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Receiving calls at a reasonable rate when in Thailand or Spain October 14, 2010

Posted by themobilephoneconnoisseur in Uncategorized.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people tend to travel from colder countries like UK, Norway and Sweden to warmer countries like Spain, St Barth’s and Thailand in the winter months. As this is during high season of most people’s work, I get loads of questions on how to avoid horrendous costs for receiving calls when away. What you would like to do is to sit on the beach and still be reachable on your regular mobile phone number at a reasonable cost.

What I will describe here is fairly advanced, but can in return save you hundreds, if not thousands of Pounds, Euros, Kronor or whatever your currency is. The only prerequisite is that you have an unlocked mobile phone.

Step 1

Make sure you have an Operator One account, if not this is created free of charge on www.operatorone.com. Once you have the account, add some credit to it.

On Operator One’s website, purchase a Connect Plus phone number in the country you are in. This new number will immediately be presented and sent to you in an e-mail. (For countries such as Germany and France, a special process is required before the number will be yours.)

Step 2

When arriving in the visiting country, get hold of a local (prepaid) SIM-card. Make sure it works. These cards don’t cost that much and it does not have to have too much credit (unless if you are in the US or Canada).

Get online; if you are doing this from your mobile phone, use the mobile web site http://m.operatorone.eu or just go to the regular web site if you are using for example your hotel’s Wi-Fi.

Sign in to your Operator One account and go to the Account Settings page. Add the new local SIM-card’s phone number to your own phone numbers and have it set as your Primary.

Step 3

Insert your home phone (SIM) in your phone, and force forward all incoming calls to your Connect Plus number, using *21*PLUSNUMBER#. Note that the PLUSNUMBER should be in local format e.g. 0203-1234567 for a London number or 21 01 02 03 for an Oslo number.

It is extremely important not to divert calls “on busy”, “no answer” or something like this, as this will cause double roaming costs. (Technically the difference is having the HLR forward instead of the VLR).

The effect: Your friends can reach you on either the Plus number or your mobile phone number. In the later case you will need to pay for a regular local mobile forwarding cost, typically using your included minutes. Operator One charges to for example Thailand are very small.

The effect on the price:

Receiving a calling Thailand is now roughly £0.02p per minute instead of roughly £1-2.00 with most mobile operators.

Receiving a call in Spain is £0.10 instead of £0.12 compared to the Euro roaming tariff.

So, for intercontinental roaming the savings are huge, 90-99%. But when moving around within Europe, they are quite limited (at most 20%), if any, depending on your mobile operators price for a local mobile call.

A last note. It is a great idea to still have your home phone on, since SMS messages cannot be forwarded, and they are free to receive.



1. Poul Ladehoff - July 12, 2011

It seems not that easy! You will have to be registered, when trying in Norway to buy a SIM-card not beeing a norwegian citisen.

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