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Ting international roaming: avoid charges with Wi-Fi calling

Ting international roaming

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 on your phone and in your Ting Mobile 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 Mobile dashboard

To enable Wi-Fi Calling, head to your Ting Mobile 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. Android settings vary, but the option can usually be found in the Settings app or the Phone app. Refer to your user manual to determine exactly where this setting is on your Android phone.

Step 3: Make a test call

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but once you’ve enabled Wi-Fi calling, turn on Airplane Mode to make sure you’re not connecting to the cell network, then connect to a Wi-Fi network and make a call.

If your call goes through, then your Wi-Fi connection works for phone calls. Remember to disable Airplane Mode after you’ve tested it. 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 Mobile dashboard. It’s a good idea to disable data roaming both on the dashboard and your phone because data roaming outside the U.S. is pretty pricey, but the choice is up to you.

If you turn off international roaming for talk and text, you won’t be able to make calls or texts unless you’re specifically on Wi-Fi. 

If you turn on international roaming for talk and text, any time you’re not on Wi-Fi, you’ll pay Ting international roaming rates, which vary by country. We recommend this if you need to be reached in case of emergencies or plan on doing some more rural travel where Wi-Fi networks are harder to come by.

When you get there: connect to Wi-Fi

Most airports have some sort of free Wi-Fi, and those tend to work great for Wi-Fi calling, which does not need a lot of Wi-Fi speed but does need a solid connection to the router. 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.

An example of Ting Wi-Fi for international calling.

You’re ready to call and text surcharge-free to the U.S.

While connected to Wi-Fi calling, your phone will work just like it does in the U.S. You can call and text numbers in the U.S. without paying an additional surcharge. 

One important note is that you will still see a surcharge for International Long Distance (ILD) calls, including to those in the country where you are. Our full list of international long-distance rates is available at ting.com/international.

This means that if you’re staying in a hotel using their Wi-Fi to connect, you might see an ILD charge for calling their front desk, but you wouldn’t see the same surcharge to call their U.S.-based toll-free number.

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 Mobile bucket. There’s no surcharge for U.S. numbers because the network is treating you like you’re in the U.S.

Problems? Make sure Wi-Fi Calling is enabled

It’s possible this trick won’t work perfectly every time, but as long as you can verify Wi-Fi calling is working before you leave, it should “just work.”

If you’re having trouble, verify in your Ting Mobile 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 Mobile when people are trying to use this trick.

Budget for roaming talk/text

Make sure you allocate some budget in your Ting Mobile bill for international roaming in case you’re away from Wi-Fi. And keep in mind that any international numbers you call are also subject to our international long-distance rates. Having Ting international roaming as a backup gives you that extra peace of mind just in case.