Tips for mobile communications abroad

Each of us wants to leave a trace in the history of mankind or at least a trace in the history of his circle of friends. Such stories will be billions and all of them are different: grandiose – “I crossed the Atlantic Ocean”, “I climbed to Jomolungma”, interesting – “I’m in Rio !!!” or simple – “Here I am cool”. And we need Internet for this! It is needed at the moment of joy, at the moment of delight, at the moment of desire to share your feelings! And most often, you must have access to Internet abroad, and even more – in a mobile phone.

You have several options for accessing the Internet abroad, such as roaming from a home operator or purchasing one of the limitless number of tourist SIM cards. But the use of SIM cards from local operators has always been, is and will be the most profitable option for most travelers!

Roaming from home operator

Of course, the simplest method is roaming provided by a home mobile operator. Once you have crossed the border, your phone will automatically register in the network of that foreign operator with whom your home operator has the most beneficial agreement for cooperation and provision of roaming services for subscribers.

In fact, this is one of the most convenient ways to stay in touch, which is perfect for a short stay abroad without the need for the usual use of a mobile phone. The main advantage is that you do not have to do anything to stay in touch. It is enough to turn on the mobile on arrival to the airport and the roaming service will immediately begin to operate.

Pros on face:
  • No need to buy a new SIM card
  • No need to download special applications
  • No need to do anything extra – just use your mobile phone as before.delays in updating balance information
But … Roaming from home operators has a number of big drawbacks:
  • a certain minimum amount on the account, in order for the roaming to be activated
  • High rates for Internet and calls
  • paid incoming calls
  • delays in updating balance information

Additional services from home operator

When you are in roaming, most often your operator sends you a number of information messages. Some of them contain a list of additional options in the host country. These are services that allow you to save substantially in roaming. There are a lot of options:

  • Internet Packages
  • free incoming calls
  • voice and SMS packages
  • other

Each operator offers its own list of options for reducing the cost of communication abroad. And yet, roaming is always the most expensive way to organize communication outside of your native country. If you want to use your mobile phone as usual and do not limit yourself to communicating online – you need to look for an alternative, such as a local prepaid sim.

International SIM Cards

Tourist SIM cards (or global sim cards, or world sim cards, or international sim card, they all refer to the same model) are offered to us by virtual mobile operators. Virtual are those who do not have their own network and therefore they also have to work in roaming with local operators.

A virtual operator signs an agreement on the provision of network and mobile communication services to its subscribers with a multitude of operators around the world. With this cooperation, the virtual operator buys traffic from the local operator in bulk, which makes it possible to reduce the tariffs for the end user.


Tourists distinguish the following advantages:

  • tariffication of services when using a tourist SIM card is the same or practically the same in most countries
  • one SIM card for travel to almost any country.

Versatility and lower tariffs compared with roaming from a home operator make people, who travel often or travel on business trips, buy tourist SIM cards.
Nevertheless, the popularity of tourist SIM cards is falling. People do not want to deal with the specifics when dialing a number and making outgoing calls. After all, you can just use the current offer from the home operator with a little overpaying. And the cost of communication when using a tourist SIM card can be unpleasantly surprising because of currency exchange rate fluctuations. Therefore, when studying the rates of tourist SIM cards, be sure to check the current exchange rate, the instruction on setting up the Internet and the rules for making calls.

Total, the disadvantages of tourist SIM cards are:

  • There are difficulties when using the SIM card in new phone models, it can be difficult to figure out how to dial
  • people complain about the quality of communication and interference during conversations
  • sometimes, after connecting a special offer from the home operator, the actual tariffs when using a home SIM card will be cheaper than the virtual operator offers.

Despite the advantages over roaming, international sim card still lose to local prepaid sim cards in terms of costs and variety of offers.

Local prepaid sim card

Experienced travelers know – the prepaid SIM card of the local operator (operator of the host country) gives you a number of undeniable advantages:

  • the most advantageous offer for Internet access and voice communication within the country. No roaming from the home operator and no tourist SIM card will not offer you terms cheaper than local operators in their home network
  • often unlimited or almost unlimited Internet (depends on the host country)
  • as a rule, unlimited calls within the network
  • and most importantly – the familiar and comfortable use of the Internet and voice communication without any restrictions and peculiarities.

However, you may face certain issues:

  • you spend quite a lot of time and energy on analyzing the mobile market and finding the optimal tariff in the country you are going to. In each country, as a rule, there are 3-4 operators with several tariff plans
  • if you do not know the language, it will be even more difficult to understand the terms of tariffs on the sites of local operators. The fact is that most operators do not have an English version of the site, and all prices are in local currency
  • yes, you can use the seller’s advice and purchase a SIM card in the first available mobile phone store. But there is a risk that the staff will also not be proficient in English, and you may need local cash to pay for a SIM card, which is also a problem when you arrive in a foreign country. will save you from all difficulties when choosing and buying a local prepaid SIM card. You will get the most beneficial and convenient solution for the usual comfortable use of the Internet and voice communication abroad!