Most mobile phones can be used abroad and are already setup for roaming (international calling), but you still need to check with your network provider because there are some exceptions:
- Some mobiles are more compatible with overseas networks than others: is your handset tri-band (will work in most parts of the world), or dual-band (may only work in some regions)?
- Not all travel destinations are set up for good mobile reception - consult your network provider before you leave
- Not sure if your handset is already set up for international calls? Check with your provider (jump to the next section for more information on how to go about this).
- If your handset isn't set up for roaming yet, setting it up for overseas use is easy. Don't leave this task until the last minute though, because it can take anything from 24 hours to 3 weeks to set up roaming charges.
Before you leave: setup your phone
- O2: click here for a breakdown of O2's roaming charges
O2 has a tool for finding out if your mobile is setup for roaming. Just select your mobile tariff and your destination to find out more.
- PAYG customers: Call 4445 (25p/call) to speak with a customer services representative.
- Pay monthly customers: Call 202 (free-of-charge) to speak to a customer service representative.
Orange: click here for a breakdown of Orange's roaming charges.
- PAYG customers: All Orange PAYG (25p/call) phones are automatically setup for roaming, but customers are advised to top up before they leave the country. Orange does offer some travel bundles for PAYG customers which will cut down call costs considerably.
- Pay monthly customers: Call 150 (free-of-charge) from your Orange phone, or alternatively phone 07973 100 150 from any other phone. Please allow at least 24 hours for Orange to set up roaming charges.
T-Mobile: click here for a breakdown of T-Mobile's roaming charges.
- PAYG customers: Text 150 (free-of-charge) to discuss international call charges.
- Pay monthly customers: Text 150 (free-of-charge) to discuss international call charges.
- Vodaphone: click here for a breakdown of Vodaphone's roaming charges.
Vodaphone has a quick online tool for customers to find out if their mobile is setup for international roaming: choose your destination from the drop-down menu to check if your handset will work abroad.
- PAYG customers: Text 'INTERNATIONAL' TO 2345 (free-of-charge) to setup international roaming or 191 (25p/call) to setup international calling bundles.
- Pay monthly customers: Call 36888 (free-of-charge) to setup low-rate roaming charges or 191 to setup international calling bundles.
In case of loss or theft, you should make a note of your mobile phone's serial number (IMEI number) and the customer service number of your provider before you leave. Keep them somewhere safe so that you can act quickly to have your SIM card blocked if the worst should happen.