Saturday, July 14, 2012

bypass, remove or skip mobile / cellular roaming charges...

hi there

well, it's not too often that i have any practical consumer advice, but when i do it seems to be comments on how to get the Samsung monitor working on a Windows 7 PC seem to have been useful to a few, at least! in that spirit, then, let me show you how to avoid the massive charges issued for "international roaming", in particular with respect to data, placed on mobile or cellular phone users by service providers around the world.

the short and simple answer is to just not use international roaming at all - get a prepaid, or pay as you go, SIM card in the country of your choice and off you go!

i did a bit of research before we headed off, and having discovered that my phone was "unlocked" from any particular network, could not see any reason why a UK sim would fail to do what i wanted. to that end, cousin Andrew kindly arranged to get us a couple of them for when we landed.

in regards of checking if your phone is "unlocked" is something you will need to hit google for, as working that out is device and model specific. in this day and age, however, very few phones are network locked, thanks to various competition committee rulings in favour of consumers around the world.

a review of all the options available in the UK suggested strongly that Orange was the network for a BlackBerry user, and thus that is what we went for. want to see the SIM card in a stylish picture on the 10th anniversary edition of The Stone Roses? sure you do!

to get the BlackBerry services (BBM, BIS) activated cost about £5.00, which in the grand scheme of things is not a great deal at all really - in particular compared to what Service Providers here were quoting for switching it to internatonal roaming!

a down side, of course, is that you have a different number whilst in the UK. that's not really all that much of an issue these days. if you do not have an email address on your phone anyway, set one up on gmail or something and you can simply email everyone your new number if you so wish. to be honest, i just for the most part communicated via BBM, email and text / sms messages anyway. 

i would imagine if you are using a Nokia or Samsung or any other proper device that is a phone / communication machine rather than a fashion accessory the same is true, although obviously you'd also skip the BlackBerry Service cost. i suggest if you have one of those machines you should rather browse for other network options - Orange simply seemed the best for BlackBerry. 

apologies, then, to you iTwat users. i have no idea how any of this would work for you - i understand that Apple are very reluctant for the people who make them rich by buying their fashionista devices to use them in any way at all. i imagine that if by some miracle your iTwat is not network locked the same would work, but i suggest you search around for iTwat forums to see what they say. 

for the benefit of iTwat users, and to add a bit of colour for everyone in general, here is an ace blurry image of my Orange SIM, one that i imagine i shall need to post back to Andrew next week.

a "trick" of course would be that you probably need a UK resident to purchase and activate the SIM for you. well, not so much the latter, for you can only activate it when it is in your device. again, this is not too much of an issue. we were visiting family, so Andrew kindly sorted it out for us. i would imagine all reading this for tips are planning on seeing some sort of friends or family, who no doubt will help - practically every shop in the UK seems to sell SIM cards. if the worst case is you are a business type, or one of those solo "lonely planet" people, then i have next to no doubt at all that someone in any hotel or guest house you are staying in will assist you. the UK is, after all, a land filled with mostly friendly people!

on our return, we put the original SIM cards in and everything just went back to how it was. well, except the time zone - UK SIM cards are clever and adjust for you, the ones here not so much.

if for some peculiar reason you really, really want to keep your usual number active then all i can say is best of luck with the excessive, insane roaming charges. for everyone else on their travels, i really hope this advice has helped and nice one if you use it.

happy travels! 

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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