Secure Computing

Before Traveling Overseas, Adjust Cell Phone, Data Plans to Avoid Huge Charges

If you are making plans to travel outside of the United States (including Canada and Mexico) and are planning to take your cell phone, smart phone, tablet, or computer with you, remember that international voice and data charges can add up to thousands of dollars if you don't have the appropriate international voice, data and messaging plans activated on your devices.

International voice calling plans do not eliminate calling charges; they reduce the rate when dialing a call from overseas or receiving a call while there. 

Also, be aware that international data (including tethering) and messaging plans do not offer unlimited use. You pay a flat rate based on a specific amount of usage (MB or messages) purchased.  When you exceed that cap in a given billing month, you will then pay per KB or message. The usage rates will vary based on the country you are located in.

Before You Leave

When making your international travel plans, consider the following:

  • Do you plan to make or receive telephone calls while overseas? Purchase an international calling plan.
  • Do you plan on text messaging while traveling? Purchase an international messaging plan.
  • Do you plan to receive and send email? Purchase an international data plan.
  • Do you use your phone as Wi-Fi hotspot? Verizon users can purchase Mobile Hotspot (requires minimum international data plan).
  • Do you use your phone as a modem (tethering)? Verizon users purchase Mobile Broadband Connect (requires minimum international data plan).
  • Do you have a USB modem for your laptop? Purchase an international data plan.

The options available to you depend on the following:

  • where you will be traveling
  • who your cellular carrier is
  • what kind of device you have (GSM or CDMA)

If you use a Yale-issued phone or device, determine the service and plan you need to add, then issue a change request. In order to guarantee that your service will be activated in time, Yale ITS must receive the approved request a minimum of 5 business days prior to departure or a one-time $15.00 late fee may apply.

While You Are Overseas

To minimize the chance of incurring unnecessary charges:

  • Use Wi-Fi where and when you can.
  • Turn off your iPhone's "Fetch" and "Push" functions.
  • Keep track of your usage from your device. All carriers provide a means for you to see how much data you have used.
  • If you don't have an international data plan, disable the data functions on your phone throughout your trip.

When You Return

  • Remember to cancel international voice, data, and messaging services upon your return. You will continue to be billed until this done. Users of Yale-issued phones and devices should issue a change request to cancel services.

If you have any question about the services you have or may need, please contact Telecom Services.