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Updating Your Mobile Plan for International Travel

Posted on: June 2, 2015

Forgetting to update your mobile plan for international travel can potentially cost you thousands in unplanned costs.

Did you ever wonder what changes you need to make to your mobile plan when traveling internationally? Did you ever forget to make changes to your mobile plan before traveling internationally?  Did you pick the right plan? Did you remember to cancel your plan once you return? It can all be confusing–to say the least.

Preparing for international travel by updating your plan can save you and your organization potentially thousands of dollars, depending on your destination and how long you will be away.

These tips will help you plan for travel as well as aid you once you make it to your destination.

Before you travel:

To ensure uninterrupted service while traveling abroad, confirm the following before leaving the US:

  • You have an internationally capable device. You will need either a Tri-Band or Quad-Band device that operates on both CDMA and GSM frequencies. You can confirm whether or not your device is international capable at www.phonescoop.com
  • Your SIM card is activated for international travel if your service provider is either Sprint or Verizon. If you are unsure of this, please reach out to your mobile service desk.
  • You device has international roaming service. This feature will enable you to make and receive phone calls while traveling abroad.
  • There is coverage/service in the location to which you are traveling. Not all travel locations have voice service and they also may not have the data service required to access the internet or send and receive emails. It’s best to know what you can expect before you arrive at your destination so you can make the appropriate arrangements before you leave. International coverage maps can be found on most carriers’ websites:

When you arrive at your destination:

  • Remove the battery from your device. While the battery is out, verify the SIM card is inserted securely and properly. Wait one minute and then put the battery back in. This process will resolve any basic feature or network issues you might experience during travel. We recommend you repeat this step each time you travel to a different destination.
    • If you are unable to remove the battery turn the device off and back on instead.

Using data when roaming internationally:

  • To cut down on data usage cost always use WiFi when it’s available (hotels, airports, restaurants, etc.).
  • If you do not want to receive email automatically you can disable your device’s auto-check functionality. You may then utilize WiFi as a supplement to 3G/GPRS/EDGE to download and manually check email:
    • For IPhone users: To turn off the auto-check functionality, tap on Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendars>Fetch New Data. Toggle “Push” to “Off” and under “Fetch”, select “Manually”.
    • For Android users: Select: Settings>Accounts and sync>Manage Accounts. Un-check “Auto-sync” to cancel all auto-sync functions (email, weather, stock quotes, etc.) or select a specific account and uncheck sync options.
    • For Windows Phone 7 users: Select Settings>email & accounts, then select an account. Choose “Download new content” and set to “manually”. Uncheck all “content to sync”, and then click checkbox at the bottom of the screen to save changes.
    • For Blackberry users: Go to “Mail”>press the menu key>go to “Options”> Uncheck “Wireless Sync”.
  • If you want to place calls but not use data, the setting for international data roaming will typically be in the “OFF” position by default. Check the settings on your particular device before traveling abroad. Turning data roaming “OFF: blocks email, browsing, visual voicemail, and downloads, but it will not block text messages. International roaming rates apply when you send text or picture/video messages.
    • For IPhone users: Tap on: Settings>General>Network>Data Roaming (toggle to “OFF”).
    • For Android users: Tap on: Settings>Wireless and network>Mobile networks>Data roaming (uncheck it).
    • For Windows IPhone 7 users: Tap on: Settings>cellular>Data roaming options (select “don’t roam”).
    • For Blackberry users: Tap on: Settings>Mobile Network> While Roaming (select “OFF”).

Making calls when roaming internationally:

  • To make a call while you are roaming overseas: Whether you’re calling within the country or to a location outside it, simply dial “+” and the country code, the city code (if necessary), and the local number.
    • TIP: When storing phone numbers, include the (+) sign and the country code so your call will go through regardless of where you’re calling from.Please note that voice roaming will be billed per-minute.

For additional information on country codes, etc.-please access the following site: http://www.howtocallabroad.com/

After you Travel:

Place an order in the ordering portal to have the international features removed. If you’re unable to place an order or have questions, please contact your Helpdesk to speak to a representative for assistance.

We hope this information is helpful to you.

One last tip, always make sure you have an email address for your help desk for assistance. In many cases you will not be able to reach the help desk using a toll free number while traveling internationally and will need to email for assistance. Or better yet, ask the help desk for an international number so you can reach them by phone once necessary.

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