Data Roaming in Taiwan & Alternatives to Get Internet: Which Option to Choose?

This article is for people who visit Taiwan and are considering using data roaming to stay connected during their trip. In the article, you will get an overview of phone and data roaming in Taiwan, roaming costs from Taiwanese mobile network operators, and alternatives for getting internet access in Taiwan. The goal is to help you decide whether or not you should use data roaming for your travel in Taiwan, and stay online and in touch throughout your trip in the most cost-effective way.

Data roaming in taiwan

I. Phone Roaming in Taiwan – Quick Facts for Tourists

Here are some facts about phone roaming and data roaming in Taiwan that tourists should know:

  • Taiwan has 03 major cellular network carriers: Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone, and Taiwan Mobile.
  • Using your home phone plan in Taiwan can be very expensive due to high roaming rates.
  • The major mobile internet providers in Taiwan offer data roaming packages that can help you save money. You had better research roaming rates and packages of each provider before making a purchase.
  • You have cheaper options rather than roaming like buying a prepaid local SIM card in Taiwan. This option is often cheaper for using data abroad.
  • It is better to you check coverage maps of your SIM card provider. Make sure that you get the service you want where you are going to visit.

II. Understand about Roaming in Taiwan – How It Works

What is roaming service in Taiwan?

Roaming allows you to use your regular cell phone provider when you travel outside your home country. It lets you access data, make calls, and send texts without switching out your SIM card. Major providers like Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan Mobile, Far EasTone, and T Star offer roaming service in Taiwan.

How does roaming in Taiwan work?

When roaming, your phone connects to a local carrier in Taiwan through partnerships your provider has set up. This means you can use your phone like normal without any disruptions. However, roaming comes at a steep price. In Taiwan, you may pay around $10 USD per day for basic usage. If you use large amounts of data, it can soar up to $100 per GB.

The convenience of seamlessly using your phone abroad makes roaming tempting. But keep in mind – you pay a premium for this convenience. Many travelers experience “bill shock” when they return home to find huge roaming charges. For short trips or light data usage, roaming could work. But for longer visits or data-heavy use, local SIM cards, international SIM cards or eSIMs will save you money.

► To understand more about roaming, visit our detailed guide on what is roaming.

III. Is the Roaming Rate in Taiwan Expensive?

YES.  Data roaming rates in Taiwan can really add up and cost much more than local SIM cards.

On average, you can pay around $50 per gigabyte for roaming in Taiwan. That’s right, casually scrolling through Instagram for an hour could set you back $20 – enough for a delectable bubble tea and a souvenir keychain!

Roaming rates can vary significantly depending on your carrier and plan. Here’s a quick peek at some operator costs:

  • Chunghwa Telecom: Slightly less expensive at around $45/GB.
  • Taiwan Mobile: Slightly pricier at around $52/GB.
  • Far EasTone Telecom: Brace yourself; it jumps to $55/GB.
  • T Star: Hold onto your hats; they top the charts at $60/GB.

These are just averages; specific rates can differ based on your plan and usage. To avoid the extremely high fees of data roaming, look into cheaper options like buying a local SIM card or renting a pocket WiFi device when you arrive in Taiwan. We will explain further in the following section.

IV. How to Avoid Roaming Charges When Traveling to Taiwan

Enable data roaming in Taiwan on iPhone
Enable data roaming in Taiwan on iPhone

As mentioned earlier, there are 04 major ways to avoid roaming charges while traveling in Taiwan for tourists: public WiFi, a prepaid Taiwan SIM card, prepaid eSIM for Taiwan, and pocket WiFi.

Here we compare ways to avoid roaming charges when traveling in Taiwan:

1. Use Free Public WiFi

  • Availability: Widely available at cafes, restaurants, parks, attractions etc.
  • Convenience: Requires finding free hotspots, connecting and reconnecting as you move around.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Data Limits: Usually provides unlimited data usage.

2. Get a Prepaid Taiwan SIM Card

  • Availability: Can be purchased at convenience stores, phone shops, kiosks at airports/stations.
  • Convenience: Keep the same number during your trip. Recharge as needed.
  • Cost: Around $20 USD per week for unlimited data.
  • Data Limits: depending the features of each plan.

3. Use a Prepaid eSIM for Taiwan

  • Availability: Order online in advance of your trip.
  • Convenience: Digital so no need to switch out physical SIMs.
  • Cost: Around $50 USD for 10GB of data over 2 weeks.
  • Data Limits: Preset data allowance, need to top up if exceeded.

4. Rent a Pocket WiFi Device

  • Availability: Rent on arrival at airports and pick-up shops.
  • Convenience: Provides internet for multiple devices. No need to find hotspots.
  • Cost: Around $50 USD per week.
  • Data Limits: Unlimited data plans available.

► Our recommendation:

Among these four ways to avoid roaming charges in Taiwan, it is recommended to go for a prepaid Taiwan SIM card or Taiwan eSIM (data-only). They offer multiple options suitable for different needs and are safe and stable in terms of connection quality. However, be noted that:

V. Taiwan eSIM – Alternative to Data Roaming in Taiwan to Get Internet

As mentioned earlier, you are advised to use eSIM as an alternative roaming in Taiwan if your phone works with it. Indeed, eSIM has many advantages over other connectivity options both in terms of convenience, installation, variety of options, speed, etc, You can see more about eSIM and its benefits here.

As a specific recommended about eSIM provider, we suggest Gigago – a reputable eSIM retailer which offer eSIM plans for more than 200 countries over the world, including Taiwan.

Taiwan eSIM
Taiwan eSIM by Gigago

For Taiwan, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 3 GB for 5 days with $4.00 . What is great about Gigago’s Taiwan eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $4.00$57.00 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Taiwan, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. How to Turn Off Data Roaming When Traveling in Taiwan

Don’t let high data roaming rates in Taiwan eat up your budget! You can avoid these steep charges by turning off roaming on your phone.

Follow these steps for your device:

1. Turn off international roaming on Android When Traveling in Taiwan

  1. Go to Settings Menu: Open your phone’s settings app.
  2. Unleash the Network: Seek the “Network & Internet” or “Connections” option.
  3. Channel Your Inner Technician: Tap “Mobile network” or “Mobile data.”
  4. Banish the Roaming Dragon: Locate “Advanced” or “Mobile network options.”
  5. Deliver the Final Blow: Disable “Mobile data roaming.”

2. Turn off international roaming on iPhones

  1. Open the Control Center: Swipe down from the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Unleash the Airplane Mode: Tap the airplane icon to turn off all wireless connections, including roaming.
  3. For Permanent Peace: Head to Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data Options.
  4. Defeat the Roaming Menace: Toggle off “Data Roaming.”

VII. FAQs about Roaming in Taiwan

Can I use my phone generally in Taiwan without roaming?

Yes, via Wi-Fi! Free Wi-Fi is available at many restaurants, cafés, and public places. But for data on the go, check out local SIM cards or affordable eSIM options like GGG’s 5-Day Tourist package.

How much does it cost to use data roaming in Taiwan?

Yes, getting a prepaid Taiwan SIM card or using services like Google Fi will be much cheaper than paying your home carrier’s roaming rates. You can get unlimited data for around $20 per week.

Can I use my phone number in Taiwan?

With roaming in Taiwan, your regular number will work, but at expensive rates. A prepaid SIM allows you to use a local number. Some eSIM options let you port your number.

Can I use my phone plan from USA/UK/Australia in Taiwan?

You can use your regular plan with roaming enabled, but expect very high additional costs for data, calls and texts while in Taiwan.

VIII. Conclusion

In conclusion, conquering the digital landscape and managing data roaming in Taiwan shouldn’t be a budget-breaking battle. With some planning and tools, you can stay connected, explore freely, and avoid the dreaded roaming dragon’s fiery breath.