What is data roaming and everything you need to know about it
June 14, 2023

What is data roaming and everything you need to know about it

Data roaming refers to the use of mobile data services, such as accessing the internet or sending and receiving emails, while traveling outside of your home country or network. When you are in another country or using a different network, your mobile phone or device connects to a different mobile network, which may charge you for the use of data services.

Before we go into more details about roaming charges we need to look at the difference between regional roaming and international roaming :

Regional roaming and international roaming are two different concepts related to the use of mobile phone services while traveling.

Regional Roaming:

Regional roaming refers to the ability to use your mobile phone services, such as making calls, sending messages, and using data, while you are traveling within a specific region or group of countries. These regions are usually defined by telecommunication providers or regulatory bodies. For example, in Europe, the European Union has implemented regulations that allow for free roaming within EU member states.

The advantage of regional roaming is that you can use your mobile phone without incurring additional charges or having to switch to a local SIM card when traveling within the designated region. It simplifies communication and provides convenience for travelers within the defined region.

International Roaming:

International roaming, on the other hand, refers to the ability to use your mobile phone services while traveling outside your home country or region. When you travel to a foreign country, your home country’s mobile network operator typically partners with international operators in that country to provide service to their customers.

International roaming enables you to make and receive calls, send messages, and use data while abroad. However, international roaming charges can be significantly higher compared to your regular home network charges. These charges are typically billed by your home network operator and can include additional fees for voice calls, messages, and data usage.

It’s worth noting that the specific terms and conditions, coverage, and costs associated with regional roaming and international roaming can vary among different mobile network operators and countries. Therefore, it’s advisable to check with your network provider for detailed information before traveling.

Here’s an example, let’s say you take a trip across the pond to the US. You get off the plane, and as soon as you power on your cell phone you have signal bars to call a taxi driver to pick you up from the airport. This happens because your wireless carrier from your home country has an agreement in place with a network in the US to provide you with roaming service. If you have the roaming feature turned on, all of this will happen automatically and you might not realize you are using a different network.

When you enable data roaming on your phone, you allow your device to connect to other networks outside of your own, so you can continue to use data services when you are abroad. However, using data while roaming can be expensive, as mobile network operators often charge higher rates for data usage outside of your home country or network.

To avoid high costs associated with international roaming, travelers often consider alternative options such as purchasing an eSIM that offer better rates for international usage.

Using eSIM with the Red Bull MOBILE Data App for roaming offers several advantages over traditional physical SIM cards. Data roaming has become much easier, more efficient and cost-effective with the use of eSIM. 

Here are the key things to know about data roaming:

  1. Charges: Data roaming charges can be very expensive, and it’s important to be aware of the fees before you travel. Roaming fees can be charged per kilobyte, per minute, or per day, and can quickly add up. Check with your mobile provider to see what charges may apply when you use data roaming.
  2. Coverage: Not all mobile networks offer data roaming in all countries. Before you travel, make sure to check with your provider to see if the country you’re visiting is covered by their data roaming service.
  3. Settings: Before you can use data roaming, you need to make sure that your phone’s data roaming settings are enabled. This can usually be done in your phone’s settings menu. You should also make sure that your phone is set to automatically connect to available networks.
  4. Usage: When you use data roaming, you’ll be using data from your mobile data plan, which means that you’ll be using up your data allowance. Be mindful of your usage, especially if you have a limited data plan.
  5. Alternatives: If you want to avoid data roaming charges altogether, there are a few alternatives. You can use Wi-Fi hotspots to connect to the internet, or you can purchase a local SIM card and use a local mobile network. You can also purchase an eSIM data plan via an app without needing to physically swap SIM cards. Just make sure that your phone is unlocked before you travel so that you can use a different SIM card.
  6. Safety: When using data roaming, it’s important to be aware of the potential security risks. Public Wi-Fi hotspots, which you may use while traveling, can be unsecured and may leave you vulnerable to hacking and data theft. It’s important to use a VPN or other security measures to protect your data and personal information.

Most devices have a visual indication to let you know if your device is roaming. However, each device will have a different setting, so it’s best to check under your Settings on your smartphone for more details.

Overall, data roaming can be a convenient way to stay connected while traveling, but it’s important to be aware of the potential costs and risks. Make sure to check with your mobile provider and take necessary precautions to protect your data and personal information.

Simply download the Red Bull MOBILE Data app, choose your data plan for your destination, and follow the instructions on how to activate the Red Bull MOBILE eSIM data plan. Your device will prompt you to set up your eSIM, which typically involves selecting a mobile plan and confirming your activation. Once your account is activated you are ready to connect to the world without any basic or roaming fees. You will be able to email, chat, set up video conferencing and use your social media accounts. Connecting with your family and friends around the globe is instantaneous. 


Get the Red Bull MOBILE Data App now

and be the first to experience the most convenient way of staying connected while traveling.