Roaming with SMARTY: all you need to know

Got a Summer getaway coming up and looking for a mobile phone deal that can cover your roaming needs whilst keeping costs down? Look no further, SMARTY has you covered.

What is data roaming?

Data roaming is when your phone disconnects from your standard home country phone network and reconnects to a different local network when you travel abroad. This lets you continue to make calls, send texts and use mobile data when you’re out of the country.

What roaming do you get with SMARTY?

Every SMARTY plan offers up to 12GB of EU roaming included. So when you visit any country in the EU, you can still use your unlimited calls & texts and up to 12GB of mobile data from your monthly plan allowance at no extra cost. Whether you’re sending sunny snaps from Spain, facetiming in Finland or mastering a map in Malta, you can use your EU roaming allowance to do this. With SMARTY, you can roam for up to 60 consecutive days at a time, so you’re covered for longer trips. If you’re on a SMARTY plan with less than 12GB of data or have less than 12GB of data allowance remaining on a larger data plan for the month in which you’re travelling, your allowance is the full amount of data on your plan/remaining in your data allowance for that month. Your EU roaming allowance resets each month on your billing date.

Do I need to change any settings for roaming to work on my phone?

Yes, you will need to make a one-off change in your phone settings for roaming to work. We have support articles on what you need to do if you have an Apple iOS device, an Android device, or a Windows phone.

Tip: Before you travel, change your APN (Access Point Names) while you’re connected to WiFi to avoid possible interruptions with data roaming.

What if I need more Roaming data?

If you are on a plan with more than 12GB of data allowance remaining, you may want or need more than this while roaming. If so, we offer EU Roaming Data Pass add-ons that, for a chosen period of time, let you use your full remaining data allowance for that month when roaming. You can get add-ons for 1 day (£3) or 3 day (£7) periods, with a day being the 24 hours from time of activation.

For example, if you buy a 1 day pass at 09:00 on the first of the month, you could use your full data allowance until 09:00 on the second. Or, if you buy a 3 day pass, you could use your full data allowance until 09:00 on the fourth.

If you are on a plan with less than 12GB of data, or you have less than 12GB of data allowance from a larger plan remaining for the month you wish to travel, then you can purchase a Data Add-On. These range from 1GB to 15GB and have no expiry date, so will last until you’ve used all of the data you’ve purchased. These Data Add-Ons can be used when roaming in the EU to increase your EU roaming allowance. You can find out more about these add-ons and the others on our add-ons support page.

Your EU Roaming data allowance resets at the beginning of your next billing date, when you will then receive up to 12GB again.

What if I’m roaming outside the EU?

You’ll need an out of plan add-on for calls, texts and data to work in countries outside the EU. When you buy an add-on, you receive a pay as you go balance to use when abroad and credit will be taken from this when calling, texting or using data.

When roaming with SMARTY, non-EU countries are separated into multiple price bands. Charges for calling, texting and using data will vary depending on which band the country you’re visiting is in, so be sure to check the add-ons helper tool in your SMARTY dashboard to understand charges in the country you’re visiting.

For example, if you bought a £5 add-on and made a one minute call to the UK from Switzerland (a non-EU Roaming band 1A country), it would cost you 10p. Your remaining balance would be £4.90. However, if you bought a £5 add-on and made the same one minute call to the UK from Cuba (a non-EU Roaming band 4 country), it would cost you £2.50. Your remaining balance would be £2.50.

If you don’t use the full balance of your out of plan add-on during your trip, don’t worry, as it doesn’t expire and you can choose to put that money towards your next month’s bill or save it for the next time you’re away.

What can I do to make the most of my roaming allowance and keep any costs down?

Although 12GB is a good amount of data, cutting your usage to that amount might take some adjustment if you typically use lots more. Similarly, if you’re roaming outside the EU and using your phone on a pay as you go basis, you’ll want to make the most of your available balance. Here are a few ways you can make sure to get the most out of your plan when roaming:

Turn off your data when you don’t need it

It sounds obvious, but being mindful of your data and turning it off when you don’t need it is the simplest thing you can do to make the most of your allowance. Even if you’re not actively using your device, background apps and processes can run and whittle away your allowance. By turning it off, you make sure this doesn’t happen.
Switch off mobile data

Use data saver settings

Alternatively, you can put your device in a data saver mode to limit background network activity without completely turning it off, so you’ll still have quick access to data when needed. This is available on both iOS and Android devices.

Similarly, on Android devices you can set data warnings (reminders when you reach certain usage/remaining data) or data limits (disables mobile data when reached) to track your usage and to avoid using more than what’s in your allowance. You can find how to do so here. Data Saving Settings

Use WiFi where possible

If your device is connected to WiFi, it won’t use mobile data. Nowadays, open WiFi is so widely available that if you’re able to hold on, you’ll likely be able to get connected somewhere sooner rather than later.

However, note that you should use caution when accessing public WiFi networks. As they’re easily accessible, there is an added concern of security risks, so you might want to consider protective measures like using a VPN if you wish to use these regularly. Antivirus software developers Norton have a great article you can use to learn more about using public WiFi safely here.
Use WiFi

Download everything you need on WiFi before travelling

From metro apps to films for the flights – you name it, if you can download it, do so before you travel to avoid using any of your data for it. Download before travelling

Make calls and send messages over WiFi using messaging apps

This applies more if you’re roaming outside the EU, as the unlimited UK calls & texts in your SMARTY plan will work as they do at home when roaming in the EU. However, when roaming elsewhere, calls and texts will be charged from the out of plan balance you receive when purchasing an add-on. When connected to WiFi, you can avoid such costs by using messaging apps like WhatsApp or Messenger to make calls and send messages.

SMARTY’s 12GB plan

If you’re not already a SMARTY customer, you might not know that all of our plans are one month rolling plans, so you’re not tied to a contract and can change or cancel your plan whenever you want. With that in mind, our 12GB plan at £8 a month could be ideal for you, given you can use it in either the UK or in any EU country at no extra cost.

SMARTY vs other networks comparison

If you need any more information about roaming with SMARTY, visit our roaming page or our help section on going or calling abroad – and wherever you’re headed this Summer, safe travels and enjoy your time away!

*£8 for up to 4 days on some networks correct as at 21st June 2023.

  • SMARTY Team
  • June 28th, 2023