As citizens and residents throughout Qatar are heading out on their summer holidays to escape the heat, most are taking their mobile phones with them to stay in touch with friends in family while away.
Using your mobile phone while outside of Qatar requires international roaming, which is often quite expensive. International roaming charges will apply to calls you make and receive, SMS, MMS and mobile internet services. To help reduce the potential stress from high summer phone bills, the Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology, ictQATAR, offers the following tips to keep in mind while using your mobile phone outside of Qatar.
Will my mobile phone work overseas?
Normally your mobile phone will work in most other countries, however in some countries you might experience difficulties with older phones. Before you leave Qatar, check with your provider that:
• Your handset will work in the country or countries you will be visiting;
• The overseas network provider has coverage in the area of the country you plan to visit.
Also, make sure you:
• Turn off international call barring with your provider, otherwise you will not be able to receive calls;
• Check your phone's manual to see whether you have to manually 'log on' to the network or whether it will automatically scan for service;
• Make sure you know the international format for telephone numbers by adding the international calling codes for the countries you wish to contact. For example, to call back home to Qatar you will need to add +974
How much will it cost?
International roaming can be very expensive. Always contact your service provider before traveling for pricing information. Be sure to ask your provider how much it will cost to:
• Make calls to a number within your destination country;
• Make calls to Qatar or any other country;
• Receive calls within the destination country;
• Send and receive SMS, MMS or email;
• Access the Internet and download material to your phone or other device.
How can I minimize my bill?
Some general ways to help minimize are bill:
• Tell your friends and family how much it costs you when they call you overseas;
• Consider using SMS rather than phone calls to keep in contact. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.
• Turn off any voicemail diversions you have, like voice messaging or paging services, so calls and messages are not diverted to you while you are outside Qatar.
• Turn-off your phone when you are not using it to avoid calls from people who may not realize you are overseas.
• Turn off the 'always on internet' connection service.
• Consider using alternative forms of communications, such as e-mail, VoIP, pre-paid or post-paid calling cards, or a pre-paid SIM card from the operator in the country you are visiting.
International roaming can be very expensive. Always contact your service provider before traveling for pricing information.
Being an informed consumer will help you avoid any summer surprises on your mobile phone bill. If you have a complaint with your service provider that you are not able to resolve with them in 30 calendar days, you may contact the Regulatory Authority at ictQATAR by:
• Calling the ictQATAR Consumer Hotline: +974 499 5353;
• Sending a written complaint with full details by facsimile (fax) to +974 499 5515; or
• Emailing your complaint with full details to [email protected]
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