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July 14, 2016updated 22 Sep 2016 12:52pm

What is roaming?

Using your mobile phone abroad can be very expensive.

By Alexander Sword

In telecoms, roaming means continuing to get service outside of the coverage area of your normal mobile operator.

This can include making or receiving phone calls, sending text messages or accessing the internet.

Normally when a phone user moves out of the coverage area they will be automatically connected to a local network through an agreement between their operator and the local one. In domestic roaming, within the same country, this is usually free.

However, international roaming can be very expensive if the user does not have in place a deal or agreement to be able to use local services at discounted rates. Upon entering a new country they will normally receive a text from their own operator offering the opportunity to purchase a roaming package.

Some operators offer roam-like-at-home packages, where international roaming is included in their monthly tariff. The EU is set to abolish roaming charges between countries in 2017.

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