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Tag: international roaming

How to avoid expensive roaming charges while traveling abroad

by on Nov.09, 2012, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Vacation

Are you are a global traveler from the US who wants to be reached via your US mobile number while you are in a foreign country and do not want to pay roaming charges of US$2.50 per minute? Here are three simple steps to avoid paying excessive roaming fees to the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint:

1. Sign up to a call forwarding service provider like: One Suite for a monthly fee ($2.95). The call forwarding service provider (One Suite) will assign you a US number that can be routed to any number in the world for a very low fee (i.e., no more than US$0.05 per minute).

2. Forward your US mobile number to the routing service provider.

There are two types of call forwarding services in the US:  unconditional (*72) and conditional (*68 or *28). Unconditional call forwarding means all calls will go to the forwarded number and may carry extra charges by your mobile carrier (I know Sprint charges $0.20 per minute). I recommend conditioning call forwarding (when there’s no answer or a busy signal) which is free and works just as well to avoid extra charges.

To forward your call using conditional forwarding, enter *68[415-867-5309] where 415-867-5309 is the number you received from your call forwarding service provider. This will tell your current mobile carrier to forward all your calls to 415-867-5309 when there’s a busy signal or no answer. Your phone will be considered “off” by your mobile carrier which means all your calls will be forwarded to the call forwarding number. If you are on the Sprint or Nextel network, you will need to use:  *28 instead of 68. If you’re on Verizon, you may have to use *71.

Click on this link for more information on call forwarding codes.

NOTE:   Execute this step before you leave the US so you are not incurring voice roaming charges while abroad.

3. When you’re abroad, purchase a pre-paid SIM card from a local carrier. Login to your call forwarding service provider’s website and forward the assigned number [415-867-5309] to the pre-paid SIM card [+52-55-9876-5432] you have just purchased.

Below is a diagram to illustrate the three simple steps.

This process may seem a bit complicated compared to a service like Skype. However it is reliable and you don’t need to give out another US number to your current contacts. The rates are also very affordable and it’s the easiest way to keep your US number while you’re traveling abroad.

When you’ve returned from your trip, simply go on your phone and hit *81 or *38 (for Sprint) to deactivate unconditional forwarding mode.

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Sign up for the Canada Roaming Option before you head to Canada

by on Jan.03, 2011, under Business Travel, Vacation

If you’re based in the US and traveling to Canada for more than a few days, I strongly recommend you contact your mobile provider and sign up for their Canada plan. Sprint offers a $2.99 and T-Mobile offers $5.00 Canadian roaming plan (link to Sprint Canada Roaming option) where you pay $0.09 to $0.20 per minute on calls made and received in Canada. Both Sprint and T-Mobile allow you to add and remove the Canada plan whenever you want and won’t renew your contract. I am sure the other carriers (Verizon and AT&T) have the same deals.

I carry a BlackBerry on the Sprint network and do not have to pay for international data since I’m traveling on the BlackBerry network when I’m in Canada. On my most recent trip, I also found out that I didn’t have to pay for SMS sent from Canada to USA mobile numbers. I’m not sure if it was a system glitch, but I’ll take it – and I’d welcome anyone who can provide additional info on this.

And if you’re visiting Vancouver, you may want to check out these fine Vancouver eateries.

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Where to find Sprint’s international roaming rates

by on Apr.21, 2009, under Business Tools, Business Travel, Travel Partners

After a short trip to Vancouver and using my Sprint mobile broadband card for the very first time in Canada, I saw a $80 data roaming charge on my Sprint mobile broadband bill. I searched the Sprint website but was not able to locate international data roaming rates. All I could find was international voice roaming rates. I then contacted Sprint’s customer service to find out the details behind the $80 data roaming charges but could not get a direct answer from the representative. However the Sprint customer service representative was kind enough to give me an $80 refund due to the lack of information.

With the $80 refund, I was still not happy with the lack of information and requested to speak to a supervisor to get more information. I was transferred to several customer service representatives and finally found the location of international data roaming rates. I would like to share this information with my readers with Sprint or any other mobile carrier. Here’s the link to the Sprint site. Always check the roaming rates before you head abroad.

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