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How to calculate and reduce your mobile communication costs when traveling abroad

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When a person goes abroad and keeps using their usual SIM card there, their mobile expenses will increase. This rule is valid all over the world. However, when a resident of an EU country travels across the EU, their mobile communication costs will remain the same as in their homeland. The UK has left the EU — yet so far, its residents do not need to pay extra for using their SIM cards in continental Europe. From this article, you will get to know how to optimize your mobile expenses while traveling.

Which Services Might Become More Expensive When a Person Travels Abroad

When a person goes abroad with their usual SIM card, they might need to pay extra for the following services:

  • Making and receiving calls
  • Sending and receiving sms
  • Using Internet

But if an EU resident travels within the EU, these prices will not change. As soon as they leave the EU, their mobile carrier will send them a text message to notify them that they are roaming now. When the person is roaming, there are normally no restrictions on the number of calls that they can make or sms that they can send. But they should be ready to pay extra for that.

When traveling by plane or ship, passengers do not need to pay extra since they keep using a land-based mobile network. Yet if they connect to a satellite system, they will need to pay for roaming.

What to Pay Attention to When Using a Prepaid Card

Owners of prepaid cards do not need to pay extra when traveling across the EU. Nevertheless, those who pay per unit should be ready for a surcharge if their domestic unit price for data is less than 3 EUR per 1 GB. Their carrier might apply a data limit while they are roaming. In such instances, there should be at least the volume obtained by dividing the remaining credit on the prepaid card by 3 EUR as soon as the person begins to use data roaming services. They will get the same volume of roaming data that they have paid for in advance.

The Peculiarities of Using Contracts with Limited Data

When traveling across the EU, a person’s data limit equals the data allowance in their contract. But if they use an exceptionally cheap contract, their carrier has a right to impose a “fair use” data limit when they are roaming. This means, their limit might be lower than their domestic data allowance. The operator must notify them in advance about it and let them know when they reach this limit. The notion of a “cheap” contract might change over time. In 2021, a person should pay less than 1.50 EUR per 1 GB to qualify.

Important Information about Contracts with Unlimited Data

Clients who pay fixed monthly fees normally receive large amounts of roaming data. The more expensive their plan, the more data they get. The volume of data must be at least twice the amount obtained by dividing the price of their mobile contract excluding VAT by the wholesale data roaming cap (in 2021, it equals 3 EUR). The operator is obliged to inform their clients about the volume of data in their roaming allowance. If a person exceeds their allowance, they should be ready to pay a surcharge (no more than 3 EUR per 1 GB plus VAT).

How Much Do Cross Border Workers Need to Pay

People who live in one EU state and work in a different one have a right to select a mobile operator in either state. Their operator will perceive such a person as a domestic user as long as they connect to their domestic network at least once per day.

The Current State of Things in the UK

So far, UK residents can still enjoy surcharge-free roaming when traveling to continental Europe. Yet UK operators might change their plans at any moment. To protect consumers from unexpected expenses, the government has obliged mobile carriers to apply a financial limit on mobile data usage while abroad. Currently, this limit equals 45 GBP or 50 EUR per month. Once a person reaches the limit, they will not be able to go on using their mobile data services when roaming unless they confirm that they are eager to do so. According to the law, consumers will receive alerts when they are at 80% and 100% data usage.

The government of Northern Ireland obliges its operators to inform consumers on how to avoid unintentional roaming in border regions. Plus, operators should protect their clients from paying surcharges for unintentionally accessing roaming services.

How to Calculate One’s Roaming Expenses When Traveling Around the World

Today, some new and advanced mobile service providers might offer their clients more lucrative conditions than large operators. When planning your trip, you might want to visit the official site of the Tothemoonmobile. In the Roaming section, you should type the name of the country that you are planning to visit. The system will display you the costs of roaming in that country as well as service charges from that country to the UK. You will get accurate and up-to-date information in just a couple of clicks and at no cost.

On the Toothemoonmobile site, you can also measure your network coverage for free. After you check the conditions of Tothemoonmobile bundles, you might want to become their client without losing your old mobile number.

Final Thoughts

When traveling abroad, you might need to pay more for your phone calls, sms and mobile Internet. To control your expenses, check the rules of your mobile service plan before leaving your country. Use the Tothemoonmobile online calculator to see how much you will need to pay per each type of service in each particular country. If you are an EU resident planning to travel within the EU, you will not need to pay extra for roaming services. In all the other cases, it makes sense to estimate your upcoming expenses in advance.

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