Which mobile network to choose when you cross borders

For those of you who are overseas, or just frequent crossers of the border, this may help determine which mobile network you settle with. Let us know what you think of it as a useful guide?!

  • maca

    Great thing about business travel, someone else pays the bill.
    Having said that, it might be useful for the holliers. GRMA Mick!

  • S*uinter

    It’s rubbish. The fact of the matter is that the roaming charges charged by certain telecoms companies are the biggest scam on earth.

    Take, for example, Vodafone. I’m a Vodafone contract customer and I travel frequently to the South. In order to avoid incoming international rates I bought a PAYG (Vodafone) SIM from an outlet in the south. I also use a considerable amount of WAP / GPRS when I’m away. Last year, the month after I returned from a holiday, I was hit for a whopping £283.56 in WAP charges. I challenged this and Vodafone insisted they were in the right. Off I went to the then OFCOM and lodged a complaint. The result can be seen here.

    Their “defense” prior to the ruling was that they “….don’t bill according to the SIM but the IMEI number locked to their network”. Additionally I pointed out that Vodafone contract customers living in the South could avail of the following offer –

    Pay Monthly Price Plans/Ireland-Wide Tariff (Option)

    Now for a monthly fee of just €5 per month (incl VAT), roaming charges in Northern Ireland will become a thing of the past. When you’re in Northern Ireland, simply make sure to choose the Vodafone UK network and you will have the freedom to make calls to 00 353 numbers at the same rates as when you are in the Republic of Ireland.

    No more roaming charges when travelling in Northern Ireland.
    All calls made from Northern Ireland to any 00 353 number are charged at your domestic Vodafone rates. These include:
    All Vodafone Ireland mobile numbers
    All non-Vodafone Irish mobile numbers
    All Irish land line numbers
    All calls received when travelling in Northern Ireland are FREE.
    All calls to Voicemail, when you dial 171, are FREE.

    All calls to Customer Care, when you dial 1907, are FREE.

    Yes folks that’s the word “FREE” you’re seeing up there, not some pitifully reduced “pay us a monthly premium and we’ll make a small concession” but “FREE”!!

    I’ve written to Vodafone UK (the parent company of Vodafone IE who use the same telecoms backbone, infrastructure and technology)on this matter to ask why, as a Vodafone customer living in Northern Ireland, an equally benefical offer is not made available to me. They simply refuse to reply or even address the issue.

    Pressure group anyone?

  • BogExile

    I was scuttling around Newtownbutler recently on some pretext and interested to see that because of my proximity to the border, my mobile developed schizophrenia – every couple of yards closer to the border it began to oscillate between eircom, vodafone, o2 etc.

    I’m suspicious that as a result of the GFA, my hand held technology is being subtly ‘greened’ therefore i’ve taken to carrying a red telephone box arround for the avoidance of doubt and contamination.

  • eranu

    id advise anyone whos going to be using there phone around the border alot to manually select their network provider. this would stop the phone changing to the different networks it picks up. its only really worth it if you make alot of calls i think. obviously if you go too far you will have to use a different network.

    my situation is having an ROI vodafone phone and travelling north the odd weekend. generally my phone switches to vodafone uk around the border. i try not to make too many calls all the same though.
    the most annoying thing is all the ‘Welcome to the UK texts’ that each service provider likes to send. even when im back in belfast sometimes..
    id say that a ‘Welcome to the UK’ message would be even more annoying for a nationalist/republican though 🙂

  • smcgiff

    ‘i’ve taken to carrying a red telephone box arround for the avoidance of doubt and contamination.’

    Do De Do – Norn Iron’s answer to Doctor Who!

  • Qubol

    yeah – this whole thing is a disgrace. I have a special service with O2 that discounts calls abroad and roaming calls but I still resent having to pay for it. I spend way too much money being over charged for sending what is a relatively small amount of data across borders and when I asked O2 why they didnt make it cheaper for o2 customers to contact other o2 customers in Ireland and Germany they claimed that I was the first person to ever request this.
    technical innovations and better regulation will hopefully ensure that the same kind of pressure currently faced by traditional telco’s will force them to rethink their rip off pricing.
    Also this is an issue that should really be taken up by our nationalist parties – another example of how partition negatively affects business, maybe a case for Barbara and Mary Lou in Europe?

  • shergarsalive

    I live in the Republic and work in N.ireland. I have contract phone at home and when at work use Orange pay as you go. It is far cheaper to ring the Republic with it than use my contract phone – 20p per min to any phone be it landline or mobile in the Republic. Us cross border workers are being screwed every which way. Don’t start me.

  • mr bigglesworth

    The cheapest solution really is just to invest in an Irish SIM card, the roaming charges are just far too high.

    I got a meteor pay as you go SIM card a few years back, extremelly good value, they give you free credit based on the amount you have topped up by and a few other frills too. Using a British SIM in the republic really is just madness.