Managing your roaming on your phone

Roaming is the service that enables a mobile phone customer, while outside the geographical coverage area of their home network, to access the portfolio of services they subscribe to while at home. The suite of services that can be accessed include voice, SMS and Data services or Voice and SMS only depending on agreements in place.Roaming costs are much higher than normal local rates and there is therefore need to manage them. Below some FAQs and tips explaining how you can do this.

Frequently Asked Questions on Roaming

  1. How do I control my data and voice roaming costs?

         a)Choosing the most cost effective roaming network (Data and Voice)

Different roaming networks charge different rates and you can therefore choose the most preferred and cost effective roaming network.

If using a Safaricom voice for staff based in Kenya or data line,while roaming or if you are about to roam, you can consult this page for the most cost effective network. (Bookmark this page for quick access).

If using Airtel Voice or data line while roaming, consult this page for Countries with Airtel Network.   (Bookmark this page for quick access).

For Countries without Network use this link:  (Bookmark this page for quick access).

             b) Using alternate Internet Services (Data)

Most public places worldwide now provide public wireless internet services which prove much more cost effective than data roaming services. Make use of these whenever possible.

             c)  Managing background data intensive applications

Android Phones:They have quite a number of applications running in the background: Below are tips on how to manage these:

 Ensure that your device is connected to a wireless network when available rather than using the mobile network or switch on your wireless if off and switch off the mobile connection especially when you are in the office, restaurant or meeting areas that have  a wireless connection.

Switch auto sync off (Settings -> Accounts & sync -> Auto-sync)

Switch background data off (Settings -> Accounts & sync -> Background data)

If need be, remove some of these widgets and only add them when needed.

Samsung Galaxy:

1. From the main (standby or idle) screen, select  to access Applications.

2.  Select Settings.

3.  Select Wireless and network.

4.  Select Mobile networks.

5.  Check the Data roaming option (green tick).


To prevent data roaming when using the handset abroad, please ensure that the Data roaming box is unchecked.

Blackberry:Turn off your Mobile network connection. Go to Option --Mobile Network --Turn Off and only turn it on when necessary.

Switch on your Wi-Fi if your blackberry supports this and use it in areas with a wireless connection. You will still be reachable on your number but data services will not be through the mobile network.


You can switch data roaming on under Settings > General > Network.

Other Devices: Choose manual synchronization while roaming.

                d)     Use a local service if a very frequent traveller to a particular country or a based in a different country.

As much as possible, make use of local services e.g. Telephone services at the hotelto make calls, in the organization regional offices you are visiting as these will always end up being much more cost effective that calling from your roaming line.

2:  How will I be billed for making calls and using the data services?

  1.  Voice – Charges are based on the applicable international roaming rates and are time based.
  2.  Data – Charges are based on the amount of uploads and downloads (per MB).
  3. These rates are fixed by the roaming network that you are using in the country you are visiting and usage and billing will appear on the following month’s telephone or data line bill.
  4.  Find the Safaricom roaming partners Tariff schedule including Voice (per min), Data (per MB) and SMS costs here :

3:  How will I be billed for Receiving calls

  1. You will be charged an amount equal to the international calling fee of the call from Kenya (Or your local providers home network) to the country you are roaming to.

4:   Is there a way I can monitor my costs.

You can manage your postpaid Safaricom line (Data and Voice) and download itemized bills from anywhere.

It is extremely useful when tracking the amount spent on your line to avoid huge bills and surprises at the end of the month

  1. Select Register at
  2. Create Username & Password
  3. Create Identification as Mobile Number and Enter the Number
  4. Check Terms & Conditions
  5. Click Register
  6. Complete the registration below using an automatic code sent via sms.
  7. Enter the Activation Code received and click Send. The code should be used within the shortest time possible as it expires.


  1. Log in using the mobile number credentials created. (Username & Password)
  2. Follow procedure below once you’re logged in successfully.
  3. Under Billing, select Bill Details
  4. Select the invoice month Time Period
  5. Click Search
  6. Select Invoice
  7. Click Download PDF
  8. You can choose to Open or Save

NB: You can access bills for the last 6 months online


  1. Select Forgot Password at
  2. Enter Username
  3. Select identification type as Mobile Number
  4. Enter the Mobile Number
  5. Click Reset Password
  6. The new password is sent to the mobile number immediately