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Mobile phone roaming
Mobile Phone International Calls and Mobile Phone Roaming Explained

A mobile phone is now an essential accessory and most people won't leave home without it. But what do you do if you want to make mobile phone international calls? Mobile phone calls can be expensive, so you need to find a way to make cheap long distance calls on mobile phones. The answer for those traveling abroad is mobile phone roaming. Here's how it works:

How mobile phone roaming works

In the UK, you have an agreement with your mobile phone service provider to give you a mobile service. That means, as long as there is coverage and a signal, you can send and make mobile phone calls anywhere in the country. Other countries' mobile services operate in the same way, and all of them form part of a big mobile network which you can access with mobile phone roaming.

Roaming agreements

Most service providers have agreements with providers in other countries which will allow you to make cheap long distance calls on mobile phones. Before you travel, it's best to check with your service provider what international calling and mobile phone roaming services are available and who they are with. If you don't already have roaming switched on, then now's the time to do it. Some service providers ask you to switch to a different payment scheme if you want to use international roaming for mobile phone international calls.

Your phone band

Another important factor is the band of your phone. There are several bands for mobile phones and though many modern phones support all bands, it's best to check. Dual band mobile phones will let you access mobile phone roaming in Europe, tri band phones will give you access to the US, and quad band phones will put most of the world within reach with your mobile phone international calls.

Automatic connection

Once the international mobile phone roaming services are switched on, then the process for making mobile phone international calls is automatic. When you are in a foreign country and switch on your mobile phone, it will attempt to find a network to which it can connect. Sometimes you will have several from which to choose. Doing your research up front can help you choose the most cost effective method to make cheap long distance calls on mobile phones.

Behind the scenes of international mobile phone roaming

Behind the scenes of mobile phone international calls, network operators will be checking that your home service provider allows you to roam and will authenticate your phone for use on the foreign network. You probably won't even notice, as you will have mobile service within a few minutes. Effectively, this network becomes your host while you are in the country. Any calls made will be billed as usual by your service provider at home.

Dialing from abroad

When you make calls abroad you usually have to dial the full country code in order for the call to go through. A lot of behind the scenes work goes into making sure that your call takes the appropriate route. This will depend on whether you are calling home or making a call within the country you are visiting. International mobile phone roaming can be costly and finding cheap long distance calls on mobile phones difficult, as you pay for both the cost of the calland the cost of routing the call on a host network (known as a transit fee). However, there are ways to save money on mobile phone international calls by selecting the provider with the best call rate in the country you are visiting.

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