International coverage options with Ting

There are several ways that you can get mobile phone service while traveling internationally, depending on where you're going, how long you're planning on staying, and what type of phone you have. Each option has its benefits, and it's best to review them all to select the option that's best for you.

International roaming with Ting

Ting offers international roaming on our GSM, V1, and CDMA networks. Phones on our GSM and CDMA networks have the option to use service anywhere that we have coverage, while phones using our V1 network will have coverage internationally in Canada and Mexico.

The Ting Unlimited plans cover your minutes, messages, and data as normal while roaming internationally, but there will be additional charges for the usage while in another country. If you're using our Legacy rates, your usage while roaming internationally will be pay-per-use for minutes, messages, and data in addition to the international roaming charges. 

International roaming is available on Ting accounts after two months of active service. Enabling international roaming before the three months have passed is not available. 

Enabling international roaming

International roaming can be turned on through the Device Settings section of your Ting account online. It is suggested to ensure you have this feature enabled before traveling outside of the country. 

  1. Log into your Ting account online.
  2. Click on Device settings.
  3. Select the device(s) where you want to enable international roaming.
  4. Scroll to the International Roaming option, and click the blue edit pencil.
  5. In the pop-up window, toggle the Can use international roaming slider to enable it.
  6. You will then be presented with a second option. You may toggle on Can use international data roaming if you would like to enable data roaming services. Once all the options you would like are enabled, select Save.
    Note: International data roaming can accumulate quickly, and it is generally the more expensive option. If you would like only to have text and talk, you can leave this option off.

If you want to use data, make sure data roaming is enabled in the settings on your device. Voice roaming will be enabled automatically. For CDMA phones looking to roam, the network mode may also need to be updated once you arrive at your destination.

Update network mode

The process of changing your network mode will vary slightly from phone to phone, but we've listed the most common Android pathway below.

  1. Tap Apps and select Settings.
  2. Select More Networks and choose Mobile Networks.
  3. Tap Network Mode.
  4. Select an applicable network mode. We suggest Global.
  5. Your phone will reboot and should connect automatically. If not, manually search for a network via the Network operators option typically under Mobile Networks.

Switching to a local carrier SIM card

Purchasing a local international SIM is ideal for long-term trips or trips where you plan on using your phone a lot. It can take the guesswork out of the rates so you can avoid a bill with unexpected charges at the end of your trip.

Your coverage and rates will be based on the provider of the foreign SIM card that you're using since you'll be getting a new local number with them. If you're checking ahead of time or doing so upon arrival, you'll want to find out:

  • Which areas do they cover
  • How they handle domestic or international roaming (i.e., If you're traveling to several countries in Europe or Asia in one trip, make sure they're all covered)
  • The domestic and international rates

Once you have a SIM card for use with an international carrier, you can remove the Ting SIM from your unlocked phone and install the new SIM card to use the other carrier's services.

Prepaid phones

A prepaid phone is an alternative if you're going to a country that doesn't have a GSM network provider. These are usually relatively inexpensive phones that you can load and reload as needed with a local carrier. If you need to be reachable while traveling, or you're traveling for a longer period of time, this can be a reliable alternative. 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 prepaid phone provider that you're using since you'll be getting a new local number with them. If you're checking ahead of time or doing so upon arrival, you'll want to find out:

  • Which areas do they cover
  • How they handle domestic or international roaming (i.e., you're traveling to several countries in Europe in one trip)
  • The domestic and international rates

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 a charge when you return.

If you're traveling for an extended period of time and will not use your Ting service, we can suspend your service while you travel to prevent additional usage. While service is suspended, your Unlimited Plan or device charge will be billed as normal.

VoIP calling services

VoIP calling services such as Skype, Viber, Hangout, or Facetime are all a great way to keep in touch while you're traveling. Apps like Facebook Messenger also have VoIP calling built into them, which, for many people, will eliminate the need to set up another service. These options do require access to Wi-Fi or data to work, but if your hotel offers free Wi-Fi, you can use these options while connected.

These apps usually require both parties to have them and are typically free. Some of them have options for additional services, like the ability to call phone numbers directly, as paid extras if you want them.

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