International Roaming FAQ

Roaming with your MTN line while travelling abroad will ensure you are always reachable even if you are thousands of miles away from home. Our goal at MTN is to make roaming with your line a pleasurable experience. That is why we have put together this roaming guide to place at your fingertips all the information you need while roaming.

+Q. How does roaming work?

A. Two mobile phone network operators in different countries enter into a contract called a roaming agreement. This makes them ‘roaming partners’ so, for example, MTN Nigeria customers can make and receive calls, send and receive SMS, browse the internet, send and receive emails or any other service when applicable, in the UK using Vodafone. Vodafone UK customers can do the same in Nigeria.

+Q. Where can I use MTN’s roaming services?

A. MTN Nigeria operates the GSM international standard. You may use any overseas GSM network if that network has a roaming agreement with MTN Nigeria.
Currently, we have roaming agreements with various mobile networks in many countries covering Europe; America; Asia; Australia; Middle East and Africa. This means that you can make and receive calls, send and receive SMS in these countries around the world.
Visit our Roaming page to view our list of roaming partners. This list is always updated as we sign agreement with more countries.

Available Services When I am roaming

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+Q. What services will be available while I am roaming?

A. The following services will be available:

  • Make and receive calls
  • Send and receive SMS/MMS*
  • Send and receive emails*
  • Browse the internet
  • MTN Roam4Less on Prepaid lines. For more information, please visit MTN Roam4Less Page
  • MTN In-Flight Roaming, depending on roaming partner/airlines. For more information, please visit MTN In-Flight Roaming Page
  • Who Called Service
  • Voicemail
  • MTN Share N Sell. For more information, please visit MTN Share N Sell Page.

+Q. What other services can I use when I am roaming?

A. You can use the following services:

  • Smartphones/Blackberry from MTN
    This provides you with email, calendar, personal contacts and tasks and allows you stay in constant touch with the office while roaming.
  • WAP
    Wireless Application Protocol allows you access the internet from your phone while you’re roaming

+ Q. What services will be unavailable while I am roaming?

A. The following services will be unavailable:

  • Data bundle
  • DSTV Mobile from MTN
  • MTN Caller Tunez

Setting up Voicemail

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+Q. Will my voicemail work when I am roaming?
A. Yes, your voicemail will work when you are roaming.

+Q. How do I get my voicemail messages when I am roaming?
A. When you receive a voicemail, you will receive a notification message asking you to dial 100 to listen to your messages.
To retrieve your voicemail messages when you are roaming, you will have to dial +234 803 10 100 followed by the 11 digits of your phone number. When you connect to the voicemail system, you will need to enter your voicemail PIN. Without your voicemail PIN, you will not be able to access voicemail when you are roaming. Please ensure you set up a memorable voicemail PIN before leaving Nigeria.
You will be charged international roaming rates for retrieving your voicemail messages.

+Q. Why do I need to set up my voicemail PIN before leaving Nigeria?
A. When you access your voicemail while you are roaming, you will be required to use a PIN (Personal Identification Number).
As it is not always possible to set up your voicemail PIN while you are abroad due to overseas network restrictions, ensure that you set up a PIN which is memorable before you leave Nigeria.
To activate your voicemail and set up password, dial 113 and follow the voice prompt.

+Q. Can I forward my calls to another number while I am roaming?
A. Yes, if you do not want to receive any incoming calls while abroad, you may be able to set up unconditional call forwarding to another phone number. All calls will be routed immediately to the number without ringing first on your phone.
To set up unconditional call diverts to your voicemail box, depending on your phone type, select Menu options, select Call Settings, Voicemail. Select All Call then enter the number 234 803 10 140.
To cancel all types for forwarding dial ##002# SEND/OK.
Note: However, you must have sufficient airtime on your line as every call forwarded to another number will be charged to your line at roaming rate.

+Q. How much does it cost to divert all calls?

A. Forwarding all calls unconditionally to voicemail does not attract roaming charges when someone calls you.
 

  • If you set you up conditional call forwarding, you will pay for all incoming calls to your number.
  • To retrieve your messages from your voicemail box while roaming, dial +23480310 100 followed by 11 digits of your phone number.
    However, you will pay roaming charges for retrieving messages from your voicemail box.

+Q. How do I retrieve voicemail messages once they have been deleted?
A. You will not be able to retrieve voicemail messages once you have deleted them.

While Abroad

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+Q. How do I make my first call?

A. Before you make your first roaming call, there are a few things you should bear in mind. The service you receive when you are abroad depends on the network you are using. Networks work in very similar ways; however, you may experience some differences, such as:
 

  • Coverage quality
  • The delay before you can make calls after switching on may be slightly longer than usual, as the network automatically checks your status with MTN Nigeria first
  • The phone’s screen will display the name/number of the roaming partner, rather than MTN Nigeria

+Q. How can I increase my airtime (top up) while abroad?

A. You can recharge using MTN International Global Top Up or other MTN Nigeria’s available top up options- loading enough airtime before you leave the country or Share n Sell.

+Q. How do l call a local phone number in the country where I am roaming?
A. To dial a number in the country where you are roaming, enter the country code and the area code followed by the number you wish to call e.g. if you are in Ghana and need to call a Ghanaian line, dial the number in the following format: +233 24 000000.
You can save time by saving your local contacts in the international format e.g. +234 803 1234567.

+Q. How do l call Nigeria when I am roaming?
A. If you are calling back home, dial the international access code and the correct country code along with the phone number, omitting the leading zero e.g. +234 803 555 5555.

+Q. How do I call a Nigerian mobile number that is also roaming abroad?
If you are roaming in the UK and you need to call a friend that is also roaming with an MTN Nigeria number in the UK, dial +234 followed by the rest of the number without the first zero. For Example: to call the mobile number 0703 7784000 you should enter +234 703 7784000.

+Q. How do I send text to other networks when I am roaming?
A. To send text to other networks when you are roaming, you need to enter the number replacing the first zero with the international dialing code for that country. To send text to a number in Germany, enter +49 723 4234567 then press Send.

+Q. How do I manually change networks when I am abroad?
A. Go to your phone’s Settings menu, and change the Network Selection mode. Please note that the process of manually selecting a network varies between phones and devices.

Roaming Cost

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+Q. How much does it cost to make a call when I am roaming?

A. Call charges for your roaming use will be made up as follows:
 

  • The actual basic cost of the call, as determined by the roaming partner’s tariff, and based on the time of the day and the call’s duration and the type of call you are making, including taxes

You can visit MTN International Roaming page for rates applicable to calls, text messages and data.

If you are a postpaid customer, all relevant roaming charges will be invoiced and displayed in your next bill.

+Q. Will I be charged for sending and receiving SMS when I am roaming?
A. Yes, you will be charged for sending text messages when you are roaming. Roaming charges are dependent on the roaming partner’s network.
Receiving SMS is FREE while roaming.

+Q. How much does it cost to divert unanswered calls?

A. When you are roaming you are connected to MTN’s roaming partner network, so you will be charged when an unanswered call diverts to your MTN voicemail service.
If someone calls you when you are roaming and you do not take the call and they leave you a voicemail message, the total cost will be as follows:
 

  • Your caller pays the standard charge they would normally pay to call you in Nigeria
  • You pay for MTN call to the roaming partner (international roaming call)

The cost of all chargeable calls will depend on the prevailing rates, the time of day and the duration of the call, taxes and administrative charges. To avoid these charges you can divert all calls to voicemail but note that you will pay roaming charges for retrieving messages from your voicemail box.

Using Data services overseas (WAP and Internet)

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+Q. Can I use my Blackberry when I am roaming overseas?
A. Yes, as long as MTN Nigeria has GPRS agreement in the country you are visiting. Please visit MTN Data Roaming page for more information.

+Q. How much does it cost to browse the Internet and send/receive email from my Smart devices while overseas?
A. When you use your smart devices as a modem to browse the Internet, you are charged data roaming either per kilobyte or incremental of ten kilobytes for all of the data you download.
If you are a postpaid customer, all charges will be reflected in your monthly bill.

+Q. Is the voice roaming rate the same on my normal phone (Nokia, Sony) and my BlackBerry?
A. If you make ONLY voice calls on your BlackBerry, yes, you will be charged the normal voice roaming rates. But if you use your BlackBerry to browse the Internet or send/receive emails, you will be charged the normal data roaming rates. Data roaming charges vary from country to country in accordance with MTN roaming partner agreement.

+Q. How do I control data cost when I am roaming with my BlackBerry?
A. if you have End of Call Notification (EOCN) activated on your line, you will receive notification on the cost of every data activity performed on your phone while roaming. To activate EOCN on your line, simply text EOCN Yes to 131.

+Q. How do I switch off data when I am roaming with my BlackBerry?

A. If you do not want to send/receive mail or browse the Internet on your Blackberry when roaming, simply do the following:

  • From your Blackberry Menu select Options
  • Go to Mobile Network
  • Go to When I am roaming and select OFF

Once you do that, you will make and receive calls or send and receive SMS ONLY.

+Q. How do I switch off data when I am roaming with my Android device?

A. If you do not want to send/receive mail or browse the Internet on your android device when roaming, simply do the following:

  • From your Menu select Settings
  • Go to Wireless and Networks
  • Select Mobile Networks
  • Go to Data Roaming and select OFF

Once you do that, you will make and receive calls or send and receive SMS ONLY

+Q. Can I roam my F@stlink Data Bundle?
A. Yes, but you will be charged data roaming rate per kilobyte of data that you use. So, you will need to ensure you have enough credit in your account before starting a data session.

+Q. Are there any countries that are not covered in the data charging zone?
A. Please refer to MTN Data Roaming page to check our data roaming partners in your travel destination.

Resolving Roaming Queries

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+Q. What can I do if I cannot make calls or send SMS while roaming?

A. If for any reason, you are unable to make calls or send SMS while roaming, do the following simple checks:

  • Check that you are connected to a network that MTN supports in your travel destination.
  • Check that you have sufficient airtime to make a call or send SMS in your phone.
  • Check the network signal strength on your phone to be sure you have adequate network signal in the location you are in.
  • Switch your device off and on, select a preferred network provider and try making a call or sending the SMS again.

Once you are back

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+Q. What do I do when I get back to Nigeria?

A. When you get back to Nigeria, make sure that you switch your phone off and then on again to connect to the MTN Nigeria network.

Available Services When I am roaming

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+Q. How do I receive my bills when I am roaming?
A. The network on which you are roaming will send your roaming charges to your home network. This means that your roaming charges will be added to your bill once MTN Nigeria gets the bill from the network that you are roaming on.
However, depending on the date that MTN Nigeria receives your roaming charges, these charges may be reflected in your current or following month’s bill.

+Q. Why wasn’t my line suspended immediately when I reached or exceeded my credit limit when I was roaming?
A. This may be due to delays in receiving your call records from our roaming partners. Your line will be suspended if you have reached your credit limit once our roaming partner updates us with your call records.

+Q. I was charged for calls from countries that I didn’t visit. Why?
A. If you were near a country’s border it is possible that your mobile device picked up an adjoining country’s network and registered on it without you realizing. You can prevent this happening by manually selecting your preferred network when you arrive in the country rather than permitting automatic selection.
Some foreign networks are run as a single network but operate in several countries. An example is Digicell - their Jamaican network covers many other Caribbean islands, so you could be in Barbados but Jamaica may appear on the bill. This is because the information MTN Nigeria gets is that you are using a Jamaican network, and not the true physical location that you are in.
When you make a call on a ferry or cruise ship you are likely to be using a maritime network. Maritime networks are registered in a specific country and it is that country that may appear on the bill, rather than your physical location. For example you may have made a call whilst on a ferry from Portsmouth to Spain but Iceland appears on the bill because the maritime network you used was registered there.

Using the Interactive Roaming Map and Rate Search Engine

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+Q. What is the interactive roaming map?

A. The interactive roaming map gives you at one glance all MTN roaming partners across the globe, the services you will enjoy when you roam on these networks and the roaming cost.

+Q. How can I use the Interactive Roaming Map?

A. You can copy and paste this link into your browser: http://www.mtnonline.com/products-services/international-roaming to use the international roaming map.

+Q. How accurate are the information provided on the roaming map?

A. All the information you see on the roaming map are accurate and up to date.

+Q. Can I view the interactive roaming map on my PC or laptop?

A. Yes, you can view the roaming map from your computer or laptop. However, the map needs a flash player to display properly.

+Q. Can I view the interactive roaming map on my phone?

A. No, you cannot view the interactive roaming map on your phone. To check our roaming networks and rates from your phone, use our Rates Search engine.

+Q. What is the Rate Search Engine?

A. The Rate Search Engine allows you search through the entire list of MTN roaming networks. You only need to select your roaming destination from the list of countries displayed and all the information you need to roam in that country will be provided to you.

+Q. How do I use the Rate Search engine?

A. You can enter this URL into your phone browser to use the Rate Search engine: http://www.mtnonline.com/mtnmobile. Select Rate Search Engine from the International Roaming menu displayed on this page.

+Q. Are all the information provided on the Rate Search engine accurate?

A. Yes, all the information you see on the Rate Search engine are accurate and up to date.