Don’t let a nasty roaming bill ruin your holiday

South Africans travelling abroad with their cellular phones and data cards this festive season must equip themselves with information about voice and data roaming costs at their destinations and monitor their usage of these services carefully while travelling.

That’s according to Nashua Mobile managing director, Chris Scoble. He says that consumers should research roaming costs on their operator’s website and then keep careful track of how much time they spend speaking on the phone and how much data they consume while travelling internationally since carelessness could easily add thousands of unexpected rands to the bill for the holiday.

Scoble says that customers should be especially careful about data roaming costs since simply downloading a large email with an attachment could cost them hundreds of Rands.

Scoble offers the following advice to customers wanting to avoid nasty roaming bill upon their return:

•    Ensure you know what the SMS, voice and data tariffs are for roaming on each network in the countries you will be visiting, and set your phone to roam on the network that offers the best rates.

•    If you frequently travel abroad, invest in a Wi-Fi enabled cellphone and/or a Wi-Fi card for your notebook. Wi-Fi is usually cheap compared to using a cellular connection while roaming.

•    Consider buying a prepaid SIM card at your destination to take advantage of the local call tariffs within the country you are visiting.

•    With simple and affordable MTN Roaming, it’s never been easier and cheaper to stay connected to your family, friends and business while travelling! MTN roaming offers a great rate for those who travel around the continent. If you frequently travel within Africa you can make calls using your MTN cellphone from just R5 a minute in any African country. If you prefer to just send SMS messages, this is even more affordable at only R2 per SMS. Find out more: http://www.mtn.co.za/Travel/TravellingFromSA/Pages/default.aspx

•    If you’re a Vodacom subscriber, you benefit from a flat data roaming fee (on participating networks) at R17.50/MB thanks to Vodacom’s alliance with Vodafone. Choose from the different international roaming options, which are easy to use and provide you with worldwide coverage. Make and receive calls, send SMS messages or access the Internet conveniently, while you travel internationally and know what to expect on your bill. Find out more by visiting http://www.vodacom.co.za/services/travel/overview.jsp

•    Cell C now has: 395 roaming partners in 166 countries around the world and is also offering its subscribers access to four Maritime Services and one satellite network. Find out more by visiting http://www.cellc.co.za/content/services/internationalroaming.asp-

Remember that selected Nashua Mobile outlets are now stocking WorldSIM, a great international prepaid mobile phone solution that is perfect for customers planning to travel with their cellphones.There are no activation fees or procedures, you can use the solution immediately. With WorldSIM you can make cost effective phone calls in more than 150 countries around the world as well as receive calls for free in more than 60 countries. The solution offers tighter control on your roaming spend as it is prepaid so it enables  you to spend what you can afford.

You can save more than 95% on call charges when travelling abroad. Calling rates for landline or mobile  numbers are priced as low as USD 0.50 cents (about R3.40) per minute in some countries. SMS tariffs are just as competitive.

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Don’t let a nasty roaming bill ruin your holiday