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Myths About International Roaming Charges Debunked

  • 445 days ago
  • Your bags are packed and your itinerary is set! It’s time to leave for a vacation that you have been planning for a while now. Everything is ready, or is it?

    In the midst of preparing and planning, you might have overlooked one factor that could make your post-vacation happiness into pre-depression blues - international roaming SIM card charges. Anyone who has traveled overseas is probably aware of the extremely high roaming rates charged by most network providers. Even then, pre-travel jitters can affect the best of us and we often overlook these charges and decide to either buy a local sim once we arrive at the destination, or worry about the roaming charges once we are back. After all, how bad could the bills be right?

    If you are one of the former, you must keep in mind that getting a local sim in every country is not easy and you must prepare beforehand. A good option for you is buying an international sim card. On the other hand, if you are part of the latter, here are a couple of myths about international roaming charges debunked:

    Myth 1: Roaming Charges Are High Due To Termination Charges

    Termination is often the reason that most network providers give when asked about the high roaming rates. Call termination is the added cost that goes into letting you use your phone on another mobile network overseas, while still being billed by your usual phone provider. Most providers claim that they meter their roaming charges based on these terminations. However, in reality, your provider meters the roaming call minutes and the country of origination and termination of the call. Then they apply pre-defined roaming call rates, which are generally determined by the carrier that cover the pre-negotiated termination charges and also make a profit for the network providers.

    Myth 2: It Is A Simple Process From Your Carrier To An Overseas Carrier

    Many people believe that the process of international calling is simple, with no third party involved. The call goes from your provider, to the provider overseas at your current destination. Which is why, people choose to bear the roaming costs instead of choosing to buy a global sim. But, this is far from the truth. While not always true, the network between your carrier to the carrier overseas may go over many more networks of other carriers. These traffic arrangements are mainly made for cheaper costs. International carriers buy minutes off other carriers by offering them lower termination prices. This explains the different variations of connections that you get at different times.

    Myth 3 : With More Demand, The Price Will Decrease

    Many people believe as the competition grows, the roaming costs will reduce, not realising the telecommunications market has always had rules of its own. As the user doesn't have a direct relation with the carrier used when roaming abroad, the prices are highly unlikely to reduce, as it is these carriers that decide the price. Moreover, in some cases, the carrier might be a national monopoly, who doesn't have an incentive to push prices down. In the end, the user is stuck with the rate the home carrier has negotiated with other carriers.

    When we travel, we generally take all precautions. Check if your house is locked, checked if we are carrying our passport, and many others. Because, better safe than sorry, right? So, why not apply this same rule when it comes to handling and controlling roaming charges by opting for a overseas sim that will not only give excellent connectivity at all times in the day, but also save us the trouble of coming back to a large phone bill. After all, the best part about traveling is the story you have after you are back.

    It’s best that story does not factor around a big phone bill!

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