previous discussion thread has been closed, it's still well worth reading for more detail than Martin can go into in an article of this size.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....html?t=231354

Although the EU measures are at last driving down ordinary contract roaming costs, there are still much cheaper options, especially using separate callback with either local or global roaming SIMs.

As well as the Eurotariff, the other options available here should also mention O2's My Europe Extra. For £10 a month, one at a time or renewable and not forced to be in phase with the monthly bill, or £60 a year on business contracts, or [I've read elsewhere] perhaps even free on an offer from the Retentions team, outgoing calls from and to over 30 European countries are 25p a minute, incoming calls free. There is also a Chosen Country - Spain option that is similar for £5 a month. Then perhaps use the free incoming calls with a cheaper callback option ...


As Martin suggests, getting a local SIM is cheaper in the country itself than the extra convenience of buying one here in advance. But the other thing to note about this is that this will give more choice, from all networks rather than just the one chosen by the UK reseller.

For instance, in many countries there are virtual operator (eg like Virgin here in T-mobile) SIMs that have some much cheaper options than the main networks which constitute the bulk of those local SIMs resold here, and some of these have especially cheap for diect-dialled international calls, whilst others would be well suited to callthrough such as calling cards or similar. As Martin suggests, look on PrepaidGSM for more details. Some SIMs can be ordered online with a UK credit card, though perhaps delivered only to an address in their home country.

For the USA in particular, I think that getting SIMs locally is rather better value than Oneroam or 0044's reselling and tariff mark-up of Jolt from BeyondWireless - 10 to 17 cents versus 19 pence

I'm not sure that Martin has quite expanded enough on explanation of the global SIMs available, with detail of what countries these are from, like Liechtenstein, Isle of Man, Monaco, Iceland, Estonia, Jersey. Increasingly common here, several of those mentioned are Isle of Man rebrands of an operation named CallKey, and these vary in terms and tariffs from one reseller to another, particularly in top-up and renewal conditions, so some attention needs to be paid if you are only travelling abroad once or twice a year - read the old thread for more on this.


For people wanting a cheap way for their friends to call them on the foreign SIM, as well as researching the MSE Callchecker, it's worth looking into call forwarding, particularly from several VoIP (voice over internet) providers.

It's interesting to see that for the first time Martin recommends a callback company. There are plenty of providers, which ranges of tariffs and trigger methods - trigger numbers, wap/grps, sms and others. Vyke has been good value for some time, but there are recently some options that are cheaper, particularly from the Betamax VoIP providers, so that both call forwarding to the chosen SIM and outgoing calls from it may be made for tariffs in single eurocent or penny figures (which of course beats even UK contract tariffs for use at home)

Last edited by redux; 24-08-2007 at 11:55 PM. Reason: to correct typing errors
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# 3
co co
Old 23-08-2007, 2:52 PM
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How about someone making plain English for me regarding phones abroad? I`m simple!! How do I know if my phone is blocked? Recently I used it from Venice to phone home.But,if I go to India next month will it work? How do I find out before travelling?
And would someone clever tell me how to get the free texts
I have followed Martins info, but still get confused,I`m on Orange
Corrie Dragonfly Thank you to everyone for this site, but especially Martin,He does a brilliant job!
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# 4
espresso
Old 23-08-2007, 3:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co co View Post
How about someone making plain English for me regarding phones abroad? I`m simple!! How do I know if my phone is blocked? Recently I used it from Venice to phone home.But,if I go to India next month will it work? How do I find out before travelling?
And would someone clever tell me how to get the free texts
I have followed Martins info, but still get confused,I`m on Orange
Corrie Dragonfly Thank you to everyone for this site, but especially Martin,He does a brilliant job!
How about starting on the Orange website for information about using your mobile abroad. See here
Blue text on this forum usually signifies hyperlinks, so click on them!..
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# 5
redux
Old 23-08-2007, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co co View Post
How about someone making plain English for me regarding phones abroad? I`m simple!! How do I know if my phone is blocked? Recently I used it from Venice to phone home.But,if I go to India next month will it work? How do I find out before travelling?
On unlocking - borrow a friend's SIM card on another network and try it in your phone. It may work fine, or it may ask for a subsidy or unlock code. There are a couple of pinned threads at the top of the board about this - some Nokias are the easiest, with a code that people here can calculate for you, while some phones will need a local dealer or market stall to do it with cables and so on.

For India, you'd be much better off getting a local SIM card. Calls to the UK are the equivalent of a few pence a minute. I think Hutch has some of the cheapest int'l rates, but you can find more details at the PrepaidGSM site Martin mentioned

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/india.html
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# 6
mark1024
Old 30-08-2007, 9:44 AM
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I heard about the EU legislated price cuts for roaming and phoned my provider, 3, last week to check the rates were coming down. The operator I spoke with could not confirm any price reductions and could only reel off the old exorbitant rates of something like 75p/min. He said the reductions were not 'finalised'
There was also nothing on their website about the expected 25p rate.

In the end I went out and purchased a Story telecom card for an an ancient Nokia and will use that when away in Spain next week. The phone is on their 'not recommended' list but actually seems to work fine ; one just needs to prefix a dialled number with a code which instigates a call fast call back. I believe their rates were about 40 cents/min. I'll post my experiences when we return from Spain.
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# 7
redux
Old 30-08-2007, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1024 View Post
I heard about the EU legislated price cuts for roaming and phoned my provider, 3, last week to check the rates were coming down. The operator I spoke with could not confirm any price reductions and could only reel off the old exorbitant rates of something like 75p/min. He said the reductions were not 'finalised'
There was also nothing on their website about the expected 25p rate.
That is surprising, as it was announced some time ago. It is now linked from the front page of their website

http://three.co.uk/personal/help_sup...adineurope.omp

For Spain, it's also worth looking at O2's Chosen Country - Spain option, available on both contract and pay-as-you-go. For a £5 a month fee, incoming calls are free, outgoing 25p a minute. And using a separate callback service would save on outgoing call rates
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# 8
mark1024
Old 30-08-2007, 11:24 AM
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Oh well - wasn't there when I looked ! Still slightly cheaper when Story telecom I hope..
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# 9
desjazz
Old 30-08-2007, 12:43 PM
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Default Enlinea even cheper callback service

hello,

I have a sim4travel sim card and used to use the enlinea callback service to get my calls fro pennies but they have since stopped allowing these sims to use their service.

Does anyone know of another service I could piggyback onto this sim card to keep my call prices down?
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# 10
redux
Old 03-09-2007, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desjazz View Post
hello,

I have a sim4travel sim card and used to use the enlinea callback service to get my calls fro pennies but they have since stopped allowing these sims to use their service.

Does anyone know of another service I could piggyback onto this sim card to keep my call prices down?
It seems that bulk carrier rates for Liechtenstein mobiles have been heading upwards for a while, and I've mainly been using an Isle of Man numbered SIM instead.

United Mobile, the firm whose SIMs that Sim4travel are reselling, recently (late July) launched a new SIM with a Jersey mobile number, and made free changeover upgrades available.

I was slightly surprised, reading your post, to assume that you hadn't heard of this, but I now see that the Sim4travel website says this will be available for their customers from 10 September.

With the UM direct-sold product (but I have no idea whether this will also apply to yours), it's possible to keep both SIMs running, by not switching all of the credit, which may help people who spot one or two differences in roaming coverage or tariffs.

Here is a thread discussing the UM+ SIM, with some useful info, but it turns into too much fuss about whether the numbers come from UK mobile inclusive minutes - after all the FL mobiles never did

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....html?t=512617

Going back to your callback query - almost all cheap calls firms and many callback providers providers count Jersey and Isle of Man mobiles as the same tariffs as UK mobiles.

Last edited by redux; 03-09-2007 at 1:11 PM.
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# 11
winevaults
Old 13-09-2007, 11:08 AM
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i am on orange pay as you go
i will need to use phone when i am in spain to phone friends who will also be in spain but are on mobiles using irish mobile networks

how do i get cheap rate calls to and from friends while we are all away in spain ?
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# 12
redux
Old 13-09-2007, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winevaults View Post
i am on orange pay as you go
i will need to use phone when i am in spain to phone friends who will also be in spain but are on mobiles using irish mobile networks

how do i get cheap rate calls to and from friends while we are all away in spain ?
At the very least, make sure that Orange have you on the new Eurotariff. They had a good add-on offer earlier in the year, but this has expired.

Another option, without much complication, would be O2 UK's Chosen Country - Spain. For a 5 a month fee, incoming calls are then free, outgoing to any European number 25 pence a minute, compared to the Eurotariff of about 35 to 38p outgoing, 18p incoming.

If you expect quite a lot of use, it could also be worthwhile to look into getting a Spanish SIM card, used in an unlocked phone, and this might be more attractive if your friends would think about doing that too, though there is then the issue of forwarding calls from the original number (which isn't possible on many payg SIMs).

Some of the Spanish tariffs are not great, but Yoigo has cheap calls, and Spanish Vodafone has a 60 for 1 minutes add-on option, which could also be useful with a calling card access to reach home.

Info on networks and tariffs on
http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/spain.html
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# 13
keefrto
Old 02-10-2007, 11:50 AM
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Anybody got advice on Canada, roaming prices and best options? I am currently with Vodafoen and I have checked their prices (jeez!) and also coming to the end of my contract.
CHEERS
Currently 4 me its Rogers Contract cell phone, REBTEL.COM is the best mobile making and receiving calls to/from UK and Canada
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# 14
redux
Old 04-10-2007, 10:03 AM
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There aren't any cheap roaming options for Canada. Get a local SIM card from Fido or Rogers. Then look into cheap callthrough options for international calls, like DialNow. You can set up the caller ID of the SIM in the DialNow account so it recognises you, or enter a PIN. All the countries access numbers are usable, so you'd still have the spare credit when you got home.

Tariffs and other info at http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/canada.html

http://www.dialnow.com/en/index.html

Different frequency bands are used there, so you'd need to take a tri- or quadband phone, or buy a cheap one locally.
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# 15
animal_magic
Old 06-10-2007, 7:28 PM
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can someone please recommend a good place other than ebay where i can buy a Fido SIM?
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# 16
RubiconCSL
Old 23-10-2007, 4:06 PM
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Default Specifically France & T-Mobile / Three

Okay; so I'm dumb! Or is it just deliberately impossible to work it out with phone companies (surely not I hear you say)!

Right; my position.....

We have now bought a house in France, but are only there half a dozen ties a year. Not being bi-lingual (or bi anything else before you ask!) , we finally managed to get a phone line in with a tariff, which is probably far too expensive for what we need (but I gave up trying to talk in French). It includes around 2 hrs of calls to the UK a month. So, obviously, from there, ringing landlines in the UK is best.

Now then; as I have to work, her in doors and my children will be there when I'm sweating away back at home. They all have mobiles on the three network; mine is on T-Mobile.

The question at last! What is the cheapest way to talk to each other if they are out of the house i.e. mobile to mobile? I think, I can ring them free from my phone and they get charged 10p / min to receive. How about if they want to contact me? 25p/min or 25p/text for them. Without all the hassle of changing sim cards and therefore numbers, is that really the cheapest way?

They won't need to ring me too much, but teenage kids feel deprived if they can't send about a hundred texts a day! At 25p each, they are going to cost me a fortune. Any good ideas - other than a different phone/sim for texting? That would be far too much work for a teenager, so they won't do it

Also, how about broadband? I dont want to pay for a monthly broadband service, as some months we won't be there at all and others only a week or so?
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# 17
jordylass
Old 24-10-2007, 2:41 PM
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I'm going to be in Spain on the Pueblo Ingles course that I saw on another thread (thanks for that). I will want to call/text and receive calls when I am there. The option I was going to use was O2 Eurotariff, but they say it can't be put on till my next billing date when I'll have been in Spain for a week already!
I can use VOIP on my phone although I currently haven't got any service, would that be possible from Spain, also I'm not sure this is the right forum, but will it be possible to connect my phone to the internet. I'm thinking WIFI should be OK?
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# 18
redux
Old 25-10-2007, 1:01 AM
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The Eurotariff really should be on your phone already, as O2 introduced it in July, earlier than required.

The option to look at is Chosen Country - Spain, which has a £5 a month fee, then the same benefit as My Europe Extra, namely free incoming calls and 25p outgoing.

When I've asked about My Europe Extra in the past, there is no obligation for it to be in phase with the billing period, so I'd hope the Spain option is similar and you should be able to have it added at about 2 days notiice. Try asking customer services again, and don't forget to cancel it when you get back.

You should be able to use VoIP over wi-fi on a suitable phone; over 3g the data usage is likely to be expensive. I don't have direct experience but look at things like Truphone and Fring, the latter being a client that you can add your own VoIP account settings to.

Also, it's possible to make more of the free incoming calls by using a callback service, which sets up a call by connecting two outgoing call legs together, one to your phone, and you're charged the sum of the 2 tariffs by that provider.

I use the sms callback of Voipcheap or JustVoip, useful as O2 still use inclusive texts abroad, at a 4 for 1 ratio. The sms sent contains just the destination number and the call comes back a few seconds later with the other number ringing. More info on this is available when logged into the VC or JV account

If you still expect to use more texts than (4 x) your O2 allowance, then look at Java clients that send via wap/grps, such as Vyke mobisms and others discussed on other threads. Some also have a callback trigger

Last edited by redux; 25-10-2007 at 1:22 AM.
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# 19
redux
Old 25-10-2007, 1:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiconCSL View Post
The question at last! What is the cheapest way to talk to each other if they are out of the house i.e. mobile to mobile? I think, I can ring them free from my phone and they get charged 10p / min to receive. How about if they want to contact me? 25p/min or 25p/text for them. Without all the hassle of changing sim cards and therefore numbers, is that really the cheapest way?

They won't need to ring me too much, but teenage kids feel deprived if they can't send about a hundred texts a day! At 25p each, they are going to cost me a fortune. Any good ideas - other than a different phone/sim for texting? That would be far too much work for a teenager, so they won't do it
I think that 3 is the cheapest UK option for calls if you don't want to get them French SIMs, but it might be worth a look at hose, though one of the problems in France is that networks still have quite short periods for the credit validity

Compare networks and tariffs on http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/france.html

The ordinary tariffs aren't great, but options like SFR la carte, with 30 cents per call up to an hour for landlines and other SFR, might be worthwhile, and useful with a local callthrough access for calls back to the UK.

But that then removes your cheap calls to them, unless they carry around 2 phones. But there is an interesting option now on O2 pay&go, with free international calls added per regular monthly top-up, which you might use to call if they get French SIMs

Cheap texts as for the last post: there are mobile Java programs that send an equivalent over grps, for 2 to 5 cents each, plus the network's data cost of a cent or two. Discussed in this thread:

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/....html?t=528955

Some of those programs also have a callback service as well, such as Voipbuster and Vyke, which would be another option for cheaper outgoing calls from French SIMs
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# 20
jordylass
Old 25-10-2007, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for your help Redux, I've created an account with Justvoip but I'm confused about the callback service you mention. i can't see anything on their site about sending texts for callback.
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