Data Roaming Fees Are a Major Issue, But Some Solutions Are Being Offered

Many business users and individuals travel to other countries with their smartphone and access the internet with it. However, many applications such as aren tools use a lot of data. The problem with this is that data roaming rates are often extremely expensive, in some cases $25 per MB or even higher with some providers. However, there are solutions to this issue if you expect to use your smartphone’s data function while roaming overseas.

— Inquire about roaming data plans

Wireless providers are increasingly offering some good data roaming options and plans that will give you a certain amount of MB for a low rate. You should still be careful if you use remote control software or any other program that consumes a lot of data; however these plans are a lot cheaper than the default data roaming rates. Check with your wireless provider which options are available, as they are often not advertised prominently on their websites.

— Use Wi-Fi Instead of 3G

There are many places where you can find free or low-cost Wi-Fi internet access, such as in hotels or business centers. While this may not be a viable solution for every traveler, it is something worth considering.

— Buy a local SIM card

In many countries, it is possible to buy a local SIM card that can be used with an unlocked smartphone. You can then sign up for a prepaid mobile service in the local country and thus avoid roaming rates completely. The good advantage of this is that you will also avoid potentially expensive roaming charges for voice communications as well. One drawback, however is that you will have to check out your available options before you leave and then find a place to buy a local SIM.

— Use a global data roaming SIM card

Yet another option for those who use PC remote access tools when traveling is a global data roaming SIM card such as the one offered by Cubic Telecom, which works in 44 different countries. According to recent news from the company, the card is offered on a prepaid subscription basis with no contract and data costs are at $0.65 per MB. While this is still pricy, it is far lower than most data roaming rates offered by domestic carriers. Cubic Telecom is not the only provider of such a service, however. You can do some research online to compare different global SIM providers to see whether there could be a service that’s less expensive that becomes available in the future. Using a global SIM is very convenient for those who travel to several foreign countries, such as journalists or diplomatic couriers, as you don’t have to buy a local SIM for each country you visit.