Palpatine
Level 20: Director

GOING OVERSEAS - A FOREIGN SIM OR A ROAMING PACK, and other topics

This post is part of a series of 3 Posts on International Roaming - see other posts by the same Contributor

 

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 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.

 

6          INTERNATIONAL ROAMING PACKS OR A FOREIGN COUNTRY SIM?

 

A very commonly asked question, and the answer depends very much on your intended location, and your own personal circumstances and relationships.

 

International Travel Pass gives you unlimited voice calls and SMS to and from standard numbers. You’ll also receive a data allowance, to use in all the eligible countries of your selected zone for the period of the pass.

 

Data packs are a more cost effective way to check emails and access your social media and browse the internet as you travel but do not include voice calls.

 

A Foreign SIM may look attractive value, but consider:

  • Unless you notify all your contacts of your Foreign Number you can no longer be contacted via voice or TXT (and your contacts will pay full International Call rates to contact you)
  • You will need to re-establish all your email accounts and possibly transfer contacts, calendars and any other information stored on your normal SIM (Check your phones user guide)
  • If you have children, aging parents, or friends and Family who demand high emotional support, then a foreign SIM will not suit your travel needs.
  • If your itinerary takes you into a number of countries, then you may only use a small portion of the value on multiple Foreign SIMS at around 30 Euro s each
  • The different size of SIMS and the difficulty in changing should be considered with some phone types
  • Instructions, details and Terms and Conditions may be in a foreign language, making it difficult to understand what you are buying
  • Support for the Foreign SIM is limited
  • Quality of Voice and Data circuits used on low cost SIMS may be a compromise

 

Telstra’s range of Travel Passes and International Data Roaming Packs provide Data at 10 to 20 cents per MB (or less), and you avoid the stress of finding WiFi hot spots. The International Travel Pass 30 day plan has 1.5 GB data allowance, and excess data is only 3 cents per MB, so for Facebook, Skype, messaging and uploading photos the data allowance is generous. See full cost details at:

 

https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles/offers-and-rates/plus-packs

 

With any Roaming Packs, you retain you normal mobile number so you can be contacted in emergency, and while you need to monitor your data use carefully, Telstra send you a TXT when you have used 50% and 85% of your allowance, and all Smart Phones running current software have excellent data monitoring tools. See more discussion on this topic at:

 

http://crowdsupport.telstra.com.au/t5/International-Roaming/Using-Phone-Overseas/m-p/399647#M796

 

It is important to note that MMS (Text messages with a photo or Video) are charged at 50 cents and 75 cents respective, so become familiar with Apple’s iMessage, or Facebook Messenger, where the message data is debited against your data allowance costing around 2 cents per photo message sent.

 

An International Travel Pass becomes active the moment you take it up.

 

17       IF YOUR DEVICE IS LOST OR STOLEN

 

Always make sure your SIM card and mobile device are both protected with a PIN while you’re overseas. Familiarise yourself with the process at these sites:

 

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201529 or

http://www.androidcentral.com/android-101-setting-sim-card-lock

 

If your SIM card or mobile is lost or stolen:

  • For Telstra SIMs and devices, call +61 439 125 109 immediately so we can block the device and limit your responsibility for any unauthorised usage. For BigPond devices, call +61 2 9242 0213.
  • If you have a “Find My Phone” application, log on to this application via another device and take the action you feel appropriate

Remember, never store a written copy of your PIN with your mobile. International call rates apply to call us while you are overseas.

 

18       EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

You can call the local emergency services from any mobile phone, as long as you have a GSM signal and some battery charge.

Dial 1 1 2

You don’t need to have International Roaming activated, or even have a SIM card in your phone.

 

19       BILLING DELAYS

As your roaming usage and charges need to be processed by the overseas carriers first, then billed to us, it can take up to three months from your last International Roaming call before all the costs appear on your Telstra bill.

 

20       ADVANCE PAYMENT

If an advance payment is required to activate International Roaming, the payment will offset any outstanding charges and the remainder will appear as a credit on future bills.

 

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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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1 REPLY 1
Hatt
Level 1: Cadet

Re: GOING OVERSEAS - A FOREIGN SIM OR A ROAMING PACK, and other topics

Thanks for comprehensive comparison. It was helpful

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