What Does International Roaming Mean

When you take your mobile or mobile data device to overseas from your home country and try to connect to the visiting country’s local provider to make phone calls or access internet, then you are using your roaming facility by your home country operator. This will be charged back to your home country mobile operator. Generally, International roaming charges are comparatively high thus, you need to be a bit cautious before activating or using this facility.

International roaming is used not only for making phone calls and data but also it includes receiving incoming calls, sending and receiving SMS, MMS, and retrieving voice mails. Even when using your mobile applications and checking emails, you are using international roaming. In roaming scenarios, you may need to pay for your incoming calls as well.

For international roaming service, your operator will not cover all the countries in the world thus, better to check the roaming coverage of your mobile network operator before you travel. Also, roaming rates may be different based on countries or group of counties specified as zones.

What Does International Roaming Mean

How to Check Whether Roaming is Enabled

Some operators have My Account online portal and you could check all your enabled or authorised facilities there. You can check the roaming status in your portal to confirm whether it’s enabled or disabled. If you do not want to use this facility, better to disable this feature to avoid unnecessary bill shocks. Also, confirm under your mobile data setting in your smartphone the data roaming option is disabled.

Always better to contact your operator’s customer support and activate or deactivate the roaming services, if you could not find this feature online via my account portals.

Receiving Incoming Calls While Roaming

You don’t need to configure or do any special settings to receive an incoming call while roaming. Anyone from your home country can call you as like your local number with or without international format. They will be charged as local call to make these calls. However, you may be charged for receiving calls while in roaming, which depends on the roaming packages.

Making Calls While in Roaming

If you are dialing from your contact list, the very first time, the calls may fail due to couple of reasons. The main reason is the number format thar you are dialling to call back to your home country. This occurs as you would have saved your friend’s or family member’s number without the international code such as 079XXXX or 042XXXX etc. If you are a frequent traveller, it’s always a best practice to keep your address book in International format such as +4479XXXX or +6142XXXX etc. While roaming, if you want to make a phone call, the number need to be in the format +44xxxxxxx, +61xxxxxxx, +1xxxxxxx, +41xxxxxx, etc. where the country code is inserted in front of your normal numbers.

About the Author: Andrew

Andrew is a Telecommunication and Network Expert and a practicing Engineer, carrying over 10 years of experience. His interests span from IT, Telecommunication and Networking to Project management.