A Smarter Way to Roam


Whenever I travel overseas, the first thing I do upon arriving at my airport of destination is to buy a local SIM card. I do this to stay communicado without having to incur any roaming charges from my network and its international partners. This is because I’ve been burned, burned badly, by bill shock, and am deathly afraid to use roaming on my phone.

That looks to change, though, following today’s launch of the new Smart Surf Abroad 550 data roaming package. For a flat fee of 550 per day, Smart Postpaid subscribers can keep connected without fear of overspending on data charges. Here’s how it works.

First, when you disembark, switch on data roaming on your phone.

Then, well, actually that’s it.

Your phone will register and connect automatically to Smart’s roaming partner network in the country where you are. No fiddling with special codes, online or text registration, or calling some hotline that never ever picks up. Your phone will lock onto the partner network and resist jumping to a non-partner (and more expensive) one. You get an SMS notification once the package is active.

What’s included in the package anyway? Email, surfing, social media, data calls and messaging all you want. Uber, as well. But, convenient as it is, Smart Surf Abroad 550 does have its limitations. You can’t take advantage of the partner network’s speed for a smorgasbord of torrents or even legitimate file lockers or sharing like Google Drive or Dropbox. There’s no YouTube or Vimeo, Spotify or Deezer, or any other streaming music or video service. No Netflix and chill, either, just chill. For mobile workers and intellectual property pirates, this sure is a wet blanket, but if you’re on vacation, it shouldn’t be an issue.

You might be able to find a local travel SIM with more favorable rates, but purchasing one will take away a bit of time and energy you could use, you know, outside the airport. With this package, Smart eliminates the major pain points travelers usually experience when they switch on roaming. That’s exceedingly good news for folks who want the experience to be as hassle-free as possible. With a set spend limit of PhP 550 a day, it eliminates nasty surprises when you get home for that time you spent the day finding your way around Tokyo using Google Maps, uploading selfies all the way.

Right now, Smart has roaming partners in 112 countries around the world, up from only 57 early this year. If they manage to hit their target of 180 partners by year end, there’s practically no tourist destination on the planet where Smart hasn’t got you covered.

And that, my friend, is a good thing.

For details on the Smart Surf Abroad 550 package, check out this page.