Using a Cell Phone in Europe: International Roaming Without the Massive Bill

Option 1: Don’t take your cell phone with you! Stop reading…this post is not for you.

Option 2: Take your cell phone, turn off all data services and don’t make any calls. Sure, this will save you a fortune in voice and data roaming charges, but what’s the point? You might be lucky enough to find the occasional free WiFi Hotspot but apart from that your cell phone will be pretty useless. Imagine getting lost without Google Maps, or not being able to share a picture on Instagram!

Option 3: Take your cell phone with you, leave data services turned on and pay all the roaming charges. This is a sure way to come home to a big bill. For example a leading US phone network charges $1.49 per minute for calls and $15 per MB for data outside the US and Canada. Ten minutes on Facebook, could end up costing several hours wage!

Holiday is a time to relax, that’s why we have a fourth option.

Option 4: Take your unlocked cell phone with you, place a Dataroam SIM card inside, and now you’ve got an international cell phone. Enjoy international calls and roaming without the big bill. Incoming calls are from free and data is from $0.40 per MB!

How much data is my cell phone likely to use?

50MB of International Roaming Corresponds to Approximately:

Basic Webpages (mainly text) 500 pages
Multimedia Webpages (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) 150 pages
Basic Emails 50,000 emails
Emails with attachments 100 emails
Downloading/Streaming Music 10 songs
Downloading/Streaming Video 5 minutes
Skype Voice Call 1.5 hours
Skype Video Call 10 minutes
Streaming Online Radio 50 minutes
Downloading/Updating Apps 2 apps

In other words, viewing 500 web pages, watching 5 minutes of video or downloading 2 apps would use 50MB; it doesn’t allow you to do both. Realistically, you’ll do a bit of everything, and so each activity would contribute towards your data usage.

How do I make an international call?

When making a call, or sending a text message, you will need to use an international dialing code. Check out this page to find out which dialing codes you need and how to use them.

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