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Mobile Roaming vs Local SIM. How should you choose?


Traveling is a fun and exciting adventure, but when it comes to staying connected, the decision between using a mobile roaming plan or getting a local SIM card can be a tough one. Both options have their pros and cons, so let's take a closer look!

What is data roaming?

First, let's talk about roaming. Roaming is the continued use of your home country's mobile network while traveling abroad. This means you can keep your own phone number and use your regular data plan, but at a much higher cost.

Pros of Roaming

The pros of roaming are pretty simple: convenience and familiarity.
It's easy to keep using your phone the way you always have, without having to worry about changing SIM cards or figuring out a new plan. Plus, you don't have to give out a new phone number to everyone you know.

Cons of Roaming

But now let's talk about the cons of roaming. The biggest one is cost.
Roaming fees can be incredibly high, especially if you're using data. You might also find that your service is slower or less reliable than it is back home.

An alternative solution, is to purchase a local SIM card. This means that you'll be using a mobile network in the country you're visiting, which can be much cheaper than roaming. You'll need to buy a new SIM card and a new plan, but once you've done that, you'll be able to use your phone just like a local.

Pros of Getting a Local SIM card

The pros of getting a local SIM card are pretty clear: cost savings and reliability.
You'd usually pay much less for data and calls than you would with a roaming plan, and you won't have to worry about unexpected charges. Plus, you'll be able to take advantage of local deals and promotions.

Cons of Getting a Local SIM card

However, there are also cons to consider when getting a local SIM card. Mainly, the hassle of changing SIM cards and getting a new phone number. You may even need to wait in long lines or deal with language barriers in order to purchase a local SIM card. On top of that, it is possible for a SIM card to become missing if you swap it out.

Pros & Cons of Mobile Roaming and Local SIM

  Pros Cons
Mobile Roaming
  • Convenience
  • Skip the crowds and queues
  • High Costs
  • Data speed and limits cap
Local SIM
  • Cost Savings
  • More data
  • SIM swapping & changing phone number
  • Missed important calls and messages
  • Privacy and security for data sharing

So, which option is best for you? Ultimately, it depends on your priorities and needs. If cost is your biggest concern, then a local SIM card is likely the way to go. If convenience and ease of use are more important, then sticking to your local mobile network and using a roaming plan may be the better choice.

If you're looking for a convenient and cost-effective way to stay connected while you travel, try the Maxis 5G international roaming plan. With reliable service and affordable rates, there are plenty of options for you to choose from such as a one-day Unlimited Data pass to a 30-day World Unlimited Data pass. No matter where your travels take you, stay connected with Maxis without worrying about data usage limits or unexpected charges.