One of the more trying aspects of being a Cyber Gypsy is to figure out ways of keeping a mobile number on the move, yet not pay the earth in the process. Cheap mobile roaming charges seems to be an oxymoron.
The problem here in the UK is that mobile phone companies penalise you for stepping off of the beach at Dover, you get charges high rates to dial anywhere, you get charged more money to receive a call and if you don’t get charged for people leaving messages, you get charged to pick them up.
I have been looking around today and have come up with a few solutions for cheap mobile calls abroad.
I rang up my mobile operator (three UK) and told them that I was off abroad for 6 months, needed to unlock my phone and get a pay as you go sim, either that or I would have to terminate my ThreeUK account. They have obliged, so I get to keep my number but not pay the £240 charges while I am away. They are going to charge £14 to unlock the phone.
I will then buy one of the sim cards from storytelecom.com which allows me to receive calls free anywhere in the world, create a message on the answer phone that tells people that they can contact me on this number if they want or leave a message. I can pick up my messages using skype so that the exorbitant fee for calling the message inbox on my mobile isn’t charged and voila.
The way storytelecom.com works is to use one of the countries (The Isle of Man in this case) that allows you free incoming when roaming. You pay to call people, but again at a cheap rate by using a special phonecard number. The savings are huge. The only issue being that you can’t transfer your UK number to this service due to the fact that it’s not a UK service. There are other services out there like and a few now defunct ones (sim4travel was good while it lasted) So look out for other bargains and report back.
In the past I have been stung by large roaming mobile phone charges, never again.
If anyone else has any tips about keeping charges low please tell us.