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What is International Global Roaming?
Mobile Phone & Internet Blog | MATE | 30 June 2023
Thanks to today’s technological strides, travelling abroad no longer means disconnecting from the world. Gone are the days of waiting for postcards to arrive or racking up costly hotel phone bills to stay in touch with loved ones. With the advent of international roaming, staying connected has become easier than ever. In this guide, we will explore the ins and outs of international roaming, including how to activate it, manage data usage, and save on costs while you’re globetrotting.
What is international roaming?
International roaming is a service that allows you to use your mobile phone while travelling abroad, connecting to local mobile networks in the country you’re visiting. This service enables you to make phone calls, send SMS, and access mobile data without the need for a separate international SIM card or a local mobile plan. When you’re on an international trip, your mobile provider will partner with local mobile networks, allowing you to stay connected seamlessly. MATE plans on offering global roaming soon!
Travel SIM vs. a mobile plan with international roamingA travel SIM is a prepaid SIM card designed for use in multiple countries. These SIM cards often come with a set amount of data, talk, and text and can be topped up as needed. When using a travel SIM, you’ll have a different phone number from your regular mobile plan.
On the other hand, a mobile plan with international roaming allows you to use your existing phone number and mobile plan while travelling abroad. With MATE, international global roaming will soon be available on all 4G and 5G SIM plans, adding a new level of convenience and benefit for MATE customers.
What does international roaming include?
International roaming services usually include:
- Calls: Make and receive phone calls to and from the country you’re visiting, as well as back home.
- Data: Access mobile data to browse the internet, use apps, and send emails.
- SMS: Send and receive text messages.
How to use/activate international roaming on iPhone/Android
Activating international roaming on your mobile device is easy. Here’s how to do it on both iPhone and Android devices:
- Go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data Options.
- Turn on “Data Roaming” to enable international roaming.
- Go to Settings > Connections > Mobile Networks.
- Turn on “Data Roaming” to enable international roaming.
Remember to check with MATE or your mobile provider to ensure that international roaming is activated on your account before leaving for your trip.
How much does international roaming cost?
International roaming charges vary depending on your mobile provider and the country you’re visiting. Some providers offer unlimited talk, text, and data for a daily fee, while others may have pay-as-you-go or roaming add-on packs available. It’s essential to check with your mobile provider for the specific costs associated with international roaming. MATE customers will be able to find information on roaming charges and eligible countries on the MATE website once international roaming becomes available.
How to save data when using international roaming
To avoid excessive data usage and roaming fees, follow these tips:
- Set a data limit: Most smartphones allow you to set a data limit, which will notify you when you’re approaching your set limit.
- Turn off unnecessary settings: Disable automatic app updates, background data usage, and location services when not in use.
- Connect to Wi-Fi: Whenever possible, connect to Wi-Fi networks to save on mobile data usage.
What apps/services use the most data when roaming?
Some apps and services can consume significant amounts of data when roaming. These include:
- Video streaming services (e.g., Netflix, YouTube)
- Social media apps (e.g., Facebook, Instagram)
- Video calling apps (e.g., FaceTime, Skype)
- Maps and navigation apps (e.g., Google Maps, Waze)
- Music streaming services (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music)
To minimise data usage, try downloading content for offline use, such as maps or playlists, before leaving for your trip.
List of countries you can roam in
The list of countries you can roam in depends on your mobile provider’s agreements with local mobile networks. As part of MATE’s upcoming international roaming packs on our mobile plans, we plan to offer global data roaming in numerous countries around the world.
As a reseller and user of parts of Telstra’s wholesale mobile network, MATE customers will soon have comparable access to an extensive list of countries supported by Telstra’s roaming service.
Some of the countries where Telstra provides international roaming, and which MATE customers can expect access to, may include:
United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, China, Japan, Singapore, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates
Stay tuned as we unveil a complete list of eligible countries once international roaming becomes available.
Benefits of international roaming
International roaming offers several advantages, including:
- Convenience: No need to purchase a separate travel SIM or local mobile plan.
- Continuity: Keep your existing phone number and mobile plan while travelling.
- Flexibility: Access to mobile data, calls, and SMS, allowing you to stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues back home.
How to track your data usage
Tracking your data usage while using international roaming can help you avoid unexpected charges. Here’s how to monitor data usage on iPhone and Android devices:
- Go to Settings > Mobile > Mobile Data.
- Reset the “Current Period” statistics at the beginning of your trip to track your data usage abroad.
- Go to Settings > Connections > Data Usage.
- Set the data usage cycle to align with your trip dates and monitor your data consumption.
Stay connected while travelling abroad with MATE – coming soon!
By choosing a mobile plan with international roaming, like those soon to be offered by MATE, you’ll enjoy the convenience of using your existing mobile plan and phone number while avoiding the hassle of purchasing a separate travel SIM or local mobile plan.
Get yourself prepared for your next international adventure with MATE.