Top Tips for using your mobile phone while abroad
Your phone / Network selection
Check that your handset will work in the country you are travelling to. Your mobile phone has two options for connecting to your choice of mobile network - manual network selection or automatic. You should always use the manual option when travelling so as to enable you to choose the cheapest foreign network. If travelling within the EU, there is a maximum price limit you can be charged, go to EU destinations page for further information. Check your mobile handset guide for instructions on manual network selection or contact your customer care department.
Ensure that your account allows you to use your mobile phone while abroad. Check if you are on a special operator roaming package, this will affect your roaming costs.
Know how to use your voicemail abroad. Since 1 July 2010, receipt of a voicemail while roaming in the EU is free. This is generally not the case when travelling outside the EU. Additionally, you may be charged for accessing or listening to a voicemail message and the cost is generally the same as the cost of calling home. Check these costs with your operator. Depending on where you are travelling, it may be worthwhile turning off (disabling) your voicemail while roaming in order to avoid any unnecessary roaming costs. For contacting customer care, the usual short code may not work. You need to be aware of the alternative means of accessing voicemail. Contact your operator for details.
Check out www.callcosts.ie to calculate the cost of texts and calls while abroad. This will help you decide how best to communicate with home while in the EU. You can also check if a special operator roaming package is best for your planned usage.
When you travel to another country your 'welcome message' contains details of your rates for data, text (SMS) and MMS services as well as pricing for voice calls made and received. When roaming in the EU, calling your operator for roaming price information is free. Your 'welcome message' will inform you of the number to call.
If you are using your handset or another device to provide internet access or mobile broadband, monitor your usage and associated costs using the data price detailed in your 'welcome message'. This price could be considerably more than at home. A data usage alert should be sent to your phone when your data spend reaches €61.50.
If you are a pre pay customer and are bringing your mobile phone abroad, ensure that your account is topped up before you travel as it may difficult or impossible to do so while abroad.
In EU countries, the contact number for emergency services is 112, and you will receive this number in your 'welcome message' when you roam. You should check locally for the relevant number elsewhere. In the USA and Canada use 911. Access to the emergency services is available free of charge in all EU countries.
Use of phone in USA and Canada
Check with your operator whether your handset can be used in the USA and Canada. Also be aware that some networks charge for a call from when the phone starts to ring, check with your operator to see if this applies.
What do you do if your mobile is stolen
Ensure that your phone details are registered with your mobile operator before you travel. If your phone is stolen, contact your customer care department with your mobile number and IMEI number as soon as possible so that your operator can suspend your number. Report this to the local police and get written confirmation of your having reported this. This will be needed for your insurance claim – check your policy for precise requirements including any time limits for making a claim.