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TRA tips to cut roaming bills.

MANAMA: Bahrain's telecom regulator has issued an advisory to consumers on how to avoid shocking bills.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority's (TRA) guidelines relate to the roaming charges incurred by mobile phone users while they are abroad.

"Consumers' empowerment can be achieved by raising awareness and education, and the tips we are publishing are important for consumers to avoid shocking bills at the end of the month," said consumer affairs and media director Ghada Ebrahim Al Qassab.

"The use of telecommunications services abroad should be planned in the same way we plan our travel, so we make sure that we take the best option," he added.

Roaming is the service that allows consumers to use mobile services outside their country.

International mobile service providers carry calls and data used on their network and then bill the local service provider, who in turn bills the consumer.

Usually, roaming charges are higher than that for local mobile services.

The TRA advised consumers to gauge their mobile phone usage before they travel abroad.

The regulator urged consumers to find out whether roaming is available and its charges in the country they are visiting by checking with the local service provider.

The TRA also recommended switching to prepaid mobile service when abroad, if that is a cheaper option.

To minimise costs while on business or holiday outside Bahrain, the TRA suggested that consumers choose the service provider that charges the least in the country a consumer will be travelling to.

Consumers can ask their local service provider in Bahrain about the rates operators charge in the country they are planning to visit.

Calling during off-peak times is more economical.

The TRA reminded consumers that they will be charged for all incoming and outgoing calls while on roaming.

Hence, they are advised to selectively respond to calls to reduce their mobile phone bills, it said.

The data roaming function on mobile phones should be switched off while abroad to avoid extra charges.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Aug 15, 2012
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