Russia is one of the European countries that aren’t covered by last year EU roaming rule and could get you really high charges.
Russia is expecting to welcome over 1 million fans to the World Cup 2018 and for sure many of them will be Germans. That’s a million roamers with devices able to send stadium selfies or upload goal footage to social media. The impact on roaming traffic will be unprecedented.
One of the options, to reduce roaming costs, is to buy Russia local sim card. Other one is to rent or buy a mobile hotspot which can be used for up to 10 devices. And the third one is to use your operator roaming packages or add-ons, which is perhaps easiest option for user but also and most expensive one.
Here is an overview for German operators and their offers, made by Teltarif.de.
Deutsche Telekom users pay expensive 2.99 euros per minute for a mobile phone call from Russia to Germany. It does not matter if the user uses a postpaid or a prepaid card. Incoming connections are possible at minute prices from 1.79 euros.
Warning: some Russian network operators incur additional costs. Thus, in the network of CJSC BaykaiWestCom 25 cents per incoming call minute extra will be charged. In the network of MegaFon, the surcharge is even at 1.94 euros per minute, so that the incoming call from Germany costs a total of 3.73 euros per minute.
For mobile Internet use, the Travel & Surf options are available . So interested parties with a term contract for 2.95 € a 50-MB package book, which is valid for 24 hours. Alternatively, a weekly package is available, which offers 150 MB inclusive volume and costs 14.95 euros. For prepaid customers only the DayPass M is ready, which is valid for 24 hours, costs 6.95 euros and offers 50 MB inclusive volume.
Vodafone prepaid customers pay without a booked option 6.09 euros per minute for calls from Russia to Germany.
Incoming connections charge a price of 73 cents per minute. In some networks – as for telecom customers – charges for incoming phone calls exists. These are between 46 cents and 2.64 euros per minute. An SMS can be sent for 55 cents and Internet use is also extremely expensive with 1.18 euros per 50-kB block.
WiFi calling is available for Vodafone customers only within Germany.
CallYay prepaid customers pay € 6.70 per minute for outgoing calls from the host country of this year’s World Cup to Germany, 2.19 cents per minute for incoming calls and 84 cents for sending an SMS. The Internet use beats with 1.18 euros per 50 kB block to book.
Also, available are and daily and weekly packages for mobile phone use in Russia.
The ReisePaket Tag costs € 7.99 and offers 50 call minutes and SMS as well as 100 MB data volume for mobile Internet access.
Those who spend a long time in Russia can also book the ReisePaket Woche. This option costs € 29.99 and is valid for seven days. Customers receive 50 minutes of daily short messages and 100 MB of data for one week. Thereafter, 20 cents per unit will be charged.
O2 prepaid customers make relatively cheap calls in the Russian Federation. The minute rates of 1.49 euros for outgoing calls and 69 cents for incoming connections, however, are no bargain. The SMS dispatch beats with 39 cent and the mobile Internet use is only possible, if customers book an appropriate option.
If you want to go online with the o2 mobile phone in Russia, you can only book a 24-hour pass , which is hardly practical. For 1.99 euros, interested parties receive only 6 MB of data volume – this is not enough depending on the resolution even to post a video via WhatsApp or Facebook.
Like Deutsche Telekom customers, O2 prepaid users have the option of using WLAN calls for calls . Anyone who uses a suitable smartphone to make a mobile phone call over a Wi-Fi Internet connection instead of the traditional mobile network can use the same tariffs that apply within the respective tariff within Germany. It is also advisable to switch to Wi-Fi hotspots for Internet use, especially since you can hardly do anything with the 6 MB package offered for mobile telephony.
o2 prepaid users pays for outgoing voice calls 2.99 euros per minute. Incoming calls are billed every minute with 1.59 € and the dispatch of a text message is tariffed with 59 cents. The Internet use costs 12.29 euros per transmitted megabyte. There are no options to reduce these costs.
A special feature compared to Telekom and Vodafone is the possibility for o2 prepaid customers to make calls via WLAN. Thus, the domestic German tariff is also usable in Russia. Data roaming should be switched off at a megabyte price of more than 12 euros for safety’s sake via the settings of the smartphone and activate only in an emergency.
There is also and fourth option: using WI-fi hotspots which is not for recommend: they are pretty unsecure.