Sprint International Phones

Out of all the main US carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, and at the consumer's expense, Sprint has put the least amount of focus on international roaming solutions. The few generous offers they have are nearly impossible to find. While nearly all of Sprint's current array of handsets are now compatible for roaming, which was not the case even a couple of years ago, and, to be fair, prices have gone down, the overall roaming solution in terms of rates, products and visibility of the offerings is extremely poor. Here is a brief explanation of Sprint's international roaming solutions and how to make it work for you.

First off, you must make sure that your current Sprint phone is capable of roaming internationally. Several years ago, no Sprint phone could work overseas, period - excluding a handful of countries - mostly in Latin America. The reason is that Sprint uses the CDMA network in the United States whereas worldwide, GSM is the prevalent cellular system. Most newer Sprint handsets, and certainly most of Sprint's smartphones, are actually hybrids and have CDMA systems intended for use in the US and the GSM system for use overseas. One sure fire way to find out if your Sprint phone works overseas is to see if there is a SIM card in it or at least a slot for a SIM card. The SIM card is a little chip, similar to a memory card in a camera in terms of size and how to insert and remove it. The SIM is what gives cell phones service on the GSM system. Alternatively, you can Google the model of the phone and check to see if it has the GSM networks or you can call Sprint's customer service.

Once you confirm that your handset does work internationally, you need to decide if the roaming rates work for you and if not, possibly explore other solutions. Some destinations are extremely expensive while others are, generally speaking, acceptable as long as you do not use your phone much for making calls and/or the internet. Please note that Sprint does not make it easy to find their best rates. If you are like many people, you will go online and google "Sprint international roaming" or "Sprint international rates" or something to that effect. Most of the pages that come up on Sprint's website regarding using your phone when you travel only mention one solution. There are no links to Sprint's affordable roaming solutions - which may or not be available for the country or countries where you will be traveling. As an example, if you google "Sprint international roaming" the first link that comes up will allow you to view rates for Italy. The rates are about $2.00 per minute for calling. If you select Russia, the call rates are $5.99 per minute in and out. However, if for some reason you either luck onto Sprint's Value Roaming page, the rates are only $0.20 per minute and they offer free data, albeit at very slow speeds. Sprint's Value Roaming plan can be a good deal for travelers who don't need fast data or a lot of data. They do offer data upgrades and those deals are fair. The main issue with the Value Roaming plan is that unless you are absolutely sure that they offer it in the country where you are traveling, you can rack up a huge and unexpected phone bill. For example, if you are traveling around Europe, there are several countries where the low rates are not offered. In fact, you could easily assume that you are getting free data but instead pay $19 per mb. That is almost $2,000 for 100mb (which is not much data) and $20,000 for a GB of data. When you read about horror stories of people racking up huge bills, this is usually why.

A good way to avoid these high rates is to get a cell phone from Cellular Abroad. The service is pay as you go and therefore, it is impossible to incur any charge without knowing about it.

As Recommended In

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