SIM card for roaming: Belarusian, local or tourist?

Roaming from MTS, velcom and life Of course, first of all a tourist looks towards the long-familiar Belarusian operators – MTS, velcom and life. Moreover, many of our compatriots use the services of two operators at once, which is very convenient, since it allows you to compare and choose the most advantageous offer. The easiest way is to compare the offers on the operators’ websites (this can be done in the “Roaming” sections or by using direct links: velcom, life, MTS) by choosing a country and determining which of the foreign operators offers the most favorable conditions.

Moreover, most likely, all three Belarusian operators will offer you the same foreign networks, but the terms of partnership with them may be different, therefore, the total price will depend not only on the price tag of European companies, but also on the conditions of their cooperation with Belarusian operators. How it’s done? Take, for example, the MTS proposal for Austria. T-Mobile Austria offers 1 MB of Internet for 6, 14 rubles, and A1 Telecom Austria AG – for 24.37 rubles. It is 4 times more expensive! All these data are in the public domain in the “Roaming” section, verification will take a couple of minutes, but the tourist can save a lot.

The difference is definitely palpable. But the thrifty traveler will go even further and compare the prices of MTS, for example, with Life. And if the cost of calls differs by 5-30 kopecks, then the Internet from T-Mobile Austria from Life is almost 2.5 times cheaper than from MTS. It turns out that a traveler could pay 24.37 rubles for 1 MB of Internet (A1 Telecom Austria AG from MTS), and will pay 2.64 rubles (T-Mobile Austria from Life). The difference is 10 times! But this does not mean that choosing Life in other countries, you will always save money: roaming in the budget network of another country may be more profitable with MTS or velcom.


It is also worth considering that abroad, automatic connection occurs to the network that catches better in your location – and this may be a network with more expensive services. Therefore, it is better to switch to manual mode and select the desired network from the list of proposed ones. As velcom explained, it is better for subscribers of their network to activate roaming while they are still in Belarus by dialing * 141 * 3 * 2 #. “To connect, you should have about 5 rubles on your account,” explains an employee of velcom. – While you are on the territory of Belarus, no extra money will be debited from you – roaming will work only when you leave the country.

When crossing the border, you need to reboot the phone so that the system is correctly registered in the system of a foreign operator, and if necessary, change the operator manually, choosing a more profitable one. The most expensive part of roaming is the Internet: for example, in popular Lithuania and Turkey, you will have to pay about 5 rubles for 1 MB. Incoming calls are also paid, so if someone calls and you don’t plan to talk to them, just ignore the call. With regular roaming, you can surf the Internet and send SMS, but when you connect SMS roaming, incoming and outgoing calls are disconnected, only SMS and the Internet work ”. Life roaming is connected automatically, that is, you do not need to enter any combinations of numbers. “We offer roaming packages, but they tend to be expensive. For example, 50 MB of the Internet will cost 6 rubles; package 30 minutes + 30 sms (without internet) – 19.90 rubles. But sometimes it is more profitable than just calling and writing SMS in roaming. And right now we have a special offer for the “Shayk” tariff: when the tariff is connected, 1 GB of traffic is given free of charge, which can be used in Turkey or Ukraine, ”said a Life employee.

MTS confirmed that the cost of calls and SMS directly depends on the network of which foreign operator you register – you can compare offers on the website. The only problem is that a manually selected network may not catch well everywhere. “The Internet is the most expensive service in roaming: 1 MB can cost 10 or 20 rubles,” warns a company employee. – Therefore, if you need the Internet, it is better to either use the hotel Wi-fi, or buy a local SIM card. SMS roaming is not very profitable: this is a paid service (connection costs about 3 rubles), and the cost of these SMS will not differ from those that you send in regular roaming. Often sms-roaming is connected to children if they are worried that they might accidentally call somewhere. And adults sometimes connect for their own peace of mind: so you will know that you will not be able to use anything except SMS (accordingly, you will not go into a big minus), but at the same time you will be in touch. But more often than not, we still advise subscribers to connect to regular roaming: you do not need to pay for the connection, but the account must have an amount of at least 2.5 rubles. Only the subscription fee at the regular rate will be charged, plus what you have said. Incoming, of course, paid. ”


Should I buy a local SIM card? If all you plan to do on the Internet for a trip is to write a couple of SMS and make a call once or twice, then there is no point in buying a local SIM card: a reasonable combination of Wi-fi and roaming from a Belarusian operator will help you stay in a three-digit minus. If you also count on Google maps and posts on Instagram, then it will be more profitable to purchase a local SIM card. But betting on the cheapness of calls within the European Union is not worth it: to some extent, the cancellation of roaming even added troubles to tourists. For example, if you have a SIM card bought three days ago in Lithuania, and you left for Amsterdam for two weeks, the operator can easily block it: you bought a SIM card in Lithuania – if you please use it most of the time in Lithuania.

At the same time, the operator can set a limit on Internet traffic if you leave the country where the SIM card was purchased. And, of course, if a subscriber calls to a country that is not included in the Schengen area, then such a call will be charged differently. Moreover, some European operators may impose roaming restrictions so as not to “feed freeloaders-tourists”, so the traveler needs to study all the details before buying a local SIM card and make sure that the provider generally provides roaming at the desired rate. It is better to do this even before the trip – on the operator’s website or on specialized forums. So, if you plan to spend a lot of time on the Internet and are not going to travel around a dozen countries in one sitting, a local SIM card will definitely be justified: remember the prices for Internet roaming, voiced above (especially if the hotel has poor Wi-fi, and the Internet is really needed) … In addition, if you already have a favorite country for vacation, where you plan to periodically come on vacation, a local SIM card is perfect.


What is a tourist SIM card and why is it needed? A tourist SIM card is convenient if you plan to travel from country to country, because when you buy an Internet package, it will be provided at the same price even in Poland, even in Portugal, while local operators, as already mentioned, despite the cancellation of roaming block / take extra money. Nevertheless, in total, the use of such a SIM card will also cost a lot.

Therefore, such a purchase makes sense if, in principle, you travel a lot, and when traveling so actively use the Internet and make calls that local Wi-fi and Belarusian roaming will not be enough for you. If all this is about you – study the offers of such companies as Dreamsim, Goodline, SimTravel, GlobalSim, Vodafone and Orange. Each of the companies has its own advantages: Dreamsim has a large coverage of countries, Vodafone has quite favorable offers for Internet traffic, Orange has budget prices (especially in Spain, and it is most profitable to buy a SIM card there), Russian-language support and good communication quality from GlobalSim, balance refund service from SimTravel. But, it is worth repeating, this option is beneficial only if you travel a lot to different countries (if you go mainly to one, it is better to buy a local SIM card) and spend a lot of time “on the phone” and on the Internet (if we are talking about a couple of calls and SMS – it is more profitable to simply install roaming on the Belarusian SIM card).

Source: tio.by

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