Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Receiving texts or voicemail while abroad - do not want to incur charges

I'm a participant level 3
I'm a participant level 3

I will be travelling for 2 months so paying $15/day for Fido Roam is not an option.  Do I understand correctly that I WILL be charged roaming rates if I RECEIVE a text, SEND a text or RECEIVE a voicemail while away? If I have my phone on airplane mode will I then NOT receive any texts sent to me? What are my options for receiving texts while abroad other than Fido Roam $15/day or Pay per Use.  If my phone is on Airplane Mode for 2 months will I be able to retrieve the texts sent to me once I have returned to Canada?




Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Findkendwa,


  Welcome to the community!


  To clarify, the Fido Roam charge will incur when you use your device to make or receive a call, send a text message or use data while abroad (see here). While receiving SMS would not incur the roaming charge, it's worth mentioning that the data contained within MMS (incoming or outgoing) would be considered roaming data and charged accordingly. You should note that MMS are not solely restricted to pictures or video messages. Messages with subject headers or group messages etc are also considered MMS.


  You might consider disabling any MMS auto-retrieve settings on your phone. You would then receive a SMS notifying of a MMS (no charge) but the data contained would not download automatically. You could then choose whether or not to download the associated data contents. You should also note that, with the exception of Wifi-calling, MMS does not generally get transmitted via Wifi. Downloading MMS while connected to Wifi would likely incur roaming charges. That said, if your device is supported for Wifi-calling, some types of usage would be considered roaming.


  As far as I am aware, having calls go to voicemail and/or rejecting calls to send them to voicemail should not incur roaming charges (see here). However, checking your voicemail would be considered roaming as one must call the voicemail service. 


  So receiving a SMS and receiving voicemail should not incur roaming charges. However, sending text messages and checking your voicemail would likely incur those charges.


  In order to prevent roaming, it is generally recommended to enable Airplane or Flight mode on your device. You can then manually enable Wifi when required. However, since a device is not able to connect to the networks with those modes enabled, you will not be able to receive text messages over the cellular networks. If your device is supported for Wifi-calling, you could possibly receive them when connected to Wifi.


  If you keep Airplane or Flight mode enabled for the duration of your time away, it's unlikely you will receive all of your received text messages upon return. Text messages are not kept on the system indefinitely. Generally, once a text message gets delivered, it is deleted from the system. If a text message is undeliverable, it is only kept on the system for a few days while they attempt to re-deliver it. Unfortunately, if a text message remains undeliverable, it is removed from the system.


  If you did not wish to use Fido Roam, you would need to opt-out of that service. If you chose to do so, any usage would be on a pay-per-use basis. You can view those rates here.


  If you did not wish to use either of those options, you might consider switching your services to pre-paid. However, you should note that pre-paid roaming may not be available in some locations (ie US - due to '3G' network shut-down). In addition, you should also note that there would be a fee to migrate your services to pre-paid as well as back to post-paid upon your return. As well, it should be mentioned that when you return, you might not be able to regain your current plan if it is no longer in-market.


  As already mentioned, if your device (and plan) is/are supported for Wifi-calling, that may be an option. That said, there seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling . I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. However, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above).


Hope this helps 😀