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How to avoid data roaming charges when travelling with BlackBerry 10

Roaming BB10
By James Richardson on 10 Apr 2014 04:09 am EDT
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There's nothing worse than coming back from a vacation and getting a huge bill from your mobile carrier as you've been eating up data whilst in another county. There's a few ways to avoid this and luckily the options are baked right into BlackBerry 10 to make life easy for us.

Clearly switching off data altogether and just hitting up a Wi-Fi hotspot when you can will be the cheapest way of doing things and this can be done with a simple on/off toggle. BlackBerry 10 also gives us the option when roaming for data services to be on, off or my favorite is the prompt feature. If you ask me it makes sense to ensure your device is set to the 'prompt' option so when you land in another country and connect to a local carrier your BlackBerry will at least notify you if you wish to use data.

As we all know - depending where in the world you travel can be stupidly expensive - although most carriers do offer some roaming data bundles.

To tweak your roaming settings just follow these simple steps:

  • Open settings - Swipe down from the top bezel
  • Select Network and Connections
  • Select Mobile Network
  • Here you will see the option to toggle off data or under the roaming section select from On, Off or Prompt.

That should save you some cash if you don't need data activated all the time while on holiday. I'm still having nightmares of when I last attended BlackBerry Live in Orlando and realized just how much data I was getting through each day!

52 comments

Bravo-_-

Good read +2

Epic Win Blackberry

bintheredundat

As someone who's tired of Rogers charging absurd roaming fees I recently used roammobility while in Orlando with my z10. $3.95/day for unlimited talk, txt and 300 megs of data. Best roaming option I've ever seen.

Posted via CB10

BBjer

Hmm I'll look into it. Just finished getting charged 100 dollars for 100mb data after landing in Manila. Rogers tried to blame the Philippines for that price. Lol.

Posted via CB10

olisg

First settings I did when I got my Z30

Posted via CB10

QuIcKsIlV3r

greatest part is, you trying to be witty with a first comment, FAILED!!! Don't even bother trying to be a stupid firstie, just makes you look uncool and very annoying

Stomps01

You are first to respond to the first failed first post post.

Posted via CB10

buylocal_getaBB

Greatest part is, quick draws wayyyyy more attention to these posts and waists many more posts talking about how stupid these type of posts are.

Thumbs up for contributing to the problem you detest so much. Try to maybe, I don't know, be an adult about this stuff and just let it go?

Buy a bb, get a droid for free

RP Singh

Thank you Q!

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

Prem WatsApp

First fail, nice try,...

I don't even think you have to change anything, I am not aware of changing anything, so "Prompt" while roaming seems to be the default setting...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

real_mos

Don't forget to mention that account settings allow to reduce mail to its headers while roaming - like in BBOS

Posted via CB10

mnc76

I traveled to Las Vegas with my 9810 and had set roaming data to "off", however, when I turned my radio on after landing, my phone did a 30 second burst of email and notification updates. It only downloaded 2-3 megs of data before stopping, but that alone cost me over $30!

I had to fight with Rogers over it. They tried to insinuate that I didn't really have my settings set as I told them!! I live in Toronto and travel to Niagara Falls regularly where you often come in contact with American cell towers, so I always had this feature on and double-checked my vacation to Las Vegas.

In the end they took it off my bill only as "a courtesy".

So infuriating.

Posted via CB10

wyrdfool

I always turn data off, mobile network off and use only wifi when outside the reach of my home carrier.
Just to be on safe side.

ॐ BBM channeling at C003910CB (Tiger Daddy)

mnc76

That seems to be the best way. I got charged with roaming data fees even though I had set my 9810 set to "Data Services: On, While Roaming: Off".

I don't know if BB10 is more reliable, but BB7 definitely wasn't.

Posted via CB10

3Dee

The very best way to avoid high data use whilst overseas - power up a BBOS phone and get small international data package from your carrier. Thanks to BIS, the amount of data you'll use is incomparably smaller than with any other OS - BB10 or otherwise.

It's exactly what I do with my trusty 9900 :)

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

bbtino

Bingo... that's why I'll always keep my Curve 9320 and pay 2.50 GBP for a whole month's worth of data roaming (albeit capped)

Posted via CB10

crackbrry fan

This whole roaming thing is a cash grab. In EU they are now trying to do away with it. North America needs to move in that direction as well.

Posted via CB10

kthhrrsn

That would be nice, especially US & Canada since we're practically brothers (okay, maybe 2nd cousins)! And I'd welcome Mexico jumping in as well!

Posted via CB10 from my Z30.

scorepion

Luckily, in Europe this will soon be a worry of the past for us europeans...

Posted via CB10

jrohland

As all my important contacts use BBM, I get a local SIM as soon as possible with the most generous data allowance. I almost always travel with my partner, we will get a small international voice and text package on her phone. Then I forward my number to hers and I turn on HotSpot on my phone. That way she gets the voice calls for both of us and I provide data for both of us. I can't get TXTs on my number but I never use them anyway.

Posted using my Peerless BlackBerry Z30

mnc76

Doesn't using your phone as a hotspot literally drain your battery??

Posted via CB10

jrohland

HotSpot does not use excessive battery. Using the transmitter using a lot of power. If her phone is only getting push notifications, it does not kill my battery much more than my phone does while getting push notifications. If she is sending data or if I'm sending data the battery is heavily impacted. That’s why we do most uploads in the presence of Wi-Fi. And of course we can be on a charger if in a hotel room.

Posted using my Peerless BlackBerry Z30

Prem WatsApp

Wouldn't it be nice to have a cheap BB10 dual SIM phone, like the Z3, but with dual SIM like the Moto G?

I have four dual SIM phones: two Gingerbreads, a Huawei qwerty feature phone and a Moto G, which my wide uses. I wish BlackBerry made one...

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

Prem WatsApp

*sorry, wife... ;-)

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

RP Singh

Nearly exactly what I do, minus the partner. I forward calls to my sip / VOIP app.

Sent from my iPuh-lease-as-IF

machoman1337

If the foreign provider isn't too expensive, why not just get two SIMs for both of you? Unless her phone doesn't support the bands in that country.

Airwolf05

Specially in Canada ! So expensive !

Posted via CB10

nono naziv

Why in my z10. No 4G, no 3G and 2G her, while option in settings

Posted via CB10

hauger

Still doesn't have the flexibility that legacy BlackBerry had. On my 9810, I would leave data on, but block emails, sms, mms, & pin messages with the firewall. That way, I could still get bbm from my wife while roaming. The BBM charges in the US might cost me an extra $10 over two weeks, worth it for a happy wife. It also gave me the option to use the browser if I needed to.

All in all, I much preferred the flexibility of the legacy firewall when travelling.

Posted via CB10 using my Zed Ten

Prem WatsApp

Good idea.

Kinda miss the days of the outgoing firewall idea, even on the PC. Hope more legacy features are making it into BB10.

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

mariusstaicu

I usually remove the sim card and use the wifi of the hotel I am staying at for e-mail

Posted via CB10

Roodog46

I usually remove the sim card and use the wifi of the hotel I am staying at
Me 2. I use sip.fm to make calls via my VOIP provider, and advise family/friends if they need to contact me to do so via email, which I get on my Playbook using local wifi.

Patrick Pierobon

I usually just place my phone in airplane mode and hit up wifi when i can. cheapest and best way.

bbry4life

I do this too.
When I travel I make sure Airplane Mode is on, this makes sure all connections are off. Then I turn on WiFi only.
No billing surprises so far. ☺

stevie_wonder

Would love to have more granular options on app level instead the generic Data On/OFF for roaming purpose e.g. I do want to receive my business emails but I may want to disable apps like weather, RSS feed, Ebay, facebook, CB while roaming.

Jim Banks2

I wish it had an option to choose what you want to access data while you are traveling. Instead of turning things off you could turn on perhaps just email and BBM and not have to worry about other apps eating up data in the background.

I recently traveled to the states and was getting notices about how much data I was using but wasn't really doing anything. I used more data on one day there then I would normally use in two weeks with the older BlackBerry's

The whole roaming thing sucks. I wouldn't even mind it if they wouldn't gouge so much.

Posted via CB10

machoman1337

No matter what country you come from, foreign roaming is never worth it. It'll always be a ripoff compared to whatever rates you pay back home.

If using public wifi isn't enough, just unlock your phone (if you haven't already done so) and buy a prepaid local SIM in the destination country. Sure, you won't be able to get calls to your personal number from back home, but that's a small price to pay for massive savings, and you can always use VoIP and IM alternatives (if your friends and family don't use BBM, there's whatsapp, Viber, skype, etc!)

I travel to the US at least once a month and that justifies maintaining a T-Mobile prepaid account. It cost me $10 for the SIM card, then every time I use the phone with the sim inside, it's $3 per day for unlimited talk, text, and data (throttled after 200 MB). The data cap resets after 24 hours. I top up my balance right before crossing the border. If I forget and run out of balance, I can just add more funds via credit card from the phone itself (it'll still let me connect to the T-Mobile website). As I have friends in the US, having the ability to call them (and for them to call me back) without either of us getting extra charges is very important. It also helps for things like calling a restaurant to make a reservation.

In Europe and Asia the rates are even better. For less than the price of a mid-tier restaurant meal I can get 1 GB data and more minutes/texts than I'll need for maybe 1-2 weeks' stay.

Just as a baseline, it's $1.40/minute to call while roaming with my Canadian number in the US, and even more outside the continent. It takes just 2 minutes of calling to justify paying my T-Mobile rate!

DannyAves

Better solution...T-Mobile. Free international roaming.

axe50

Wifi calling, wifi data. Data on, roaming off.

I'm on tmo and with them now allowing free roaming now, I won't even bother turning data off next time I travel. Will find out in two weeks :)

Posted via CB10

Master Art Mason

Unlock the phone and purchase a local sim. Canada still has the highest rates on the planet. When I go to Romania I can talk for a month for about 25 euro. Internet also.

Posted via CB10

machoman1337

You also forgot to mention this:

If wifi isn't always available during your trip, consider buying a prepaid sim card in the foreign country. If your phone isn't already unlocked, it's just a few bucks to fix that (and it does not void warranty or break the phone or whatever myths your provider may spin in a feeble attempt to dissuade you).

As a Canadian, this is really practical because our roaming charges for anything are stupidly high. It's 75 cents a text and $1.40 a minute when roaming in the US (don't get me started on the data). Outside North America it's even worse.

On the other hand... unlock code is $8, T-Mobile USA plan is $3/day for unlimited calling, texting, and unlimited data throttled after 200 MB. Vodafone UK = 10 pounds for 1 GB of data. Swisscom = 37 CHF for 200 MB of European-wide data. Singtel = $20 SGD for 1 GB data plus more than enough minutes and texts to last for a 2 week trip. The list goes on...

Getting a prepaid SIM is most worthwhile if you intend to make local calls during your stay. With T-Mobile USA I just need to talk for 2 minutes to be saving money vs roaming... As for keeping in touch with friends/family back home, just register your home country number on whatsapp/viber so you don't have to give them a foreign number. Or better yet, BBM!

ljohnson17

Thanks, good tip

Posted via CB10

David Odio

How about lack of support with At&t devices? I have a z10 and since say one haven't been able to switch my modes.

Posted via CB10

peterrebak

I used a great product when in UAE recently .. fully prepaid datasim from www.simplyroam.com - online topup - works in 95 countries - realtime data usage indicator . Used in a Mifi and turned data roaming off on my BB10 - worked a dream and much much cheaper than Voda UK roaming

Chanlion

Under email:
Select an account and at the bottom is an option that says, download messages while roaming. Turn that thing off.

vespertilium

I think there's something wrong with the configuration, because I did that when I travelled to Mauritius earlier this year and got a massive bill just after a week's stay! I don't trust it

Posted via CB10

Rootbrian

No need to worry, on wind, US roaming is unlimited (talk, text, data) for an extra $15/month if I travel to the united states. Cannot get that with bell (virgin), telus (koodo), rogers (fido, chat-r) or a few other american carriers.

Posted via CrackBerry 10 (CB10) application using my BlackBerry Q10.

cexiivirgo29

I have T-mobile. Roaming is include in the unlimited package. Glad I don't have to worry bout that...

CexiiVirgo

toppatoptobz

Thanks to wind mobile i no longer have to come back from my vacation to see those ridiculous phone bills and I travel a lot . The best money saving phone company hands down!

Posted via CB10

Rocco Iannarelli

Good tip! Checked on my Q10 and I believe it was already "defaulted" to the PROMPT setting. Thanks

Dougal Steward

need a cheap but reilable blackberry for the internet/skype

motec bb

Hey everyone!
Anyone out there ever used a Sprint Q10 overseas?
I had mine unlocked by sprint so that I can insert a foreign sim card when overseas, but whatever I do it always tells me that the sim isn't compatible with device or network. Sprint claims they unlocked it fully for a foreign sim card, but to no avail.
Anyone else has or had this problem?

Posted via CB10