Mobile Broadband Abroad

Mobile Broadband has become one of the most preferred ways of accessing the internet. It connects from any place which has access to a mobile network. The technology uses a modem which is smaller than any other networking device. It looks exactly like a flash storage drive or a Nano I-pod which can be slid into your pocket. It does not use any cables; instead it is plugged in directly to the USB port of the computer. It’s definitely doubtful if something else can be more compact and mobile, while providing more space for communication through the web.


What is mobile broadband roaming?

Mobile broadband connects to the internet via mobile base stations using the 3G standards. By default the modems work only with the specific mobile network within the country.

For example, 3 mobile broadband modems can be used to access only the 3 mobile networks in UK.

However, mobile broadband can also be used to access the internet outside UK using a feature called mobile broadband abroad or roaming. Some networks like 3 mobile, T mobile, Orange, etc, have their networks established in many countries across the world. Users who travel outside UK are allowed to access the internet using the mobile network of the same provider or different provider. But the tariff will vary based on the country in which it is used.

Who offers mobile broadband roaming and how much they charge?

Almost all the mobile broadband providers in UK have roaming facility. But the cost of usage and the activation methods might vary between the providers.

3 Mobile Broadband Abroad

3 Mobile is one of the largest mobile phone networks based on UMTS and is maintained by Hutchison Whampoa. It’s available in many countries across the world, especially in Europe. Their mobile broadband customers are more than one million across Europe. They divide their mobile networks across the globe in to three bands and provide internet access at the rate of £1.25, £3 and £6 per MB.

Know more about: 3 Mobile Broadband Abroad

Orange Mobile Broadband Abroad

Orange mobile is the fifth largest telecom operator in the world maintained by France Telecom. They provide broadband service to almost 11 countries in Europe. Roaming charges within Europe would be £2.94 per MB and rest of the world would be £6.46 per MB.

Know more about: Orange Mobile Broadband Abroad

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Abroad

Vodafone is the second largest telecom operator in the world based in UK. Their networks are wide spread across Europe, Asia pacific, US, Africa and the middle east. Their network is divided in to two zones. Zone 1 comprises of the countries in Europe where roaming is charged £9.99 per MB and Zone to consists of the rest of the world where roaming costs £29.99 per MB.

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T-Mobile Broadband Abroad

T-mobile is one of the largest GSM networks in Europe and US based in Germany. They provide the largest GPRS roaming in almost 27 countries across the world. T-mobile broadband roaming within Europe will cost £1.50 per MB and roaming outside Europe will cost £7.50 per MB.

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O2 Mobile Broadband Abroad

O2 is a brand name for the mobile and fixed communication products of Telefonica which is based in UK. They provide mobile broadband roaming across many countries in Europe and in the rest of the world. Including VAT, the Europe roaming would cost £3 per MB and roaming in rest of the world would cost £6 per MB.

Know more about: O2 Mobile Broadband Abroad

Virgin Mobile Broadband Abroad

Virgin mobile is a huge mobile network that is operated in many countries across the world by Virgin Media. It operates in more than 180 countries across the globe. Virgin mobile broadband roaming charges would be £5 per MB regardless of the country that you travel. But the roaming facility has to be activated by dialing 0845-6000-789.

Why mobile broadband roaming charges are higher?

One of the important features of a 3G broadband service is the seamless roaming facility that has no bar across the borders. But it’s not possible for the mobile operators to run their own networks in every country. Mobile operators in different countries have integrated roaming facility up on a mutual agreement in data usage. Operators in every country allow a foreign service to roam on their network after crediting a certain charge based on the economic value of the country. There isn’t any universal standard or any separate governing body to regulate the roaming feature between mobile networks.

Mobile Challengers is the only organization which is present in 13 different markets in Europe. They aim to create a fair market between the mobile operators in different countries.

Tips for using mobile broadband Abroad

  1. If you are a frequent traveler who travels to many countries then confirm if the package that you subscribe provides international roaming.
  2. If you travel regularly to a certain country, then check out for the international roaming charges for those countries among the mobile operators and choose the cheapest one.
  3. If it’s the first time you are travelling to a country, please check the mobile broadband roaming charges.
  4. Not all the mobile broadband modem is pre-activated for roaming abroad. So please make sure that you activate your device, else you will not receive any coverage.
  5. PAYG customers have to top up your account before travelling. Please do remember to carry the customer care number and URL to top up your account.
  6. Some of the mobile broadband providers offer laptop Insurance for the laptops purchased under bundle packages. These insurance also cover theft and damage caused in abroad. So it’s good to insure your laptops if you are a frequent traveler.
  7. If you are using a Mi-Fi router, make sure that it’s locked using a network key or password for login. This will avoid others from accessing your broadband connection.