Data roaming in Austria & Alternatives to Get Internet: Which Option to Choose?

Data roaming in Austria is one of the most concerns for tourists when they are planning to visit this country. Before deciding whether you should roam your data or not, check out below useful information and find other alternatives to get the Internet.

Data roaming in Austria

I. Data Roaming in Austria – Quick Facts for Tourists

Here are some facts about data roaming in Austria should you know: 

If you are from an EU Countries: 

  • You can roam your data for free in Austria thanks to EU roaming policies
  • You can benefit your home plan’s calls, texts, data at the same way and without additional charges 
  • You should check with your mobile operator first just in case of any exceptions
  • There are limits on how much data you can have at your home country price, which depend on your contract type. So, it’s better to check it first 

If you are not from the EU: in this case, you should find out alternatives such as: 

  • Buy a local SIM card: it is always the most common choice for tourists because it is affordable and easy to install. You can easily buy it and prices may vary 
  • Get a travel SIM card: there are many international companies that offer travel SIM cards specifically for tourists. But it might be slightly more expensive
  • Reliance on Wi-Fi: you can rely on free wifi if you need to access the Internet. However, this might be limited at some specific areas
  • Purchase eSIM: it seems to be the best and easiest way to get connected to the Internet while you are traveling to Austria

Pro Tip: Some other considerations you should keep in mind: 

  • Network compatibility: make sure your phone is compatible with Austrian network frequencies (GSM 900/1800 MHz, UMTS 2100 MHz, LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz)
  • Call u0026amp; text apps: consider using apps like WhatsApp or Viber over Wi-Fi to stay in touch with loved ones back home for a cheaper price than using your regular plan for international calls.

II. Understand about Roaming in Austria – How It Works

Understand how roaming in Austria works

First, you should understand what roaming is. Roaming is when you use your phone in a different country than where your phone service is based. Roaming can have additional charges, which are often higher than what you pay for using your phone at home. 

The costs depend on your provider’s roaming agreements with providers in other countries. In Austria, you can use roaming to make calls, send texts, and use data. 

In Austria, there are 3 major mobile carriers that are providing roaming packages for tourists, which are: 

  • A1: Austria’s biggest network, boasts excellent coverage nationwide. Their “Welcome Österreich” prepaid SIM is popular for tourists, offering data packages and fair prices
    • Pros: wide coverage, reliable connection, “Welcome Österreich” SIM is convenient
    • Cons: prices might be slightly higher than some other mobile carriers 
  • Drei: known for their value, Drei offers affordable prepaid plans with various data options. Their network might not be as extensive as A1’s, but it reaches most popular tourist destinations.
    • Pros: Budget-friendly, good data deals, modern network
    • Cons: Coverage might be spotty in remote areas
  • Magenta (T-Mobile): Another strong contender, Magenta has a reliable network and some prepaid SIMs with flexible data bundles.
    • Pros: Reliable network, decent data options, some SIMs with bonus minutes/data.
    • Cons: Prepaid SIMs might not be as widely available as others

Note: The price and plan can be changed over time. You should contact the mobile operator to get the most updated information

III. Is the Roaming Rate in Austria Expensive? Roaming Prices in Austria

Is the roaming rate in Austria expensive? Let’s find out more

Yes, the roaming rate is more expensive than the local rate. If you are from the EU, you can enjoy a free roaming rate. But if you are from other countries, it will have a higher rate of roaming. 

You can check this table that compares roaming fees for calls, texts, and data for popular tourist SIMs from A1, Magenta, and Drei in Austria. Please note, prices are approximate and may vary depending on plan details and exchange rates at a specific time. 

OperatorSIM CardCall (per minute)Text (per message)Data (per GB)
A1Welcome Österreich$0.30 – $0.50$0.10 – $0.20$10 – $15
MagentaTourist SIM$0.25 – $0.45$0.10 – $0.15$8 – $12
DreiStart SIM$0.20 – $0.35$0.05 – $0.10$5 – $10

Important Note:

  • These prices are for outgoing calls and texts to other countries, including your home country. Calls and texts within Austria might be cheaper.
  • Data prices are for pay-as-you-go plans. Some SIMs offer bundled packages with data, calls, and texts included at a discounted rate.
  • These are approximate prices, and the actual cost may vary depending on the specific plan and exchange rates. Always check the operator's website for the latest pricing and plan details.

Pro Tip:

  • Consider using Wi-Fi whenever possible to avoid roaming charges.
  • If you make a lot of calls or use a lot of data, you may want to purchase a local SIM card instead of relying on data roaming in Austria.
  • Make sure your phone is compatible with the Austrian network frequencies (GSM 900/1800 MHz, UMTS 2100 MHz, LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz

IV. How to Activate Roaming Service for Austria in Your Cell Phone?

How to activate roaming service on iPhone

To activate roaming service for Austria, you should follow these following steps:

Step 1: Choose your preferred service provider

You need to determine the service provider first. You can either keep your home mobile plan or go for a local mobile carrier. 

If you use your home cellular plan and assume that your home network carrier is one of the following brands, here is what you may want to know:

Operator (home country)PlanCalls (per minute)Texts (per message)Data (per GB)Additional Notes
AIS (Thailand)One-2-Call Tourist SIM$0.25 – $0.50$0.10 – $0.20$5 – $10Pre-paid SIM recommended for extended stay
Docomo (Japan)Global Data Roaming Pass$40/7 daysN/AUnlimitedIdeal for short stay with heavy data usage
Rogers (Canada)Roam Like Home PassUnlimitedUnlimited10GB/$10/dayLimited to specific plans, check eligibility
AT&T (USA)International Day PassUnlimitedUnlimited500MB/$10/dayCost-effective for moderate data usage
Telstra (Australia)TravelSIM$0.40 – $0.60$0.20 – $0.30$10 – $20Not as competitive as local SIMs for extended use

If you choose to use the local plan of Austria’s major operators, and activate its roaming service, the recommended local providers for roaming services are A1 Telekom, Drei and Magenta. 

OperatorSIM CardCall (per minute)Text (per message)Data (per GB)
A1Welcome Österreich$0.30 – $0.50$0.10 – $0.20$10 – $15
MagentaTourist SIM$0.25 – $0.45$0.10 – $0.15$8 – $12
DreiStart SIM$0.20 – $0.35$0.05 – $0.10$5 – $10

Step 2: Activate the roaming function for your service provider

Each mobile network carrier has a different way to activate roaming service. You should check the chosen operator’s website to have detailed information.  

Step 3: Buy a mobile package with roaming

Why should you buy a roaming mobile package? If you do not want to be charged extra cost, you should buy a roaming package. 

Pro Tips:

  • Choose the most suitable package for your purpose and time of travel 
  • Purchase roaming package one day before departure

Step 4: Turn on your phone’s roaming

On Android: Settings > Tap on “Data roaming” > Turn “International Roaming” on

On iOS (iPhone): Settings > Cellular > Tap on “Data roaming”

Note: whenever you do not use it, do not forget to turn off the roaming feature to prevent any unnecessary expenses once you come back to Austria.

V. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to Austria?

How to avoid roaming charges while traveling in Austria?
(Source: nectmodem) 

If you do not want to pay much money for roaming charges, you should consider some options: 

  • Use free wifi: you can use free wifi at hotels, restaurants or shopping malls, etc to connect to the Internet and then contact your friends, family through social media 
  • Disable data roaming: whenever you do not need to use data, disable it
  • Buy a local SIM Card: a local SIM card help you to access to the Internet, call or text services at a local rate 
  • Purchase an eSIM: eSIM is the most affordable and easiest way that helps you avoid roaming fees and stay connected to the Internet when you travel. Should you check phone compatibility to see whether it is suitable or not.
  • Monitor your data usage: always watch out your data usage to turn it off whenever you do not use it. Even you do not use, it may also decrease your data

Contact Gigigo at +1 657-571-1199 (WhatsApp) for more information about eSIM – the best alternatives for tourists when traveling to Austria

VI. Austria eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Austria to Get Internet

Austria esim by gigago - alternative to data roaming in austria

As you can see, roaming fees are always higher than other ways to get connected to the Internet. You can choose another alternative to data roaming in Austria. One of the best replacements is eSIM. 

Here are some pros and cons of eSIM in comparisons to data roaming:

eSIMData roaming
Pros– Easy purchase and convenient to set up
– Do not need to remove current physical and avoid losing it 
– Considerably cheaper for data-heavy users
– Securely stored on your phone
– Have variety of plans to choose
– Wider network coverage depending on your carrier’s agreements
– Familiar setup process for most users
– No need for a compatible phone (with unlocked models)
Cons– Requires a compatible phone with eSIM functionality
– Limited network coverage compared to traditional roaming
– Some eSIM plans might have specific requirements
– Considerably more expensive, especially with high data usage
– Requires activating roaming with your home carrier or purchasing a local SIM card
– Less flexible than eSIM

If you are considering using eSIM for your easier and cheaper cost, you can choose Gigigo. Gigago eSIM in Austria is now one of the best eSIM providers which have many packages for you to choose from. It can cover Austria and also 42 other EU countries. You are expected to have 4G/LTE/5G speed with unlimited data at 128kbps after max-speed data usage exceeds. 

For Austria, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from a 3-day plan with 300MB per day for $5 as their most minimal plan. They also have 5-day, 7-day, 10-day, 14-day, 15-day, 20-day, 25-day, 28-day, and 30-day plans ranging from 1GB to 50GB of data, with prices from $5 up to $136.90.

VII. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Austria

How to turn off data roaming when traveling to Austria on iPhone 
How to turn off data roaming when traveling to Austria on iPhone 

If you are finding ways to turn off data roaming with your phone, you can follow below steps depending on your phone operating system. 

1. Turn off international roaming on iPhones

You can follow these step to turn off international roaming on iPhones:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone
  • Tap Cellular
  • Tap Cellular Data Options
  • Ensure Enable LTE is turned off
  • Toggle Data Roaming to Off

2. Turn off international roaming on Android When Traveling in Austria

It is also as easy as those steps to turn off on iPhones. Here are the ways: 

  • Open the Settings app on your Android phone
  • Tap Connections
  • Tap Mobile Network
  • Tap Data Roaming
  • Toggle the switch to Off

VIII. FAQs about data roaming in Austria 

Do I need roaming in Austria if I’m from the EU?

No! Thanks to EU regulations, data roaming is free for EU citizens when visiting Austria. Use your home plan as usual.

Is roaming expensive in Austria?

For non-EU visitors, roaming charges can be high, especially for data usage. Local SIM cards or Wi-Fi are generally much cheaper.

What are my alternatives to data roaming in Austria?

You have some options:
Local SIM card: Affordable and convenient, often offering data packages tailored for tourists.
Wi-Fi: Widely available in cafes, restaurants, and public spaces. Connect for free internet access.
Travel SIM card: Pre-activated roaming SIMs from international providers, work in multiple countries but might be pricier.

Which is more cost-effective: roaming or a local SIM card?

It depends on your data needs and travel duration. Local SIM cards are usually cheaper for extended stays or heavy data usage. Roaming might be cost-effective for short trips with limited data requirements

Does my phone work in Austria without a roaming plan?

Ensure your phone is compatible with Austrian network frequencies (GSM 900/1800 MHz, UMTS 2100 MHz, LTE 800/1800/2600 MHz). Most modern phones work fine, but older models might have issues.

IX. Conclusion

In general, when you are traveling to Austria, there are many ways that help you connect to the Internet. If you do need to receive calls or text from your home country, you can choose alternatives such as eSIM or local SIM card to avoid charge when using international data roaming in Austria