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By 7 December 2011 | Categories: news

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Stories about people who travelled overseas only to be hit with a R1000+ data bill are becoming more and more common. As we head into the festive season, where many will be travelling beyond borders for a well-deserved break, who needs the dreaded massive phone bill to start a New Year? It is with this in mind that MTN provides some key tips for consumers on effective roaming, to avoid this untimely incident.

MTN advises its customers to make use of the following suggestions:

Use SMS roaming only while abroad
Simply dial *111*14# to activate SMS roaming. Once activated, all voice and data capabilities on your phone will be switched off and you will only be able to send and receive SMS’s while roaming.

Voicemail Callback
While roaming, you are required to dial +2783-1000-000 to listen to your voicemail where you will pay for an outgoing call from the country you are in at international voice rates. Therefore, while overseas, you can simply dial the roaming shortcut code of *111*100#, navigate through the menu options and select Voicemail Callback. Voicemail will then call you from South Africa so that you do not have to pay for an outgoing call from the country you are in.
    
Divert all calls to voicemail
Before leaving South Africa, MTN advises customers to divert all calls to go to voicemail (Unconditional Diverts) in the settings on your device. This means that whenever someone calls you, the call will be diverted straight to voicemail. Therefore you won’t have to pay for an incoming call while roaming.
 
iMail
Upon diverting all calls to your voicemail box before heading overseas, customers can visit www.mtn.co.za to register on the website for MTN iMail. With iMail you can log in at any time to listen to messages on the internet instead of on your phone.
 
Make 100% sure you know what the data rates are
If you are going to take your MTN data card (F@stLink) with or use the internet on your phone, go to the MTN website to determine what the current data rates are in the country you are travelling to. It is important to note that this varies in each country - some countries charge for data in increments of 25KB at rates much higher than what MTN charges in South Africa. Using data while roaming can cost you up to R150 per MB.
 
Switch off all automatic updates on your device and computer
Today, your phone/device/notebook does automatic updates in the background while connected to the internet. By switching these updates off, you can save on your roaming bill.

“At MTN, we understand that our customers want to be connected when travelling, however often do not understand the cost associated with roaming calls. It is with this in mind that we wish to continue to educate our customers on cost effective roaming and how they can effectively make and receive calls whilst abroad, without breaking the bank,” says Serame Taukobong, chief marketing officer at MTN South Africa.

In related news, MTN and Vodacom have announced that the new iPhone 4S will hit the shelves on the 16th of December. 

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