Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

I am traveling to the Bahamas next week. I have been told by several people, that I can make calls to other AT&T customers in the US at no charge. Is this correct? Would the Bahamas be considered part of the US?

I can't find any info on this anywhere.

If not, how do I figure out my rates for calls/texts? What can I do to make them cheaper? I can't afford to come home to a huge bill.

Thanks for any help you may have!!   Smiley Happy

 

Message 1 of 7 (72,992 Views)
Guru

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

Sorry, your friends are completely wrong.  Mobile to Mobile doesn't apply when you are out side the US and you are outside the US.  The Bahamas is an independent country.  It was granted self-goverance by United Kingdom in 1964.  It has never been part of the United States. The fact that Bahama's phone numbers look like US phone numbers does not means that the calls are not international.  Many Carribean countries are dial "1" ("NANPA") countries. 

 

It costs 2.29 a minute to use your phone in the Bahamas; if you sign up for world traveler, the rate goes down to $1.99.  You can find out the information you want here:

 

http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/international-roaming.jsp

 

 

You can get a package of 50 outbound texts for $10.  Inbound text come from your regular pool of text.  In various threads, we have posted a number of tricks. 

Message 2 of 7 (72,972 Views)
Contributor

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

Your answer was so helpful to me as well as we are going in October.  I am very interested in the "tricks" can you give me a few links to them?  thanks in advance! 

Message 3 of 7 (72,530 Views)
Guru

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

Any solution a person devises is really dependent on personal usage.  Additionally, iPhone users have different constraints than everyone else.  It would really be impossible to discuss every trick in one post.  Let me post a few pointers:

 

1. Carribean Islands generally are more costly to roam in than Europe.  European companies have a number of their citizens travelling to the US, operate on greater volume, have more competititon, and therefore are willing to give ATT better whoelsale roaming rates in exchange for some reciprocity on ATT's side.  That said, as much as we gulp at roaming rates, see what a European charges to roam in the US.  The Bahamas is worse.  Historically, there has been only one phone company in Bahamas (Batelco) and it derived a huge percentage of its income from roaming revenues;

 

2. If you are going to be talking alot, need to be in touch, and have a non-Apple product, get it unlocked and buy a local prepaid SIM card.  Buying a local SIM card in the Bahamas is more expensive than most countries so you need some volume to justify this approach.  Mrsimcard.com sells a prepaid Bahamian SIM card for $70.  You can get it cheaper on the ground in the Bahamas;

 

3. It is cheaper to call the Bahamas than call from the Bahamas.  There are a number of companies that will sell you (on the short term) a US telephone number which you can call forward to your Bahamian number if it is a direct dial number.  Onesuite.com is one of many such companies.  If you go the prepaid route, forward your US cell to that number and forward that numbers to the Bahamas.  Cancel your subscription when you return;

 

4. If you have wifi available, consider VOIP.  A number of companies offer cheap calls to the US over computers.  This includes Skype, Magicjack, Voipcheap, and thousands more.  If you are using an Apple iPhone, there are apps you can download in the App store which will allow you to do this through your phone.  The same holds true for Android, but I'm not sure if ATT has crippled access to these apps or not if you an ATT phone.  Nexus Ones purchased from Google are wide open;

 

5. VOIP over 3g which was discussed elsewhere in these threads won't help in the Bahamas.  They only have a 2g network;

 

6. If you have Google Voice and buy a small INTERNATIONAL wireless data plan, you can text over that data without additional charge with your Google Voice application if you have a platform which supports that including Android, Blackberry, and as of yesterday iPhone (GV Mobile & GV Connect were finally approved by Apple).  

 

7. If you don't call forward your phone to a VOIP number, get a free Google Voice number and hard forward your cell phone to that number before leaving (turning on privacy protection).  You'll get your voicemails as emails or text messages.  If you don't do this and rely on ATT's voicemail, you'll pay triple minutes for every voicemail deposited.  One minute to send the call to the Bahamas, one minute to send it back to ATT's voicemail server when it is not answered, and one minute to retrieve it.  If it is a two minute voicemail, double that.

 

Good luck.  I invite others to add on.  I'm talked out for the moment. 

Message 4 of 7 (72,521 Views)
Contributor

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

There are 4 of us going to Nassau in October and we all have At&T.  I was really hoping there was a way we could call or text each other cheap and/or free to let each other know i.e. to meet at room or some other short messsage. Any ideas?  Could we call let it ring once and not answer and not be charged?  Thanks!

Message 5 of 7 (72,477 Views)
Guru

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

Text message each other, but don't get carried away.  Fifty cents to send a text, incoming come out of your pool of domestic texts (e.g. if you have unlimited US texting, you can receiive unlimited texts in the Bahamas, but can't send them).

Message 6 of 7 (72,471 Views)
Contributor

Re: Traveling to Bahamas - International charges?

You are very helpful!  thanks so much I am phone illiterate and sure appreciate this info Smiley Happy

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