There are many service packages available for your trip abroad. With all these options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We’ve broken down some of the more confusing elements to make the process of choosing a data package easier for you.
Why “Unlimited” Is Limited
Most of these mobile carriers offer unlimited data packages for international trips but what exactly do they mean by “unlimited”? Many people assume they’ll have unrestricted high-speed data when they purchase one of these plans, but that isn’t the case.
Speed restrictions are always a factor with unlimited mobile roaming plans. Even if a plan states that you have unlimited data, there’s usually a high-speed allowance.
Some carriers will try to hide this fact from their customers. For example, you might see a tiny detail like this written somewhere in your plan agreement: you may experience reduced speeds after using the 5GB of high-speed data in your plan. In this case, 5GB would be your high-speed allowance, meaning that once you’ve exceeded this amount, you’ll experience reduced data speeds for the rest of the month. Usually, they’ll slow you down so much that you won’t even be able to open an email.
Many times, if you’re on a lower-tiered plan, this data speed reduction is to favor customers who either subscribed to a higher-tiered plan or those who haven’t hit their monthly allowance yet.
Another limitation with some mobile carriers is daily data limits. For example, if you have a data plan that gives you 28 GB of high-speed data each month, some carriers will only let you use up to 1GB of this data each day. A few take it a step further and only allow you a certain number of megabytes a day. Once you reach your daily limit, you will experience slower data speeds for the rest of the day.
Understanding Hidden Costs
Some mobile service providers include hidden clauses in their plans regarding data roaming. So, any time you’re using data instead of Wi-Fi when you’re abroad, you’re incurring roaming charges. This is especially true when you’re either using your domestic phone plan, or using an international add-on for your domestic phone plan.
Your domestic network provider incurs an international transport charge when you’re traveling abroad because you’re connecting to the cell towers of third-party providers. As a result, your provider now has to pay a connection fee to these parties, which it then passes onto you with large price markups. This is where those pesky “roaming” charges come from. Sometimes it can take up to 3 months for these international roaming charges to even show up on your bill!
Luckily, there are ways around this. You could purchase a roaming SIM card or sign up with a provider that gives you a true World Phone connectivity at a flat, consistent rate. It’s also important that this provider supports extended roaming and has a fair excessive roaming clause. With this type of solution, you’ll be offered cheaper rates than your domestic provider could give you. There are both local SIM cards and international SIM cards. With a local SIM, you’ll be able to enjoy the low rates that locals are paying. However, this is not a viable option for frequent travelers because you’ll need to change your phone number and swap SIMs regularly. You also need to be aware of various local restrictions that bound local providers such as ID requirements and VoiP restrictions.
Why Is POND mobile Different?
POND mobile is an international service provider that offers a one SIM card solution. Our solution provides international internet and voice services that allow for permanent roaming. So what does this mean? Well, with POND mobile, you’ll only need to purchase one SIM card, one plan, and you’ll have coverage in 210+ countries.
We’re also upfront about all costs and fees included in our plans. Information on both daily and monthly costs, data, high-speed allowance, and hotspot inclusion are all listed in an easy-to-understand way and taxes/VAT and fees are already included in our pricing. Plus, we have some of the least restricted unlimited options available for those of you who live a fast-paced lifestyle and need access to high-speed internet at all times! Selecting a data package for your phone plan is stressful enough, so we’ve made our process as simple as possible.
To make things even easier for you, with our plans, you also have the option of adding both SMART Caller ID and 1-10 local numbers from 90+ countries all over the world. All this makes the digital nomad lifestyle simple, enabling remote work all over the globe.