If you’re planning to travel outside the US with a Verizon smartphone and use it for voice or text communications, you’ll need to change the phone’s SIM card — and you’ll need to have one of Verizon’s global-capable phones such as HTC Thunderbolt, HTC Droid Incredible 2, Motorola Droid 3, or one of several Blackberries. Tips for saving money while traveling internationally are outlined here.
In any case, it’s smart to plan ahead for cell phone or iPad use when traveling. There are numerous reports of people who received unexpectedly high bills upon returning home from an international trip, often because they didn’t understand that their phones would continue to access the network when not in use.
A cell phone will attempt to connect with the network even when you are not making calls — to pick up emails and stored messages, and to determine and communicate your location and possibly other information. You will receive roaming charges if you enable roaming, based on the carrier’s rates in the country you’re visiting. These roaming charges will be in addition to your normal monthly wireless service contract.
The least expensive smartphone travel option is to use Wifi networks and communicate by email, avoiding calls and texts altogether — as described in yesterday’s article.
However, as mentioned above, you can enable many of the Verizon models for international use, and doing that may be a great idea for those who need the convenience of using their own phone while on the go. People at local Verizon stores here in Cleveland will sell international SIM cards and update your plan to cover international roaming.
Verizon’s world-wide rates are available on this webpage — select the country you’ll visit to see rates: http://b2b.vzw.com/international/Global_Phone.
There is also a data usage calculator on the Verizon site: http://www.verizonwireless.com/splash_includes/datacalculator.html. Note that you’ll be charged $0.50 per text you send, and $0.05 for any texts you receive in many overseas countries; htat in Canada, domestic rates apply. Also note that rates are high in many places — for example, $4.99 per minute in Argentina.
A less expensive option is to buy the SIM card you need after you arrive at your destination. In many Asian and European locations, SIM cards are readily available; however, not all phones can use them — iPhones, for example, are not set up for end-users to open them up and replace SIM cards. Many Android and Blackberry phones do use SIM cards.
Another low-cost option is to buy a prepaid phone in the country you’re visiting — you’ll need to share that phone’s number with the people who will call you.
Visit local stores: for up-to-the-minute information on your phone’s ability to be used internationally. Verizon has over 50 local stores in the Cleveland area, including an excellent one on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.
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