What Is Roaming?

Roaming is what happens when your phone connects to another carrier’s cell service. You may have noticed another carrier provider’s name pop up on your phone when you’ve left your home country. That is international roaming. It sounds simple, but it can be costly.

With the amount of horror stories of high cellphone bills from unexpected roaming charges, the thought of even turning on your mobile phone while abroad can be daunting. With the right roaming solution, roaming doesn’t have to be scary.

To understand how the roaming process works and why you are charged so much, we’ve broken it down.

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Meet Our New App

Our team is excited to introduce you to the new KnowRoaming app! We have been listening carefully to customer feedback and we’ve made changes that make it easier for you to use KnowRoaming while traveling.

The biggest change is that the app guide will walk you through every step of your trip and a status bar will indicate which phase of travel you are in.

 

Three-Phase Guide

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Phase One: At Home, Before You Go

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This phase walks you through setting up your account before leaving. Here you can load a balance to your account with a credit card. You can also subscribe to ReachMe, the (optional) call forwarding service that allows you to receive calls to your home mobile number.

 

Phase Two: Abroad 

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When you arrive abroad, return to the KnowRoaming app to set up your Internet connection and find out the rates available in your location. To find out what the rates are in advance, visit the rates section on our website.

While abroad you can manage your usage and top up your account balance when needed.

 

Phase Three: Back Home 

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Once you have returned home, open up the KnowRoaming app again to restore your home data connection.

If at any time you have any questions about KnowRoaming, you can reach out to our 24/7 support team at info@knowroaming.com or 1-888-357-7347.

We are constantly looking to improve service for our customers. If you have feedback you’d like to share, let us know by leaving a comment, tagging us in a tweet at @knowroaming or visiting our Facebook page.

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10 Father’s Day Gifts for the Traveler Dad

Stuck looking for the perfect gift for the dad in your life? With Father’s Day approaching, we did the legwork for you and picked out the best gifts for dads on the go.

 

1. Easy-to-fold neck pillow

Traveling can be exhausting and jet lag makes it worse. If you frequently hear a dad complaining of not getting enough sleep during his travels, it could be time to suggest a neck pillow. But not one of those awkward and bulky ones. This pillow folds up nicely into a portable bag that can be tucked into your carry-on. It also has memory foam that molds comfortably to your neck.

Price: $24.90 USD

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2. Personalized leather passport cover 

If you’re looking for a more personalized gift, consider getting your traveling dad a leather passport cover with his initials. This DODOcase is made out of high quality genuine leather that looks classic and will last for years.

Price: $59.95 USD + $12.95 USD for personalization

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3. Spotify app subscription

Give the gift of music everywhere. The Spotify streaming service gives users access to an unlimited music library. This is great for the dads who are huge music lovers.

Spotify gift cards are available for purchase online or in select retail stores. Your dad can use the gift card or e-card to purchase either an unlimited or premium subscription. We recommend premium because it will let your dad access Spotify’s music library on desktops, laptops and mobile devices—ideal for travelers. Premium also allows users to download playlists for offline listening.

Price: Premium subscriptions are $9.99 USD per month.
Gift cards are available for $10, $30, and $60 USD.

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4. Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise-cancelling headphones serve two purposes: to listen to music (perhaps Spotify), and to mute the sound of fellow passengers (the crying child, the chatty neighbour, etc.).

We like the Bose QuietComfort headphones in this category. There are two models available if your dad prefers in-ear headphones, or over-ear headphones. Both have the option to tune into the sounds around you, or turn on the noise-cancelling feature.

Price: $299.95 USD QuietComfort 20i (In-Ear)

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Price: $299.95 USD QuietComfort 25 (Over-Ear)

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5. The perfect carry-on luggage

Is your dad’s carry-on luggage getting run down? There are so many options out there for a suitcase that it can be overwhelming. We narrowed it down to a bag that will fit a lot, is lightweight, and easily transportable with 4 wheels that allow you to pull it in any direction without it tipping over.

The Delsey Helium Aero hard shell expandable suitcase is a bestseller among travelers and our top pick. The hard shell will also keep dress shirts, shoes and laptops from getting squished.

Price: $152.99 USD

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6. Skype credit

Give your dad some credit. Skype credit. This is a useful gift for your dad to keep in touch with family back home. Skype gift cards can be purchased through Skype, Facebook and at select retail stores. The good thing about these cards is that they don’t have an expiry date. This gift also pairs well with the next one that allows Internet connectivity.

Price: $10, $25, $50 USD

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7. KnowRoaming Global SIM Sticker

Lots of dads would appreciate a reduced roaming bill. Our KnowRoaming Global SIM Sticker is a way to keep your dad connected on his travels. He’ll save up to 85% on voice and data roaming in 200+ countries.

Price: $29.99 USD (with $10 free roaming credit)

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8. The best portable phone charger

The last thing your dad needs is his phone battery to die when he really needs it most. We like the Jackery Giant portable charger for keeping dad’s devices powered up. This charger has a lot of power packed into its small, portable size. The battery has two USB output ports that are able to charge multiple devices for long flights or trips. It also has a dual LED flashlight that can be useful in a pinch.

Price: $39.99 USD

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9. A fancy shaving kit

Traveling for business often means dressing to impress, but it’s sometimes hard to find the right equipment, especially when men are limited to bringing cartridge razors and disposable razors on most planes. We recommend having good shaving products that can make a disposable razor shave feel a lot better.

The Art of Shaving’s 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave comes in a travel size kit that meets the TSA carry-on requirements. The kit includes a pre-shave oil pump, a shaving cream pump, a badger shaving brush and an after-shave balm pump. It also comes in four scents: lemon, lavender, sandalwood, and unscented.

Price: $60 USD

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10. Portable speakers for presentations

Portable speakers can make a great gift, especially if your dad frequently gives presentations that require sound.

The Sony SRS-X3 is a wireless speaker with great sound quality that connects with phones, tablets and laptops. This means your dad won’t have to rely on his destination having speakers. The speakers are lightweight and are easy to fit in a carry-on.

Wireless speakers are not all business. Since it can be connected with all devices, dad can enjoy his music library, podcasts or movies in his hotel room, or at home.

Price: $149 USD

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If you have other Father’s Day gift suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

KnowRoaming wishes all dads, step-dads, grandfathers, and father figures a Happy Father’s Day!

 

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Upgrading Your Business Travel: 5 Ways to Maximize Your Next Trip

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Business trips aren’t always easy. Working on the road, sleeping on planes, and keeping your life organized in a carry-on bag can put stress on even the most experienced travelers. To make the most of your next work trip, learn where you can upgrade your plans and make the whole experience more enjoyable with these 5 tips below.

 

1.    Know when to ask for upgrades

It’s not just important to know what to ask for but it’s also important to know when to ask for it. Timing is key when asking a customer service rep for a bump to better seats, or a room with view of the city.

Hotel: Front desk clerks are known to be willing to upgrade customers when business is slow, but your best bet is to ask them when there aren’t a lot of other people around.

Rental Car: Premium rental cars can be a costly addition to a trip, so always book the cheapest car that can still serve your needs. Then ask at check-in if you can upgrade to a higher category. Counter reps will negotiate much lower prices if they are available when you pick up your car.

Flight: Get ahead of the game by politely asking the gate agent in advance if any upgrades are available that they will consider you for. If you don’t mind shelling out an extra $100 or $200, gate agents would rather sell you an upgrade than give it away to a frequent flyer.

And of course, being super-nice will go a long way in these negotiations.

 

2.    Be loyal to businesses and they’ll treat you well

If staff notice you frequently patronize their airline, rental car company or hotel, they are more likely to help you. Even choosing a loyalty rewards program, and then sticking with it will make a difference in your experience.

Members of rewards and loyalty programs often receive early boarding on flights, priority hotel rooms, first-class upgrades and all-around better treatment. Focus on the airline that has the most destinations from your home base, and go from there.

 

3.    Venture outside of your hotel for lunch meetings

Booking a power lunch in your hotel’s restaurant may be convenient, but doing a little research when you land to find a great spot nearby is sure to impress. It will also give you a chance to experience a little of the city you’re in. Instead of calling around to restaurants at your destination, take advantage of apps like OpenTable, where you can access reservations at 20,000 restaurants worldwide.

 

4.    Dress Well

Airlines care about appearances, and a well-dressed business traveler is more likely to get that check-in counter upgrade than one dressed only for comfort. Wearing an outfit that doubles as presentation attire while traveling is also wise in the event your baggage gets lost or you end up running late—you won’t be stuck in your travel outfit for meetings.

 

5.    Find the right routine for you

When you are traveling often, efficiency and consistency will save you time and keep you balanced on the road. Whether it’s always keeping a bag packed to avoid a frantic night-before, or eating before the flight to maximize sleep time once you get to your seat, whatever works to keep you at your best will make the business trip a success.

 

Have your own business travel tip you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on the ways KnowRoaming can make business travel better.

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KnowRoaming Does Cannes

My KnowRoaming Story: Amazing travel stories from our KnowRoaming customers as they explore the globe and stay connected with the KnowRoaming SIM Sticker

Jake is a freelance journalist and KnowRoaming user. No stranger to covering international film festivals, he’s using KnowRoaming as he covers the 68th Cannes Film Festival.

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Because of KnowRoaming’s incredibly affordable unlimited data packages, my trip to the 68th Cannes Film Festival was made 100% more enjoyable. As a journalist that needs constant access to the internet, KnowRoaming let me comfortably and reliably check my work emails on the fly, read tweets related to films that had debuted here, and stay in the loop when screenings would change without warning.

 

Many festival-goers, when they are trying to get a cell phone for the festival, opt for unbelievably expensive on-site mobile solutions that often cost hundreds of dollars – and none of these services offer unlimited data. Consider that Orange Mobile offers a Festival Special, where for €50 you get 200 text messages, 60 minutes of calls, and absolutely zero data.

 

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200 texts goes by way too quickly, and data is essential.  Because when you’re at an event where time is everything, there’s no price more expensive than spotty cell service, and my colleagues have been quick to ask how I am able to upload video, download apps, and use the internet like I would at home without being afraid of an astronomical phone bill.

 

KnowRoaming’s global SIM sticker was a cinch to install, and I was all set and ready to go for my trip within minutes. I made an account, filled it with a relatively nominal amount of money before I hopped on a plane, and when I turned on my phone after each flight I was greeted with a warm message with relevant information. At this point, I can’t imagine ever again going to another country simply to to worry about buying a local SIM, figuring out an unfair rate with my home carrier, or buying an expensive pay-as-you-go burner mobile. Because of KnowRoaming, I knew total freedom. Because of KnowRoaming, I knew the Cannes Film Festival.

 

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Have your own KnowRoaming story you’d like to share? Send it our way! And follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all KnowRoaming has to offer.

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New: KnowRoaming Voicemail – Continuing to keep you connected while abroad

Good news for all existing KnowRoaming customers – we’ve just overhauled our voicemail system and made it easier than ever to stay connected.

Now instead of having to dial 605 to access your KnowRoaming voicemail you can access your voicemails through the KnowRoaming app. No calls required.

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How it Works:

  1. You’ll receive an SMS when you have a new voicemail in your inbox – you can click the link to take you to the voicemail KnowRoaming app, or…
  2. You can manually go to the app, and under the More tab, select Voicemail.
  3. Your voicemails will have the number of the caller, the date and timestamp.
  4. Click on the entry, the voicemail will download (over data or Wi-Fi) and you can listen to the voicemail (replay options, too).
  5. When you’re done, delete old voicemails by clicking on the trashcan.

Voicemail functionality was something our customers had been asking for, and we’re pumped to be able to deliver.

Find out more info here, and follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all KnowRoaming has to offer.

 

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My KnowRoaming Story

Amazing travel stories from our KnowRoaming customers as they explore the globe and stay connected with the KnowRoaming SIM Sticker

Julian is a Senior First Officer for South African Airways. He’s traveled the world, and knows how hard it can be to stay connected while working so far from home.

“As an airline pilot traveling to all corners of the world being in contact is no longer a luxury but a necessity”. Already having tried other roaming options, Julian says he finally “found the answer in KnowRoaming.”

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No longer do I have to look for a Starbucks in New York or a coffee shop in Hong Kong for free Wi-Fi as KnowRoaming lets me use my cellphone or iPad just as if I was at home. Data and phone calls at local rates keeps me in contact with work and loved ones.

 Cellphone coverage has been fantastic and I’ve been covered in every country I’ve been to in the last year. Gone are the days when I needed to carry packs of local SIM cards for every destination. With KnowRoaming, the ability to receive calls on my local home cell number any where in the world is a huge benefit.

Their app keeps me up to date on my spending habits and shows me the latest call/data rates for every country. No more nasty surprises on my cellphone account with exorbitant roaming charges. My bill has dropped by 90%.

The best part of KnowRoaming—It’s all prepaid. NO contracts.

Have your own KnowRoaming story you’d like to share? Send it our way! And follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all KnowRoaming has to offer.

 

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Unlocking Your Phone: How to get more out of your Smartphone

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If you’re a Canadian or US smartphone user looking for an international roaming solution, chances are you’ve encountered the problem of locked phones.

A locked phone is the term used to describe what cellular service providers do to ensure the phone they sell you can only be used on their network. They instruct the cell phone manufacturers to lock the phone with software before the device leaves the factory, so it arrives in stores tied to a specific network.

A user with a locked phone would not be able to swap SIMs, switch networks, or use KnowRoaming, because their phone will only operate with the original cellular provider.  If you want to use your phone with other SIMs or networks, you’ll need to unlock your phone.

We know unlocking can still seem confusing, so KnowRoaming is here to help.

 

3 Common Myths About Unlocking Your Phone

 

1. It’s illegal

It’s a common misconception that unlocking your phone is illegal. Unsurprisingly, mobile phone companies haven’t been quick to bust this myth. But rest assured, unlocking your phone is completely legal in the US and Canada. Under the CRTC’s new Wireless Code in Canada, you can unlock a subsidized phone 90 days after purchase, and if you’ve paid the full cost of your phone upfront, you can unlock it immediately. For Americans, the Consumer Code for Wireless Services dictated that carriers must unlock phones upon request, or they must provide customers the info to have the phone unlocked elsewhere.

 

2. It “breaks” your phone or changes the operating system

This one persists because the terms “unlocking” and “jailbreaking” are often confused. Unlocking refers to removing the network restrictions so that the phone can be used with a SIM card from a different network. Phone unlocking is not the same thing as “jailbreaking.” Unlocking simply allows for you to use a different mobile network with your phone. Jailbreaking refers to removing the standard operating system restrictions on iOS devices, allowing you to download non-standard or unofficial software.

 

3. It’s technically difficult and complicated

It’s actually easier than ever. You can unlock your cell phone with UnlockBase. UnlockBase has provided phone-unlocking services for over 10 years for a wide range of popular devices.

 

Unlocking your phone means you have more options. You can use your smartphone when you travel, or choose the carrier that is right for you. For more information about the rules and regulations around unlocking, US consumers can visit the CTIA, and Canadians can read the full code at the CRTC’s site. For more info on unlocking, visit UnlockBase.

 

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Tell us: Where should we lower our rates?

At KnowRoaming, we’re constantly improving our pay-as-you-go data and calling rates. Now we’re asking you: where would you most like to see a rate drop?

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We know how roaming charges can stack up for frequent travellers, and lead to hefty phone bills when you return home. When KnowRoaming began, we wanted to provide a convenient, transparent way to roam all over the world, and our affordable pay-as-you-go-rates are a big part of that. We’re always working to secure better and better rates for our customers, and this summer we hope to make it even more affordable to stay connected while traveling the world with your smartphone.

Traveling to Costa Rica this summer? Looking to do a lot of business in Taipei? Tells us where a decrease in roaming rates would make the biggest difference. Leave a comment, visit our Facebook page, or tweet us @KnowRoaming with #roamingsummer

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Become a KnowRoaming Athlete

Today KnowRoaming kicks off KnowRoaming Athletes, a roaming sponsorship and referral program for athletes who travel.

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KnowRoaming Athletes is a sponsorship and referral program where chosen athletes will partner with KnowRoaming to save big on international data, voice, and text usage when they travel.

“We want to support athletes who are busy training and competing away from home–by making roaming easy and affordable” said KnowRoaming CEO Gregory Gundelfinger. “KnowRoaming’s SIM Sticker is a seamless way to do that. It drastically reduces international roaming fees, and will allow athletes to stay focused on what’s important: excelling in their sport.”

Submissions are now open for all athletes until May 30, 2015. The selected KnowRoaming Athletes will receive a free KnowRoaming SIM Sticker, free roaming on their next international trip, and further collaborations, including our referral and sponsorship programs, to help these athletes stay connected as they travel the world to achieve their goals.

Learn more and apply at knowroaming.com/athletes 

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