Last updated by Christian Robinette
International SIM unlock
This is our recommendation if you're traveling internationally. It takes the guesswork out of rates so you can avoid unexpected charges at the end of the trip.
Your coverage will be based on the provider of the foreign SIM card that you're using. Whether you're checking ahead of time or doing so upon arrival, you'll want to find out:
- Which areas they cover
- How they handle domestic and/or international roaming (i.e. you're traveling to several countries in Europe in one trip)
Again, this will depend on the provider of the local SIM card. If you're able to look into this ahead of time, you can shop around for the best price that fits your travel needs.
Before (and After) You Travel
Check out our guide on international CDMA SIM unlocking for a detailed explanation of what to do before and after you travel when you choose to use a local SIM card at your destination.
If you have a phone that can't be SIM unlocked or you're going to a country that doesn't have a GSM network provider, a prepaid phone is another great option. You know exactly what you're getting in terms of rates and it's easy to get up and running.
Your coverage will be based on the provider of the prepaid phone that you're using. Whether you're checking ahead of time or doing so upon arrival, you'll want to find out:
- which areas they cover
- how they handle domestic and/or international roaming (i.e. you're traveling to several countries in Europe in one trip)
Again, this will depend on the provider of the prepaid phone. If you're able to look into this ahead of time, you can shop around for the best price that fits your travel needs.
Before You Travel
You don't have to do anything with your Ting device if you're going to use a foreign prepaid phone while you're traveling, except perhaps turn it off so the battery still has charge when you return.
Wi-Fi calling services
Wi-Fi calling services such as Skype, Viber, or HangOuts are all a great way to keep in touch while you're traveling. Apps like Facebook Messenger also have Wi-Fi calling built into them which, for many people, will eliminate the need to set up another service.
These apps all have a free option and some have paid extras if you want them.
We do not recommend roaming internationally.
It's hard to keep track of the cost so it can often end up being significantly more expensive than you expect.
If your phone can be SIM unlocked for international travel (that's any GSM device you can bring to Ting and many CDMA devices), then we recommend you do that. You can buy a local SIM card, know exactly what you're paying and generally get service at a much lower rate than if you roam internationally.
That depends on where your travels take you. To see where Ting has service internationally, check out our list of countries and roaming rates.
If the country you're traveling to doesn't appear on this list, then we don't have an international roaming partner there and you'll need to either use your device unlocked, use a prepaid phone or a Wi-Fi based service like Skype.
There will be extra charges, or surcharges, for usage while you're away from the US. For example, if you are in Mexico and you receive a call that lasts 10 minutes, your usage will fall into the Small ($3) bucket and you'll be billed an additional $0.30/minute for the call.
For more information check out our list of international roaming rates.
Before You Travel
CDMA devices and GSM devices
- Log into your Ting account online
- Go to Device settings
- Click on the device(s) that you'll be traveling with
- Scroll down to international roaming and click the blue edit pencil
- When the window pops up select the "Can use international roaming" slider to enable it
- You will then be presented with a second option. You may select "can use international data roaming" if you would like data roaming services as well. click the slider and then select save.
If you want to use data, make sure data roaming is enabled on your device (see below for Android and iOS). Voice roaming will be enabled automatically.