Telephone services are generally excellent. You will see numerous call centres in most cities, often with competitive rates catering to local migrant communities. Treat hotel telephones like you would any other thief. The cheapest way to make calls is with the winning combination of Skype and wi-fi.
- Mobile phones are ubiquitous throughout the Balkans.
- If you plan to use your mobile on the road, check with your provider at home that it has been unlocked. If you are already on the road, you may be able to get it unlocked at a private call centre for a small fee.
- Consider buying a SIM card; they can cost as little as €5 or €10, and be topped up with credit purchased at supermarkets, kiosks, newsagents and phone dealers.
- If you are using roaming, your phone will switch automatically to local networks. Calls can be expensive, but this is useful if you frequently change countries and only use your phone on an ad hoc basis.
- Check data usage fees for email and web; smart phone users may be able to reduce costs by buying data packages.
Local and international phonecards – available from post offices, telephone centres, newsstands or retail outlets – are widely used in the region. For local calls you’re usually better off with a local phonecard.