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Travelling with your mobile phone

Mobile phones are incredibly useful to have when travelling – however, using your phone in another country (or even another region of the same country) can be expensive.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you are going to travel:

  • Will your mobile phone actually work? If you have a quad band phone, this shouldn't be a problem (see the section on Bands, above, for more about this).
  • What will it cost to use your phone on a different network? Your mobile phone provider will charge you a premium price for leaving their network and using another. Before you travel, check the per-minute price for receiving and making calls, and for sending and receiving SMS messages, at your destination. Any data or internet services will also be charged at a premium rate. If these prices are prohibitive, you may want to consider using a local SIM card.
  • Use a local SIM card. Many mobile phone providers sell SIM cards for pay-as-you-go services. If you are going to have a high volume of calls while you are abroad this is a very affordable option, particularly if people in the country you are visiting need to call you on your mobile via a local number. To do this you will need an unlocked phone (see section on unlocked phones). It is best to check to see if this an option before you travel but you will probably need to wait until you reach your destination to buy the SIM card and the number you will be able to use.