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Oct 14, 2010 at 3:22:00 PM
What is data roaming and how do I use my phone abroad?
(Never Logged In) phones4u

With modern phones, especially smart phones, they will have a frequent connection to the Internet running almost the entire time due to the applications that run on your phone. This is great when you are out and about in the UK. If you are going abroad however, your phone still thinks it should go online for it’s information.


Unless you change the settings on your phone, you could end up paying for roaming data charges, which can build up to quite a high bill. The following is a set of useful guidelines to make sure you make the most economical use of your smart phone abroad, without running up a high bill!


Wi Fi


WiFi hotspots can be found all around the globe, and as long as your phone can connect to WiFi, you can connect to these zones. Most of which are free, but please check with the individual supplier if you are unsure.

WiFi hotspots are a great way to keep connected whilst abroad, and using your WiFi does not incur roaming charges, and often provide a very fast and reliable connection. Make sure your phone knows to use WiFi instead of the network otherwise you’re still charged.


If you are connecting to the Internet via your phone’s 3G signal abroad, this will be using your network providers roaming partners network, and as such this will incur roaming charges. If you do not wish to connect to the Internet, you will need to disable your phone’s Internet connectivity whilst abroad, and this should stop you incurring any roaming charges for data.


There are several ways to do this, and depending on your operating system and handset, the method will vary. Here is a step-by-step guide to disable Internet access on the most popular operating systems:




  1. Go onto the main setting menu
  2. Select Wireless and Networks tab
  3. From here you can either select ‘Airplane Mode’ which disables all wireless connections, or select Mobile Network Settings
  4. Select Data Roaming to off




There is no current method of disabling roaming data usage on Symbian (note, this does not include Symbian 3)




  1. Select the Settings icon
  2. Select the General tab
  3. Select Networks
  4. Select Data Roaming off




  1. Press the Blackberry button to go to the main menu
  2. Go down to Manage Connections
  3. Select Mobile Network Options
  4. Select Data Services to Off




  1. Select the Call icon
  2. Select the Network tab in the top left hand corner
  3. Select Preferences
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and select disable Data Roaming




  1. Go onto the main menu
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Connectivity
  4. Select Data Roaming, and switch to off


Windows Mobile


  1. Press Windows button to go to main menu
  2. Select Wireless Controls
  3. Select Data Connection to off


*Please note, if you use an App that connects to the Internet, this will turn your connection back on. You can also download a free app that will keep these switched off from




  1. Unlock the handset
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Select Network Settings
  4. Select Data Roaming to off


Please note, your handset will have to be set up to be used abroad. The alternative to putting your phone onto Airplane mode is to contact your network provider, and they can disable connections on your phone whilst abroad. This is a great solution for Symbian users who are worried about incurring charges.


If you are unsure which operating system your phone operates on, please visit your manufacturers website, where it will list all of the details of your chosen handset.





Tags Tags: Networks > 3 Network, Networks, Networks > O2 Network, Networks > Orange Network, Networks > T-Mobile Network, Networks > Virgin Network, Networks > Vodafone Network
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