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How to Use Mobile Abroad

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are taking a trip abroad you can bring your mobile phone to call up friends. They can also prove convenient in dealing with unexpected emergencies. However, using your mobile phone overseas can be costly, and fees can amount to as much as £1.30 a minute or more. You can use your mobile abroad and still keep your costs down.

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  1. Check to see that your phone is on a GSM network. With the exception of Japan and Korea most countries in the world use this technology, which means your phone will work there on the local carrier. In the United States, AT&T and T-Mobile are both on GSM; however, Verizon is not. You can check with your service to see if it is GSM by going to their website.

  2. Check to see if your phone is quad-band or tri-band. GSM has different frequencies and a quad-band will work on four of them while a tri-band will work only on three. In most cases the tri-band is sufficient, but it will depend largely on the country, so, if you can, get a quad-band.

  3. Go to a mobile phone store once you are abroad. Look for a store after you clear customs in the airport. You can also check the duty-free shops. Buy a SIM card and replace yours with it. The phone number will be written on the card. You will now be able to make calls at the local rates.

  4. Tip

    Note that if your phone is locked, you will still be able to make calls, but will be charged roaming costs, which can amount to as much as £1.30 a minute or more.

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Things You'll Need

  • GSM mobile phone

About the Author

Palmer Owyoung holds a Master of Arts in international business from the University of California at San Diego and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and is a trained molecular biologist. He has been a freelance writer since 2006. In addition to writing, he is a full-time Forex trader and Internet marketer.

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