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Service Based Information
Exceeding Your Credit Limit
Roaming charges are not real time, meaning roaming transactions made/received are not billed instantly. So customers are able to exceed their credit limits while roaming. Customers are liable to pay for such excess charges, as strict Credit Limit management is limited to National calls only.
All incoming as well as outgoing voice calls (including calls to Customer care) are chargeable while you are on roaming. The call charges vary from operator to operator and are charged for a per-minute pulse.
Roaming partners also charge voice calls in different currencies (some in British Pounds, others in US Dollars, Euro or any currency). Billing however is done in home local currency, Malawi Kwacha. The foreign currencies are then converted into Malawi Kwacha using the market exchange rates
Each roaming partner has different taxes levied on all call charges. Customers are therefore expected to pay the call charges including taxes. Customers are therefore requested to be cautious when using the service.
Customers are advised to enquire the rates before going on roaming so that they are aware of what charges they should expect to be billed.
The SMS usage is charged for 160 characters per outgoing SMS. For example, if an SMS is of 200 characters then it is charged as two SMS's.
Airtel subscribers have the priviledge of sending SMS to any country while on roaming. The recipient number must be in International format. For example +265999123456 and not 0999123456
Tax is also applied on SMS transactions depending on roaming partner’s tax authority rules
Expect SMS charges to be different with voice calls, and the charges vary from operator to operator.
GPRS / Data
GPRS/Data usages are charged as per the volume of data sent or received (upload and download). Charges vary from operator to operator.
Note that your normal (local) access for GPRS and Blackberry are not valid overseas and all GPRS and Blackberry usage while on roaming will be charged at the visited operator roaming data rates. Taxes on data also vary operator to operator
Airtel allows customers to use Blackberry devices on roaming. The service works only when customers have local subscriptions active. However local subscriptions are only for local use. Any Blackberry use on roaming is charged on pay as you go basis (PAYG)
Validity period for all active Blackberry subscriptions will not change while customer is on roaming. For example, one week subscription from 1st to 7th Jan 2000 will expire on 7th Jan regardless of customer being on roaming during the whole period.
Receiving and sending emails, Blackberry Chats/Messaging, Blackberry software updates while you on roaming, are part of roaming data usage and therefore, are charged according to roaming data charges.
Certain networks charge for PDP (Packet Data Protocol) context, which is necessary for getting connected to the GPRS network and works as an authorization platform. This appears in the bill as charges against 0 Kb usages, which are also billable.
Customers are therefore requested to disable data on roaming access on their handsets. Please call our customer care or visit airtel nearest service centre for assistance on how to disable data on roaming
Customers will be liable for any Blackberry data charges while on roaming.
One Network is an extended service of roaming. Airtel coverage is in the following countries; Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Ghana, Chad, Gabon, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
Ensure you are on Airtel network in order to enjoy one network services. It is advisable for customers to search for airtel Network manually by Clicking on
>Settings/Network and connections
>Network Selection Mode>Manual
>choose airtel network
Customers are advised to manually search for network where an automatic search does not occur.
Please visit http://africa.airtel.com/malawi for more details.
When customers from other networks (outside Malawi ) travel to Malawi and roam on airtel's network using their SIM from their home network.
When airtel customers travel outside Malawi and roam on other networks using their airtel SIMcard
Postpaid roaming is available for Airtel subscribers upon request. Fill an application form obtainable at any airtel shop or contact our customer care for assistance
Our dedicated postpaid teams will contact you for confirmation and a brief of the roaming service
Apply for roaming 48 hours before you travel to activate your international roaming service.
Confirm if airtel has roaming agreements with any operator in the country or countries you are visiting.
- This service is available to all airtel Malawi prepaid customers. No special provisioning is required as all subscribers are provisioned with the service by default.
- Customers have the ability to send and receive calls, SMS and receive SMS and in some countries are allowed to use data services using the airtel simcard on the roaming partner network.
- airtel Malawi prepaid customers traveling to other countries need to switch on their phones and select the network which has the prepaid roaming agreement with airtel Malawi to enjoy the service.
- Customers on prepaid roaming service can recharge airtime using airtel Malawi recharge vouchers before they travel. Customers can also receive airtime through Me2U or they can recharges with Malawi recharge vouchers whilst on roaming.
- To recharge dial *136*recharge PIN# and to share airtime customer should go to > airtel simcard Menu>Me2U>>>
- Each Me2U service is charged local SMS rate of K10 per SMS
- Prepaid Roaming Balance check dial *123#
- Roaming provides a seamless network service between airtel Malawi and prepaid roaming partner networks; voice, SMS, and data. Customer keeps your phone number without the need to change into an international format
- Privacy – your number is dialed with no international prefix, no one need know you are out of the country
- Customers do not have to worry about purchasing a new SIM card at each international location.
- 24/7 service availability
- Convenient and affordable access to the airtel customer when traveling overseas.
- Roaming brings a sense of pride and plight
- The charges for roaming calls have been defined into the roaming charges during negotiating agreement processes with the roaming partners and these vary with different roaming partners around the world.
Data and Roaming Cost-Saving Tips
- International data costs can hit your travel budget hard. They increase when abroad and data provided with your monthly subscription plan does not include international data roaming especially when it comes to using a tablet.
- Make sure that none of your apps will override your data roaming settings and turn your data back on.
- Use Wi-Fi hotspots when available. Many airports and hotels have free Wi-Fi.
- If you do want to access the Internet or GPS outside of Wi-Fi hotspots, turn data roaming on only when you are using it.
- Switch off all free services that you subscribe to. Certain GPRS based applications viz. GPS, Facebook, Twitter, Widgets, RSS Feeds, Email, weather updates, News, Blackberry Messenger or any other instant messaging application etc. as they continuously consume data bandwidth leading to high Data-Roaming charges even when you are not using the same. This is applicable to smart phones and high-end GPRS capable handsets whose software poll (communicate with) the home network continuously.
- Download a data usage monitoring app. There are many available for BlackBerry, iPhone/iPad and Android.
- Check status of your call forwarding to ensure you cancel all call forwards before you travel abroad.
- You may want to review/cancel any call diverts that you may have activated as there will be two-way Roaming charging on Voicemail services and on conditional call forwarding while roaming.
- For detailed information on our roaming policy and the cost of roaming in your destination click here
Leaving your comfort zone? Please note
GPRS/3G automatic and free service downloads in Malawi will be charged for while roaming (emails, weather updates, RSS feeds etc.).
- We advise you take an informed decision on whether to keep these applications switched-on, while you are on roaming as you will be liable for all charges as a result of the same. Most smart phones and Blackberry devices allow the users to choose the option to switch data off while roaming. Please make the changes before leaving. For assistance call our customer care or visit any of our service centers
- Loss/Theft of SIM card or mobile phone while overseas should be reported to airtel immediately. In case the theft is not reported immediately, all usage till the time of reporting will be payable by customer. This can be done by sending an email to email@example.com or calling +265999900121 / +265999900222
- These tips will help you control your data usage while travelling and avoid the shock of a large bill when you come home.
Turning Off Your Data Settings
- Turn off your data services if you don’t want to use them overseas. See how to do this for your phone below.
- Go to Menu> Manage Connections> Mobile Network Options>
- Ensure that Data Services ‘While Roaming’ is turned off or turn ALL DATA services off
- Please note: BlackBerry Smartphone services once subscribed are only free while in Malawi. They will be charged for while roaming. These include BBM (charged as per SMS), email (charged as data download) and any other special services.
Delete ALL APN Settings:
- Go to Settings> General> Network> Cellular Data Network>
- Delete the content from the APN field – press Network
- Turn off Data Roaming
- Turn off Cellular Data
Delete ALL APN Settings:
- Go to Menu> Settings> Wireless & Networks> Mobile Network>
- Open Access Point Names (APN)
- Open APN
- Go to Menu > Delete APN
- Repeat for all APNs
Do you have a different phone? Please look at your phone’s manual to see how to turn off data settings. If you’re still having trouble or you’d like more info, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org call us on +265999900121 or +26599990022 and we’ll gladly help you out. Bon Voyage!