How to Choose a Telecom Provider Abroad

Whether you are about to establish your business abroad or settle in your new home, you will have to choose a telecom service provider from the many available companies targeting the market. Our professional and personal lives are heavily dependent on online, instant communication and wireless telephones, and our home entertainment has incorporated streaming media. In a free market, with more options than ever, it can be difficult to conclude on a telecommunication service provider, especially when you are overseas, and you are not familiar with the brands and expectations. However, there are several things that you need to consider to select a provider which matches your needs.

Customer service
Efficient and considerate customer service is a big plus when looking into different telecom providers. Even the most reputable provider will, at some point, have to resolve some sort of a problem with their service, whether it is poor internet speed, billing inquiries, or service upgrading. However, before committing to a telecom service provider, you should feel confident that when an issue occurs, their customer service will apply good communication skills, and will treat you with patience and respect to solve the problem quickly. You can contact other expats, and ask them to share their customer service experiences with you, or ask the company directly to give you examples of their customer service methods.

How important are the phone and internet services for your business or other tasks? Do you run an online business, which with every minute offline loses money? Or are you a freelancer whose work is conducted online? In any case, it is vital for your peace of mind to know that you have chosen a reliable telecom provider. Check with the different providers whether they own the fiber optic network or lease it from others, as this may affect the speed with which they resolve potential problems. Of course, no one is perfect, and especially if you live in a location with extreme weather conditions or developing infrastructure, issues may come more often than normally expected. However, the difference lies in the provider’s ability to fix the problem with the least possible impact on your work and day-to-day tasks.

Cutting-edge technology
With technology progressing exponentially, you would like to be assured that your telecom service provider is offering the latest technology available, and is conducting regular maintenance and upgrades. However, keep in mind that upgrades can often result in interruption of services or other failures. Thus, your service provider should be able to guarantee in advance that improvements are generally smooth and hassle-free. Also, you should be given the option to select or deselect products, depending on your company’s or personal needs, without any inconvenience.

With the fast pace of technological development, comes a series of challenges to the security of telecommunications data. Risks may have an impact on the availability and confidentiality of telecom services and can result from hardware damage, misconfiguration, or hacking. For example, it is not uncommon that a third party may steal your service. However, you rely on your telecom provider to store and transmit data safely, and it is therefore essential to ensure that the provider you have chosen has taken proactive measures and has implemented regulatory frameworks to manage security risks and challenges.

Last but not least comes the cost of your telecom service. Before you get carried away by marketing campaigns, check the quotes of as many companies as possible. In the past telecom service providers were mainly owned and operated by the government, but that is no longer the case, as many have been privatized. Thus, the competition is high, which is beneficial for clients, as prices can vary significantly from one provider to another. Also, make sure it is clearly stated in your contract what does the overall price cover — are cloud, broadcasting, voice, data, and internet products included? Are there other services you wish to add, and does the company offer tailor-made packages?


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Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: Donald Giannatti via Unsplash [1], [2].