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Posted On: 9 July 2009 08:38 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Vacationers warned over roaming bills

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People who will go out of the country for a summer vacation are advised to be wary in using their mobile phones and Internet connections on their laptops to avoid huge bills when they get back home. “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,” an advisory from Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) reminds vacationers. For the convenience of Qatar residents, ictQatar offers wise tips while using mobile phones and other devices outside the country. The advisory said normally mobile phones work in most other countries; however, in some countries difficulties can be experienced with older phones. “Before you leave Qatar, check your provider if your handset will work in the country or countries you will be visiting”. Mobile phone users were also told to 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.”, the advisory added. It also reminded that international roaming can be very expensive, so consumers are told to check their providers on costs to calls to destination country, receive calls within the destination country, send and receive SMS, MMS or email and access the Internet and download material to your phone or other device.” IctQatar also told consumers: 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 realise you are overseas. Turn off the ‘always on internet’ connection service,” it said. IctQatar also recommended users to 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 an operator in the country they are visiting.