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International roaming allows you to use your existing mobile phone and number to make and receive calls, SMSs, and mobile internet services when traveling outside of Qatar. If your mobile service provider has an agreement with a mobile service provider in the country you are visiting, and your mobile is equipped with international roaming capability, you will be able to use it as you normally would in Qatar.
You will continue to be billed by your home network provider, but the cost of using the overseas network is agreed between your provider and the overseas provider. This cost is passed on to you.
Be warned: using your mobile phone overseas often costs a lot more than using it at home in Qatar, and you may come home to find some very expensive mobile bills.
So while it may be convenient to be contactable on your usual mobile number, make sure you are aware of all the costs before you decide to use international roaming and before using you phone overseas.
Will my mobile phone work when I am overseas?
Normally your mobile phone will work in most other countries. In some countries you might experience difficulties with older phones - for example, in the USA.
Before you leave Qatar check with your provider that:
- Your handset will work in the country or countries you will be visiting;
- The overseas network provider has coverage in the area of the country you plan to visit.
Also, make sure you:
- Turn off international call barring with your provider, otherwise you will not be able to receive calls;
- Check your phone's manual to see whether you have to manually 'log on' to the network or whether it will automatically scan for service;
- Make sure you know the international format for telephone numbers by adding the international calling codes for the countries you wish to contact. For example, to call back home to Qatar you will need to add +974
How much will it cost?
International roaming can be very expensive. Ask your provider how much it will cost to:
- Make calls to a number within your destination country;
- Make calls to Qatar or any other country;
- Receive calls within the destination country;
- Send and receive SMS, MMS or email;
- Access the Internet and download material to your phone or other device.
Important note: You will be charged for receiving and making calls.
Tips for minimizing your bill
International roaming can be extremely expensive. The following suggestions can help you to minimize your bill:
- Tell your friends and family how much it costs you when they call you overseas;
- Consider using SMS rather than phone calls to keep in contact. Encourage your friends and family to do the same;
- Turn off any voicemail diversions you have, like voice messaging or paging services, so calls and messages are not diverted to you while you are outside Qatar;
- Turn-off your phone when you are not using it to avoid calls from people who may not realize you are overseas;
- Turn off the 'always on internet' connection service.
Are there any alternatives to international roaming?
There are many other options for keeping in contact while overseas, including:
- VoIP (voice over internet protocol) where available;
- Pre-paid or post-paid calling cards that you can use on mobiles and fixed line numbers;
- Buying a pre-paid SIM card from an operator in the country you are visiting.
Useful Contact numbers
Qtel Call Centre: 111 when you are in Qatar
Qtel Overseas Enquiries: +974 44380000
Qtel Customer Service email: email@example.com
Vodafone Customer Call Centre: +974 8007111
If you have a complaint with your service provider that you have not been able to resolve within 30 calendar days, you may contact the Regulatory Authority at ictQATAR:
- Calling the ictQATAR Consumer Hotline: +974 44995353;
- Sending a written complaint with full details by facsimile (fax) to +974 44995515; or
- Emailing your complaint with full details to firstname.lastname@example.org.