What does international roaming mean?

When you take your mobile or mobile data device abroad from your home country and try to connect with the local provider in the visiting country to make phone calls or access the Internet, then your home country operator is using their roaming service. This will be charged to your mobile operator in your home country. In general, international roaming charges are comparatively high, so you need to be a bit cautious before activating or using this service.

International roaming is used not only for making phone calls and data, but also includes receiving incoming calls, sending and receiving SMS, MMS, and retrieving voice messages. Even when you use your mobile apps and check your emails, you are roaming internationally. In roaming situations, you may need to pay for your incoming calls as well.

For international roaming service, your carrier will not cover every country in the world, so it is best to check your mobile network carrier’s roaming coverage before travelling. Also, roaming charges may be different depending on the countries or group of counties specified as zones.

How to check if roaming is enabled

Some operators have the My Account online portal and you can check all your enabled or authorized installations there. You can check the status of roaming on your portal to confirm whether it is enabled or disabled. If you do not want to use this service, it is better to disable this feature to avoid unnecessary bill shocks. Also, confirm in your smartphone’s mobile data settings that the data roaming option is turned off.

It’s always best to contact your operator’s customer service and turn roaming services on or off, if you were unable to find this feature online through my account portals.

Receive incoming calls while roaming

You do not need to set up or do any special configuration to receive an incoming call while roaming. Anyone from your home country can call you as your local number with or without international format. They will be charged as a local call to make these calls. However, you may be charged for receiving calls while roaming, depending on your roaming packages.

Make calls while roaming

If you are dialing from your contact list, the first time calls may fail due to a couple of reasons. The main reason is the number format you are dialing to call back to your home country. This happens as if you had saved your friend’s or family member’s number without the international code, such as 079XXXX or 042XXXX, etc. If you travel frequently, it is always good practice to keep your address book in the international format, such as +4479XXXX or 6142XXXX etc. While roaming, if you want to make a phone call, the number must be in the format +44xxxxxxx, +61xxxxxxx, +1xxxxxxx, +41xxxxxx, etc.

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