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Quick guide to international calling and texting

Calling and texting in another country usually results in extra charges, even if you’re using an eSIM for data. Here’s what you can expect …

With most mobile carriers, you’ll have a few choices when you travel internationally and want to keep your regular phone number active.



If you plan on doing a lot of calling and texting while you travel, talk to your mobile carrier about adding a daily plan and you’ll pay a flat rate for every day you use your phone internationally.


A daily carrier travel plan either gives you a set amount of data, calls, and texts, or it lets you use your regular plan’s data with unlimited calling and texting while you’re travelling internationally.


If you’re already planning on using an eSIM for data while you travel, you might not want to pay for an expensive carrier travel data plan (which already includes data). 


If you have used a carrier travel data plan before, your carrier might automatically activate it again once they detect you have arrived in another country. If you’ve never used a carrier travel data plan before, you may need to contact your carrier and request it.



If you’re not going to call and text much while you’re travelling, it probably makes more sense for you to skip the daily plan and choose the pay-per-use route where you’ll pay only for individual calls and text messages.


Most carriers offer a pay-per-use option for customers who only want to pay for (A) the calls they make/receive (B) the texts they send/receive and (C) the mobile data they use while traveling.


If you’re already planning on using an eSIM for affordable prepaid data while you travel, you will only pay your mobile carrier for individual calls and text messages. 


If you have used a carrier travel data plan on previous trips, but prefer to go the pay-per-use route on this trip instead, you should contact your carrier and make sure they don’t automatically place you on their carrier travel data plan once they detect you’re in another country.

If you’ll be using an eSIM for travel data and won’t be calling or texting too often, we recommend using your carrier’s pay-per-use option.

This will allow you to use an eSIM for all mobile data, and only be charged for active calling minutes (phone calls) and text messages on your regular phone number.


Prior to international travel, check your carrier’s pay-per-use rates for calling and texting so you know how much you’ll pay on your next bill. This is a good option if you only plan on talking on the phone for emergencies, and you mostly rely on other forms of messaging (like iMessage or WhatsApp) instead of traditional SMS text messages.

If you have used a carrier travel plan before, you may need to ‘opt out’ to use their pay-per-use option.

If you’ve used your carrier’s carrier travel data plan before and you wish to use their pay-per-use option on your next trip because you’re using an eSIM for data this time, contact them and make sure you won’t be automatically placed on their travel data plan again.


If you’re speaking with a customer service agent for your carrier, here’s how you can explain it: “I will be using a prepaid eSIM data package during my upcoming trip, but I want to keep using my phone number. I want to make sure I will only be charged pay-per-use rates for calls and texts. I do not need any travel data, because I will be using my eSIM for that.”


If you have any questions about how to use your regular phone number alongside an eSIM from aloSIM, please reach out to aloSIM Support and we’d be happy to help.

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