Palpatine
Level 20: Director

GOING OVERSEAS - THINGS TO CONSIDER AND PREPARE BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Going Overseas?

 

Part 2 of a 3 Part Post, covering the management of international Roaming Costs (Sections 15 and 16)

 

 

Communications using your Smartphone or Tablet will be largely stress free when you take the time to plan how to use these devices well before you leave home.

 

The author of this post is a 50 year veteran of the telecommunications industry, and in retirement is a frequent overseas traveller as well as a regular contributor to Crowd Support on International Roaming topics. The author is an iPhone/iPad user, (which may be apparent in the reading) and Android users are welcome to add to or correct the Author’s attempt to advise on Android functions.

 

 

 

Table of Contents

1     ITINERARY BUILDER, PRE-PAID VS POST PAID. 

2     ACTIVATE INTERNATIONAL ROAMING

3     UPDATE ALL YOUR SOFTWARE

4     DOWNLOAD USEFUL APPS

5     ESTIMATE YOUR DATA USE

6     INTERNATIONAL ROAMING PACKS OR A FOREIGN COUNTRY SIM?.

7     PLAN YOUR MESSAGEBANK GREETINGS

8    PRACTICE SOME OF THE FUNCTIONS YOU WILL REGULARLY USE

9     PLAN HOW YOU WILL MANAGE EMAIL WHILE OVERSEAS

10    CONSIDER SAVING PHOTOS TO CLOUD STORAGE

11    RECOMMENDED DOCUMENTS TO COPY, TAKE AND SAVE

12    ACQUIRING THE OVERSEAS CARRIER NETWORK

13     HOTEL WIFIs

14     CRUISE SHIP WIFI

15    MANAGING INTERNATIONAL ROAMING DATA COSTS

15.1     APPLE DATA MONITORING

15.2     ANDROID DATA MONITORING

16     TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATION REFRESH

16.1     TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATION ON APPLE

16.2     TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATIONS ON ANDROID

17     IF YOUR DEVICE IS LOST OR STOLEN

18    EMERGENCY SERVICES

19    BILLING DELAYS

20    ADVANCE PAYMENT

 

 

Telstra has extended the range of options for Overseas Travellers, including:

  • International Travel Pass, which includes Voice Calls, Data and SMS for Post Paid
  • International Data Packs for Post Paid
  • International Data Packs for Pre-Paid

For the full range of plan options, pricing and included benefits see

 

www.telstra.com/overseas

 

International Roaming services depend on the capabilities and coverage of Telstra’s International Roaming partners and may change from time to time.

 

 

  1. MANAGING INTERNATIONAL ROAMING DATA COSTS

 

There are a number of tips under International Roaming on Telstra.com, see:

https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/international-roaming/travel-tips/prepaid-tools

 

The important things to remember from the above link are:

  • Telstra will send you an SMS in each country you travel in to let you know the costs of mobile usage while travelling in that country
  • If you have an International Roaming Browse Plus Pack, Telstra will send you an SMS when you’ve have used 50%, 85% and 100% of your data allowance.

Take note of these messages. (Take a screen shot of the messages and store in your Photos just in case later reference is required.)

 

Note: The Telstra 24/7 app does not include data used on International Roaming Packs.

 

15.1     APPLE DATA MONITORING

 

Since the release of Apple iOS 7, Apple have included a very useful data monitoring tool, go:

 

Settings>

Cellular >

Scroll further down on the page where the bottom line is likely to say “Personal Hotspot” keep swiping down… to “CELLULAR DATA USAGE”. Take a mental note of the “Current Period Roaming figure.

 

Keep swiping this page down, past “USE CELLULAR DATA FOR” and take a good note of the Apps that are turned on or off and using data. This list will be sorted alphabetically – ensure that you turn OFF any apps that will not be essential when travelling.

 

Keep swiping down to the very bottom of this page, past the list of Apps, and press “System Services”.

 

The next page will present a list of your Apps in descending order of Data Usage, and the results may be of some surprise. Take note of the top Data use Apps, and consider turning some OFF? I expect that apps like Personal Hotspot, Facebook, Skype are likely to be in any top 10 – and some of these you will use overseas, just be aware and informed.

 

Press “Cellular” at the top left on this page and go back to the bottom of the previous page to the line marked “Reset Statistics”. It is strongly advised that you Reset Statistics on the same day as you activate (buy) your International Roaming Pack, in this way, the data usage calculated by the phone under “CELLULAR DATA USAGE” should reconcile quite closely with the usage SMS messages you get from Telstra at 50% and 80% of your pack being used. (The phone use figure is likely to be a little higher than the Telstra figure, as some Telstra data may not be metered, but both figures are generally consistent)

 

15.2     ANDROID DATA MONITORING

 

Android devices have a less complex data monitoring feature which may vary with phone make and model, but go:

 

Settings >

Data Usage >

You will see a simple graph. There are two small grab dots on the baseline of the graph, and you can slide these dot “handles” to the dates which coincide with your International Roaming Pack. The data used for the selected period will be shown under the graph (in rather small print)

 

16       TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATION REFRESH

 

Most smartphones and tablets “Multi Task”, this means that the application you open will stay open in the background until you close them. Multi tasking can be responsible for unexpected data use, as many applications will automatically update in the background, even though you are not using them.

 

16.1     TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATION ON APPLE

 

Apple devices have a number of steps you can control. Firstly from the home screen, double click the home button (the round depression bottom center). You will see all the open applications in a small icon “Film strip” presentation. Simply swipe each miniature application off the screen and the application is closed.

 

Apple devices have another feature. You can selectively decide which applications will update in the background and those that do not, or turn all background application refresh OFF in total. Go:

 

SETTINGS >

GENERAL >

BACKGROUND APPLICATION REFRESH > (should be around the bottom line on that page)

 

Some Customers prefer to leave Background Application refresh ON, but turn all the individual applications where real time updates are not important OFF.

 

16.2     TURN OF BACKGROUND APPLICATIONS ON ANDROID

 

Again, Android application operation can differ between phone types and models, but in general:

 

Hold the bottom right “menu” icon for a couple of seconds. All the open Apps should appear in similar “filmstrip” miniatures. Some Android devices may allow you to swipe them off the screen, and others, you hold your touch on the miniature and you will be given the option to “Remove from List”. Close all Apps, and make it a habit to close them daily when overseas.

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Palpatine has participated in Social Media accreditation through Telstra and has access to some enhanced support and escalation processes. Palpatine is not a Telstra employee and any posts or opinions are entirely his own.

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