How not to pay for roaming

The holiday season once again presents surprises: compared to last year, operators raised the prices for international roaming, and now it's more expensive to keep in touch on holiday: whatever one may say, it will take from 59 to 200 rubles a day for this. This is how much the subscriber fee is on the tariff options of MegaFon, MTS and Beeline, which includes a certain number of minutes. Of course, the unit price of the minute, if you count the included packages, it turns out very attractive, but there is one problem: during vacation people usually talk a little, preferring to rest and from communication including. It happens that no one calls you at all, and if he calls, then a long conversation does not work. As a result, it is very insulting, for example, to pick up the phone one time a day, to answer: "I'm at sea, contact Ivan Ivanych" – and pay for it two hundred rubles. Is there an alternative? Yes.

For sure, to communicate with relatives while abroad, you have long mastered Skype, calls to WhatsApp, Facetime or other VoIP services: there would be the Internet, and with it a modern traveler to decide the issue has learned – here and public Wi-Fi, and local sim-cards, and tourist, and even data-roaming go into play. In the presence of the Internet with outgoing calls it's all clear – the ways to call from a smartphone over IP telephony are old as the world and everyone knows, and most of the services can "substitute" your real mobile number for the called subscriber so that people understand that they are calling you. The main question – is it possible to accept incoming in the same way? After all, it is the ability to receive calls to your number during a trip and is, in fact, the meaning of roaming. You can!

The first method – the most complex and expensive, but giving the maximum savings in the future. To implement it, you need a hardware VoIP-GSM gateway, for example, GoIP 1. It inserts your SIM card (that is, it stays at home) and the device connects to the Internet, and the gateway lifts the SIP server to which you then connect using any software SIP-client on your smartphone. Thus, the call to your mobile number is eventually encapsulated into a SIP stream and you are responding to it anywhere in the world, without incurring any costs. The outgoing call goes exactly the same, only in the opposite direction, and eventually is made from your number at the local rate.

If you buy two gateways and take the second with you on the trip, connecting to the Internet, then buying two local SIM-cards will get rid of the need to constantly be online and call abroad, without paying for roaming, even for Nokia 3310.

The only drawback is the need to purchase and configure gateways (from 5,000 rubles.) However, the gateway can be collected both from the computer connected to the Internet and the old 3G-USB-modem, however, this is already material for a separate article.

By the way, for reliability, you can not leave the main SIM-card at home, but buy one more and put unconditional redirection on it. In this case, if something goes wrong (for example, with the loss of the Internet connection), you can switch off the forwarding and even if roaming charges, but stay connected.

Pros: almost free (at home rate).

Cons: complexity / cost in implementation for a technically unprotected person.

The second method – use a special universal service, for example AvoApp (application for iOS and Android). By itself, Avo is a normal SIP-service for calls over IP-telephony, but with the ability to receive calls to a cell number.

This is realized by setting an unconditional redirect from mobile to a city number in Moscow or St. Petersburg (499 or 812). Now, when you are called, the operator charges you for a redirected call (as a rule, at local connection tariffs, if you have a packet tariff, minutes are written off from it), then it goes via the Internet via the Avo gateway to the Internet via your Internet smartphone, it's free. Outgoing calls are made directly by IP-telephony with the substitution of your number. Tariffs here are average market, for example, a call to Russia costs $ 0.07.

An important feature of Avo is the accounting of missed calls. That is, if someone called you at a time when you were not connected to the Internet, then after appearing on the network in the application, a list of these calls will be displayed and you will be able to call back.

An analogue of Avo is the Roamer application. It does not have a list of missed calls, but there is an answering machine that sends records by e-mail in MP3 format. The function is interesting, but not for Russia: it's all in American films with only an answering machine and they talk, and we do not have a culture of using them – after hearing the recorded greeting, everyone immediately hangs up. In addition, Roamer can translate calls to a local SIM card, however, this is quite expensive. The disadvantage of the service is also the allocation of a new unique number for forwarding with each new trip (in Avo it is always one).

Pros: ease of use.

Cons: if you are not from Moscow or St. Petersburg, readdressing to the intercity will consume all the savings.

The third way – VoIP-operator service. At "Megaphone" it is called eMotion, at MTS – MTS Connect. The point is that the calls work without any redirects, just when you are on the Internet – the call comes via VoIP to the application and is free, and when not – in the usual way to the SIM card at roaming tariffs. For outgoing calls, you do not need to replenish the account in any third-party service: funds are debited from the main account of the operator. Convenient!

The peculiarity of the MegaFon application is that outgoing calls are paid in any case, regardless of what your tariff plan is. This is cheaper than in VoIP-services (80 kopecks per minute call to Megafon subscribers and 1.5 rubles for calls to any other Russian numbers).

In addition, the use of eMotion does not affect the forwarding settings. This allows you to make a feint with your ears: take a SIM-card Tele2 and connect the option with incoming calls to 5 rubles per minute and a monthly fee of 5 rubles a day. We put unconditional redirection on it. Now, in the presence of the Internet, calls come to eMotion, and in its absence – to Tele2. If you rarely get to offline, it will allow in such cases to still take a couple of calls without connecting any options in MegaFon (from 59 rubles per day).

Also the eMotion application allows you to send and receive SMS messages over the Internet, so as not to pay them out of roaming rubles of commercials for 20 per each. However, this function so far (June 2016) is very unstable.

The peculiarity of the MTS application is that outgoing calls are not paid additionally in it – the terms of your basic tariff plan apply to them. And if there are included minutes in it, then the included minutes will be spent (that is, they seem to double – if you had 200 minutes at a rate, then 200 will be for VoIP too). However, there is also a downside to the coin: the application only works if your smartphone has an MTS SIM card installed. That is, you will not be able to use the local SIM-card for data transfer; on dual-smart phones, the application also refuses to work. This is done so that both packages of minutes can not be used simultaneously.

Pros: the simplest and most reliable, and also the least expensive way.

Cons: not universal; is available only to MTS-Moscow and MegaFon subscribers.

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