If you travel writer technology, I wonder about the use of smart phones, when we travel. By the time we go abroad with our phones, we find overwhelming and confusing jargon, an expensive roaming agreement, contrast and unusual transmission tips. Trying to discuss the shades of GSM frequency bands or iPhone unlock codes with a mobile phone operator in a dusty city of Cambodia is not my idea of pleasure, and I doubt it belongs to you.
Because we all want our smartphone to work, when we travel, I have concocted this guide for everything you need to know to use the phone, somehow, when it is in the way. It is detailed, but not too complicated, and money, time and save a lot of frustration (and extra resources in the end).
Does my phone work abroad?
The first thing is to check if the phone works physically abroad. Many countries and mobile phone companies use different technologies and frequencies, and the phone must be compatible with their workplace. The most common cellular technology is GSM, and is widely used in many parts of the world. CDMA is less common, but is used by Verizon and Sprint in some airlines elsewhere in the US and – if the phone is only CDMA compatible, it is very likely to work internationally.
Even if you have a GSM, however, the phone you should always ensure that the means used in their goals frequencies. For the ability to make calls, text and 3G data in many parts of the world to send and receive, search for the words “four band” bands 850/900/1800/1900 MHz or specific specification. If your phone supports the four, that has a lot of problems when you travel. On this page you will find detailed frequencies GSM information for almost all countries.
However, do not worry, because phones these days are built to work in different countries, so there is a 99% chance that the phone will work overseas.
If you have found the next obstacle: unlock.
What is an unlocked phone and why is it important?
When it comes to traveling, you hear a lot about open phones that are not very useful if you do not know what they are and if you have one.
If you receive a smartphone free or zero-coupon by signing a maintenance contract, it is possible that the network is disabled (this is especially true for Americans). This means that your phone company seems to use your phone for something other than its own network. In a very shady movement, a number of companies in the United States also locks the phones that paid the full price at the time of purchase, especially the open version.
The phone is locked, you are stuck with cells that pay the company roaming charges when you land at your destination until you go home.
Locked phones are frequent when. From the United States, Australia and New Zealand, and to a lesser extent in Europe and Asia, where the payment of the full price of unlocked devices is typical if you are not sure whether the phone is Unlocked, contact your service.
An unlocked phone is a phone that can be used anywhere in the world. You can replace the SIM card while traveling around the world and put the local SIM cards inside as you go.
Yes, almost always. Your existing phone plan is not usually abroad and in general a much higher rate of duty if a call is made to send SMS or mobile data usage. Not every business is to get customers, but the stories to draw people into the house on a bill of several thousand dollars, after a short international voyage is not unusual.
There are some exceptions: T-Mobile USA offers free SMS and data (nits) in more than 120 countries as part of their plan simple selection and three British expanded their calls, text and data packets + 16 Other countries. If you are not with the vectors of this type, then the homelessness is a better option with business declarations and international packages are “special” expensive and poor value.
How do I unlock my phone?
The good news is that the phone for an active frequency; The bad news is that it is not always easy or cheap.
The first step is always in demand, the telephone company. The guidelines are very different, but the cells of the companies in the US, they are at least legally binding prepaid phones for a year of release, and contract phones after they are paid. This site has a good distribution of the policies in the different countries, but also if you are not officially authorized always pays to ask.
If your provider refuses to unlock the phone, you can always try to unlock code to find the right one. Companies like opening to sell on the basis of these codes for a few dollars. They do not work for any device that is guaranteed, but the company says the money is in back problems.
The best way is independent stores Telephone and release sites specialized to go and ask someone to unlock the phone for you. You can find open stores all over the world (particularly in Southeast Asia).
My phone is unlocked. And now?
Once you have enabled phone, purchase only a local SIM card in your destination. The procedure of prices and the difficulty varies, but usually between 10 and 50 / month $ $ payment for a total profit of calls, texts and data. Day and week programs are sometimes available when you are in a country for a shorter period.
This is an average inexpensive stay in contact with voice and data services traveling. The downside is that the SIM card change every time the change in the country, so you can (even if I remember from all places that you with a SIM card stack worldwide at the end, where it was!).
What if my phone does not work, or can not unlock?
If the phone does not go abroad to work, or can not unlock, you have some options:
1. Use Wi-Fi – The smartphone always connects well over Wi-Fi to replace calls with Skype or Google Voice SMS to WhatsApp and download travel extensively Use online applications when you are an off signal You will be surprised, How this approach works, is not very refreshing all the time.
2. Buying a smartphone budget – Although there is a lot of waste in the ground smartphone market, there are some fatsoenlijke phones travelers under $ 200 My style is the Motorola Moto G – add a microSD card, buy to store, But unlike that, it is a smartphone fast enough to hold with a battery that is used throughout the day and a “screen is used effectively 5 Tip: Collect it ..” international version “for maximum compatibility with” the stranger Is always on sale in the local SIM cards.
3. Hire a phone – you can rent phones at airports and several companies before you leave the house but I think just for a short trip to a country where my usual phone did not work. For something other than that, it is cheaper to buy a new one.
4. A mobile hotspot for sale rental – portable lamps are small devices that create a wireless network and share a mobile data connection – 5 or 10 devices on the network can connect to the rule that is created. You can download a rent for short commutes or puffed weekly rate, or you can use a local SIM card because the phone unlocks an access point and purchase maintenance. The smartphone will treat it like any other network Wi-Fi.
5. Using a tablet with features for mobile devices – If you already have a 3G / 4G tablet features of the network, there is the possibility that if unlocked you bought it. If so, if you can use more than one cell phone along the way – only data locally and the use of Skype and WhatsApp on your phone and SMS requirements just buy a SIM card. You can also use the device as an access point to share the connection with other devices.
6. Buy a mobile phone – If you are in a country for a while, “and all you need, calls, lyrics, and maybe a little” light surf the Internet, just buy the prepaid mobile phone cheaper, you can find , The local mobile communications company. Certainly, it will recognize probably not completely, but often these products can work for almost anything with a small credit, and it will pick up for a while to get the job done. The advantage? It is not really important when she falls into the toilet. If so survive the travel season, by the way, it’s easy on someone else when you leave.
As you can see, working abroad smartphone always the home of a big bill comes without, is not always an easy task. It has a bit “to do the footwork – at least, you should know where to go, on the phone functions and details of a contract that must wait for him to wait some time to talk to your company phone no matter how painful it is I can be sorry
With a little time, money and effort in the attack, but they know exactly what your options are as you prepare for the road and for most eventualities. Do your research, avoid the fraud, you have the right equipment with you and still able to maintain an affordable maintain, assemble the smartphone.