Going Abroad? SIM 101s and Mobile Phone Tips to Help Lessen Your Bills

Mobile phone bills abroad

Image: Carlos Porto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Common Scenario: You plan a trip (which can take almost a month to a year), budget for that trip, and eventually fly on to relax and have the best time of your life.

After the spectacular trip, you go home with gifts and souvenirs and a month later an outâ??of-this-world cell phone bill.

Taking your mobile phone with you on a trip can be an additional bill waiting to be paid. Cell phone bills abroad, especially roaming fees, may cost you a whopping $4 to $5 per minute. You might not notice it, but while you are chatting and keeping in touch with loved ones from your hometown and while you are enjoying the beach sun or the spectacular view abroad, your service provider is also enjoying the increase in call charges. As the charges get higher, this can leave you surprised a week or a month after youâ??ve returned home. Going on a trip abroad is not just about preparing for the budget, the time and the place to stay. If you are planning on a trip, also consider preparing your mobile phones.

How Can You Avoid the Whopping Roaming Fees?

One way to avoid the outâ??of-this-world cell phone charges when you go abroad is to buy a Subscriber Identity Module, or more popularly known as a SIM card. A SIM card is a small smart card that you can insert and remove in a mobile phone. You can purchase a SIM card in the country of destination, thus your number will change into a local number and this can significantly decrease your mobile phone bills. If you insert a local SIM card to your phone, you can receive free incoming calls, and you would only have to pay 10-25 cents per minute for local calls, and just about $1 for calls overseas. That is a big difference from the $4-5 charged per minute of your would-be calls.

How to Use the SIM Card?

Using the SIM card is fairly easy; you just have to call the SIM card provider or the wireless carrier to request a code that would allow you to use the SIM card in your mobile phone. There are certain limitations for this however; those carrying Verizon or Sprint phones cannot use the SIM cards. If you are a user of these kinds of phones, you might want to buy a cheap mobile phone once you arrive at your destination country.

You may also opt to use an International mobile phone (which you might have to purchase) or international cell phone carriers, which operate on a standard called GSM or Global Services for Mobile. These mobile phones can be used virtually anywhere on the globe and are the standard for almost 205 countries (except Japan). The GSM system can also allow the user to use as many SIM cards as they need for the countries they are visiting. When searching around for plans becomes tiresome, try looking to find the best SIM only deals by comparing them. Cell phone use abroad may not need to be a burden; preparation and proper knowledge can save you from unnecessary hassles such as hefty cell phone bills.

This guest post is written by Dr. Amarendra. He writes for SimOnly-Deals.com, where you can compare pricing and plans before signing up for a sim plan.

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