When I worked in the Vesti program, we were given $ 100 a month to pay for a mobile phone. This money was enough, including for personal purposes, so no one really thought about tariffs for cellular communications. Until one day an incident happened. My colleague Larisa received a letter from the accounting department, in which she was notified of the deduction of 30,000 rubles for the overrun of the corporate number. So Larissa went to Greece for a vacation – the cost of a call on a mobile exceeded the cost of a ticket.

This story taught our entire department to count money. We have become experts in tariffs, roaming, savings and various life hacks on the topic of mobile communications. And today I will tell you how to save on calls while traveling in Russia and abroad.

Why are calls while traveling in Russia so expensive?

Our country is big. Germany, Italy and Sweden will fit in the Irkutsk region and there will still be room for Monaco and Luxembourg. Huge distances lead to high communication costs. And also the competition between federal operators. Here is an example of an offer of a “regular operator” in St. Petersburg:

Photo: Tariffs

That would seem to be a free niche for business – to connect Muscovites to the “Usual Operator” through St. Petersburg. Yes, it was not there. All the benefits will be eaten by Russian domestic roaming. For him, cellular operators are mercilessly scolded – from ordinary users to State Duma deputies. But for now, cellular operators are on the defensive. However, some changes were made and roaming discounts were introduced.

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Cellular operators make money on inattentive people

For cellular operators, inattentive people are one of the most important sources of income. Porridge from tariffs, exceptions written in small print on the site, various restrictions that are not mentioned when buying a tariff are common practice. A simple thing is to activate the internal Russian roaming service. Each operator has a similar option, but it must be connected separately. And then, when calling, the cost of a conditional minute will not be 5 rubles, but 2 rubles. A certain percentage of clients will guess to do this. And the rest will pay as much as possible.

Viber Out – an offer for smart people

I think you are one of those OneTwoTrip blog readers who guessed to enable domestic and international roaming. But there is another way to significantly reduce communication costs while traveling. It is a Viber messenger with Viber Out features. With Viber Out, you can call mobile and landline numbers anywhere in the world. The call is no different from a regular call, and the subscriber does not know that you are calling via Viber. It’s important to remember that Viber works over the Internet.

To launch Viber Out, install the Viber app from or. After starting the application, you will receive an SMS with a confirmation code and the account is activated. That’s it, setting up Viber is over. In the contact list, you will see everyone who uses Viber. Or the Viber Out icon if the messenger is not installed.

Photo: Viber

Viber Out is a paid service. You can top up your account via iTunes or Google Play, using a Visa, MasterCard, American Express plastic card or from your mobile phone account. The security of payment with a plastic card is guaranteed by Worldpay.

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Compare prices of mobile operators and Viber Out

And now the most delicious thing is the tariffs for calls via Viber Out. For comparison, I made a table of the cost of roaming calls through Viber Out and a regular operator “))) in several directions.

Execution days The cheapest Russian operator from TOP5
Russia – mobile 6.05 rub / min 5 rub / min
Russia – landline 1.04 rub / min 5 rub / min
Australia – mobile 6.31 rub / min From 15 to 65 rubles / min
Australia – landline 1.34 rub / min From 15 to 65 rubles / min
USA – any 1.21 rub / min From 15 to 65 rubles / min
Russia – landline 1.04 rub / min 5 rub / min
Germany – any 1.23 rub / min From 15 to 65 rubles / min
Greece – any is free!!! From 15 to 65 rubles / min
China – any 0.83 rub / min From 15 to 65 rubles / min

The prices in the table are indicated without discounts. All operators offer various options to “save” calls. The trick is that if the cost of the call decreases, then a daily subscription fee appears. Or you have to buy “packages” of minutes. And some operators come up with sophisticated schemes with discounts that are valid, for example, from the 2nd minute to the 5th minute, but from the 1st minute and from the 6th minute there are no discounts. The confusion is terrible and only creates the appearance of choice and free will of the client. In fact, we continue to pay more than we could.

You can check the rates of the operators yourself, and then compare them with the rates of Viber Out. The link is clickable.

And to call Greece for free

The choice in favor of Viber Out is clear. On the side of cellular operators – laziness and inattention, which they have learned to monetize. But the experience of Larisa and our department shows that this happens before the first serious financial losses. As soon as I went to Austria to give my operator 6,000 rubles, I instantly learned how to count money in roaming. What I wish for you too 🙂