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International Performance is above and beyond - Sprint Product Ambassadors

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Sprint Product Ambassador

During my travels, I lit up the new international calling plan on my Samsung Galaxy S8+. To say that it was EASY to turn on and use would be an understatement. Here are some steps…
First and MOST IMPORTANT: A quick and easy chat with customer service helped me ensure that I had the right calling plan on my account. You can also call in to the International Helpline, but the chat was just as effective and quick. This is probably the MOST IMPORTANT step in the process, because you want to make sure that a) you are on the right plan for the countries you are visiting and your usage plans, and b) so that customer service knows exactly where and when you will be in each country so that if there are ever any issues, they can help address them more efficiently.
Second: Roaming settings. With a few finger swipes and toggle switches, you will be ready to use voice and data services wherever your travels take you. We went to Spain and Italy, and there was nothing I needed to do between countries. Just go to Settings --> Connections --> Mobile Networks --> Roaming. Make sure your voice and data roaming for both domestic and international are turned on. Then in the previous menu, under Network Mode, make sure you have “Automatic” selected.
Third: High Speed Data. There is no way to turn on LTE/HSD while you are not in country. HOWEVER, once you arrive to your destination, you will receive a text message from Sprint International indicating that you are now roaming. You will receive a 2nd SMS message with a link to purchase ad-hoc features, one of them being High Speed Data for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month. I purchased the 1 week for $20, which was a good deal for me to have LTE all through Spain and Italy. This also allowed me to use Google Maps and other Google services, which are obviously internet heavy, as well as WhatsApp and FB Messenger.
PERFORMANCE
Voice-wise, performance was perfect. I was lucky enough to receive a call from one of my customers while I was still in my waking hours, and the call quality was phenomenal. He couldn’t tell if I was out of country or not by the sound of the call, and there was next to no lag.
Data-wise, the performance was as good as the network I could grab. I spent some time on 2G and 3G, but I was fortunate enough to get on LTE networks in both Milan and Barcelona, and that helped me A TON as I was trying to navigate to sights and landmarks, or just trying to get back to where our families live. For the time spent, the value of the buy-up for High Speed Data is fantastic. I don’t think Sprint offers a better deal than what they offer their international travelers.
Although I may not have been using 2x or 3x CA (Carrier Aggregation) in those countries, using the single band LTE was reminder enough of how much I am used to good, high speed mobile data. The performance was good enough for me to manage my daily activity on my mobile phone using a 1xLTE connection.
Finally, the apps themselves did NOT seem to drain the battery as I thought they would while roaming. Anyone who has roamed significantly in the US knows that roaming data services can have an obscene impact on your battery life. I can only recall plugging in to the car charger on two separate occasions, and that was after some big GPS, camera, Google-searching, translation sessions that lasted for hours. Even WhatsApp didn’t have as big of an impact as I would have expected.
Certainly in my mind, the days of unlocking the SIM card from the phone and using another carrier from in country are virtually unnecessary, unless you need an in-country phone#. The value is so good, I wouldn’t even think of changing out my SIM card.
Moral of the story? DO NOT BE AFRAID!! Chat or call in to International Customer Service to determine your best plan (we offer at least one plan that’s $0), and then go forth and travel! We’ll take care of the rest!
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