What Is Data Roaming
What Is Data Roaming
Written By: Alexandra Nuschele

This article will talk about data roaming and how you can save on roaming costs when travelling abroad. So let’s start by answering the question of what data roaming is?

In simple terms, data roaming is when you use a mobile data network abroad. You use the data for internet related activities like surfing the internet, checking your emails and social media. 


Why is it expensive? 

When you use your mobile phone through a visited network in another country, the operator you are roaming on charges your home operator. Your mobile operator then makes bilateral deals with different network providers to allow you to use their networks at a mark-up. Finally, your operator pays the roaming carrier the agreed fee for you to use their network. Unfortunately, there are no limits to how high these fees can be, and this is how you end up with a hefty bill when you go back to your home country.  


How can I switch off data roaming?  

If you are using an android mobile device, go to your Main Menu and choose Settings>Wireless and Network>Mobile Networks>Data Roaming. If the box has a check or slider for on or off, uncheck or slide it off. 

If you are using an iPhone, go to settings from the home screen, select General>Network>Data Roaming. Then, turn the slider off and do the same for Cellular Data. 


How can I save on data roaming? 

Methods on how to save on data roaming vary by phone, but the simplest way is to disable it on your phone’s settings. Other ways to save on data roaming include switching off running apps on your phone’s background, downloading and using apps that can work offline. Another option is to buy a local sim card or travel sim card, such eSim2go is for international travellers. Try our eSIM right now! It helps reduce roaming charges, especially if you are a frequent traveller or travel to many countries. 

 Data roaming: FAQs

Can I receive roaming at home if I have a prepaid card?

If your domestic unit data price is less than €2.5 per GB, your operator may apply a roam like at home volume limit on data. That limit should be at least the volume obtained by dividing the remaining credit on your prepaid card when you start using data roaming services.

When I’m overseas, how long can I roam?

The general rule is that you can roam at domestic prices as long as you spend more time at home than abroad. This is considered fair use of roaming services. However, if you continue roaming more than at home, your operator may start applying a small charge.

Will I be charged more if I go overseas and cannot utilize roaming at home?

You should first dispute the additional costs with your operator, who should have a formal complaint system. Then, if the operator continues, you should contact the appropriate authority in your country, which is generally your national telecommunications regulator, who will handle the situation.

Which countries can I roam in while I’m at home?

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden; and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway.

How do I get my total domestic data volume in roaming when I’m at home?

If your operator has not explicitly informed you of a roaming data limit, you can benefit while abroad from the total amount of data under your domestic contract. However, the operator is only entitled to apply a roam like at home data limit in 2022 if you pay less than €1.25/GB.

How much will roaming cost me?

Vodacom prepaid clients will have new prices for international roaming and outbound international calls to premium and satellite bands as of April 6, 2020.

Why can’t you use data while roaming domestically?

You may need to enable Data Roaming in your device’s settings in some cases.

Why am I having trouble watching YouTube on my phone?

When you travel in roaming regions, video streaming may be impacted. Data rates may be capped or slowed down depending on the area where you are based.

My device says ‘extended” at the top of the screen. What does this mean?

The device is linked to another carrier’s network when the network indicator on the device screen displays “Extended.” This might result in slower data transfer rates.

Can I use my device outside of the United States?

When travelling overseas, you can use most cell phones and certain tablets.


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