Using a mobile phone abroad

You can use your mobile phone and Finnish subscription abroad usually without any special measures. The mobile phone searches automatically a network of the operator with whom your Finnish operator has made a roaming agreement.

Using mobile communication services abroad is usually charged on the basis of specific roaming fees and the prices may vary significantly between different countries. Below are tips on using your mobile phone smartly abroad.

Five top tips on using your mobile phone abroad

1. Check whether your mobile phone subscription works abroad

Usually mobile phone subscriptions work normally abroad. You can check this with your operator especially if you travel outside Europe or have a prepaid subscription.

Besides mobile phones, usually you can also use other mobile devices, like tablets, to access services abroad. Check the device settings or ask your operator if you are unsure whether the device will work.

2. Check the roaming rates of your destination

Operators’ roaming rates are available on their websites. You can also contact your operator's customer service for detailed price information.



When travelling in the European Union and the EEA, the prices of using mobile communication services are governed by an EU Regulation. Although these prices are usually somewhat higher than domestic prices, using a mobile phone may be significantly cheaper in the EU and EEA countries than in rest of the world. Receiving text messages is free of charge.

In addition to the EU countries, the maximum prices are applied in Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which are EEA (European Economic Area) countries. The price cap is not applied in other European countries such as Russia.

Operators may also offer alternative roaming rates or additional services designed for customers that travel a lot. Furthermore, customers may be able to use services on ships or aeroplanes which are subject to a different charge.

More information about roaming prices in the European Union

When travelling outside the European Union and the EEA, the prices of using mobile communication services may vary significantly between different countries and operators. The price of using data services, in particular, may vary a lot depending whether the customer uses them in Finland or abroad.

All services related to financial limits may not function outside Europe.

To prevent bill shock, remember to check the rates of the destination with your operator before travelling.

3. Estimate your usage

Estimate your data usage in order to calculate how much it will cost.

However, take into account that it may be difficult to estimate your data consumption in advance since watching videos and updating apps, for example, may require different amounts of data.

Examples of typical data amounts:

  • receiving one email 10–500 kB
  • downloading a high-quality image 1–3 MB
  • downloading an mp3 track 2–3 MB
  • downloading a video 1–10 MB
  • downloading or updating an app 5–50 MB

There are calculators for estimating your data usage. You may be able to check the amount of data used on your smartphone, for example.

To cut the costs of roaming, download contents you may need, like maps, for offline use before travelling.

4. Check the settings of your phone

In smartphones, the user can usually turn mobile data services on and off. It is recommended to adjust the phone settings before connecting to a network abroad.

5. Prevent misuse

Secure your phone with a password and your SIM card with a PIN code.

Take your operator's contact details with you so that you can ask your operator to block your phone in case it is lost or stolen. If your phone is lost or stolen, contact your operator straight away.

Key words: Telephone , Mobile phones , Roaming , Tariffs

Updated 15.03.2018

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