Ting international roaming: avoid charges with Wi-Fi calling
Mitch Surprenant • June 21, 2019if( has_post_thumbnail( $post_id ) ): ?>
Can you use Wi-Fi Calling in another country to avoid Ting international roaming charges? It’s a question that came up over on the Ting subreddit and we set out to investigate.
In short, the answer is yes. You can avoid international roaming charges with Wi-Fi Calling. In this article, we’ll show you how. No need to pay for prepaid international roaming or buy a SIM card on arrival. We’ve got a fairly simple hack that should work after you enable a few settings in your phone and in your Ting dashboard.
If you follow our four simple steps before you leave and make calls over Wi-Fi when you arrive at your destination, you shouldn’t be charged additional roaming fees.
Before you leave: you’ll need a phone with Wi-Fi calling
We tested using an iPhone 8, but any phone that is compatible with Wi-Fi calling should work just fine. To learn more about Wi-Fi calling, check out this article in our knowledge base.
Step 1: Enable Wi-Fi Calling in your Ting dashboard
To enable Wi-Fi Calling, head to your Ting dashboard, select Device Settings, click on the Edit pencil next to the device and turn on the switch for Can Use Wi-Fi Calling.
Step 2: Enable Wi-Fi Calling on your phone
Once Wi-Fi Calling is turned on, make sure it works stateside. Connect to Wi-Fi and enable the feature on your phone. Most phones have it buried in the settings or dialer app somewhere.
On any supported iPhone, it’s Settings > Cellular > Wi-Fi Calling.
On an iPhone, you can confirm you’re using Wi-Fi Calling, as your carrier should show “Ting Wi-Fi” (on GSM) or “Sprint Wi-Fi” (on CDMA). Most Android phones will have a persistent notification or another icon that shows you’re using it.
Step 3: Make a test call
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but once you’ve enabled Wi-Fi calling, connect to a Wi-Fi network and make a call.
If your Wi-Fi connection works for phone calls, that’s really all you need to do before you leave the country. It really is that simple to set up.
Step 4: Enable international roaming for talk and text
Before you leave, enable international roaming for talk and text in your Ting dashboard. You’ll also want to disable data roaming both on the dashboard and your phone because data roaming outside the US is pretty pricey.
If you don’t enable international roaming for talk and text, you won’t be able to make calls or texts unless you’re specifically on Wi-Fi. We recommend it so you can be reached in case of emergencies or if you plan on doing some more rural travel where Wi-Fi networks are harder to come by.
If you enable international roaming for talk and text, any time you’re not on Wi-Fi, you’ll pay Ting international rates, which vary by country.
When you get there: connect to Wi-Fi
Most airports have some sort of free Wi-Fi solution and those tend to work great for Wi-Fi Calling, which does not need a lot of bandwidth or speed, but do need a solid connection. Some Wi-Fi hotspots will require you to sign in and agree to their terms and conditions.
Once you’re connected, your phone should automatically kick back into Wi-Fi calling mode. For instance, if you’re on the Wi-Fi at London Heathrow airport, you’ll notice the carrier in the top left corner is Ting Wi-Fi.
You’re ready to call and text surcharge free
You’ll notice calls made to international numbers don’t have any surcharge fees attached to them.
For example, the 14-minute call made to a credit card company (traveling internationally comes with its own set of problems) was made from a cafe in Paris. Without this Wi-Fi calling trick, this very important call would have been subject to international roaming at $0.30/min.
Texts and MMS (pictures, group chats) work like this, too. While you’d normally be able to receive text messages for no additional cost in most countries, sent messages just come out of your Ting bucket. There’s no surcharge.
Problems? Make sure Wi-Fi Calling is enabled
It’s possible this trick won’t work perfectly, but as long as you can get Wi-Fi Calling working before you leave, it should “just work.”
If you’re having trouble, verify in your Ting dashboard and on your phone that the Wi-Fi Calling feature is turned on. This solves most of the issues and calls we see at Ting when people are trying to use this trick.
Budget for roaming talk/text
Make sure you budget for keeping the roaming talk/text features turned on while roaming. You might catch yourself outside of a Wi-Fi zone and in need of a phone call. Having Ting international roaming as a backup gives you that extra peace of mind just in case. It’s also in line price-wise with most other carriers.
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