About 3 years ago, i was in Paris and i encountered many problems trying to get online. You see, i’m a workaholic and having no DATA means HELL!
So we have probably all heard stories of people who have experienced BILL SCARES when roaming.. right? I’ve personally heard of people who have experienced bills of up to tens of thousands due to data roaming!
So, i decided that i was gonna buy a French based telco sim card when i got to Paris! Guess what? On my second day in Paris, i walked into a telecommunication shop and attempted to buy a sim card. They told me that it takes 48 hours to activate data for new sim cards. WHAT? and i had only 4 days in Paris left. Decided not to buy the sim card and looked for Wi-Fi in Cafe’s around! Guess what? It’s not easy to get Free Wi-Fi in Paris!
So lately, i went on a trip to Paris & London again and this time i decided i had to find another solution to roam!! I first checked my current telco and the roaming rates for Paris & London were RM58/day.. so expensive 😦 and so i searched on and found that Maxis & Hotlink were offering RM38/day roaming in Paris & London! So i picked up a Hotlink Sim Pack and now that i’m back from my trip, i’m here to tell you 10 things you should know.
1. You have to activate your sim card in your own country first and if it is a different telco from your current telco, do download the settings. If not, when you reach your destination, you’ll need to find a wi-fi connection to download the settings before you can use data roaming.
2. You will receive instructions to choose a specific Telco to roam with. You have to manually select this telco from your phone settings. For Paris it’s Bougytell and if im not mistaken in London it’s
Orange O2. Don’t choose the wrong Telco as your RM38/day data roaming works with only your telco’s partner. It’s the same for all telco’s.
3. You will then receive a SMS to teach you how you can purchase data roaming with Hotlink. From what i know, for Maxis customers, it will be automatically capped at RM38/day. After you purchase the Data plan for RM38/day with hotlink, you can turn on your Data Roaming on your phone and you are ready to surf.
4. Data roaming is capped at 50MB/day for most countries but if you are travelling to UK & France its 250MB, enough for whatsapp, instagram, twitter & all. So don’t go download large files and all. Save that for when you have Wi-Fi in the hotel at night. As usual once your data is capped, your speed will be throttled but whats important is that there is No Extra Charge for exceeding your quota.
5. Day packages expire at 11.59PM local time. This means that at midnight your data goes back to Pay As You Use. Now it’s important to remember this. If you are going to sleep before 12 midnight, please switch off your data roaming.
6. When you wake up in the morning, you can subscribe to another day of Data Roaming and you can then activate back your Data Roaming and you’re as good as new to surf. They will send reminder at 11PM, an hour before your data max cap expires on each day. Follow the steps i’ve told you and you will have no bill shock!
7. What if you accidentally leave your data running and all your credit gets drained out overnight? when you wake up, your credit you have on the phone is finished? Well, what you can do is whatsapp someone in Malaysia and ask them to go to a Maxis Centre to top-up for you. Yes, top up can be done even though you are overseas.
8. On a day where you are possibly travelling to another country from Paris, dont subscribe to data in the morning especially if you are leaving by noon. Use the Hotel Wi-Fi. Only purchase new data when you are roaming at the new roaming location. Else, you will be paying 2 times for the roaming on the same day
9. Speed of Internet in European countries are quite stable. When i was roaming with Hotlink, i was connected at 3MBPS on my roaming network. It’s amazing but it also means that it will drain more data usage. So do remember you have only 50MB data per day. Should you run out of the 50MB data and your speed get throttled, you can purchase another 50MB for RM38 again. So as long as you can pay, you are covered. Also,
10. Oh and lastly, If your phone is registered with Telco A whatsapp, and you insert Telco B sim card to travel, your whatsapp phone number remains the same. This means that people can still whatsapp you like normal though you have changed sim cards. However, people who dont have your new number will not be able to call you. For me, it was all good as i’m on holiday! people should not call me! Just whatsapp me and wait for my reply 🙂
So that’s my data roaming experience with Hotlink in Paris & London.
If you’re making a trip, i hope my tips works for you. Have fun surfing while travelling. Take more pictures & instagram them.
If this post helped you solve your roaming worry, dont forget to tag me on your instagram posts when you travel and roan with Maxis/Hotlink. Search me on Instagram @melakaboy
Look forward to seeing your beautiful pictures while roaming!