You probably wouldn't even consider using your smartphone for surfing the web when traveling abroad. Certainly not using your regular subscription. Outrageous roaming fees for mobile data will make it unthinkable to continue using your smartphone's apps and internet connection the way you're used to, once you've crossed the national border.
If you're an American visiting Sweden and have a T-Mobile plan, roaming fees for one gigabyte of mobile data will add up to more than 16,000 dollars.
If you're a tourist from an EU nation visiting Sweden, the coming regulation of mobile data roaming fees means that prices are coming down. Starting July 1st this year, fees will be capped at approximately one dollar per megabyte for foreign visitors surfing with their smartphone in Sweden and other EU nations.
Several European operators have anticipated the price caps and already offer additional packages with reduced roaming fees. For example, German T-Mobile customers visiting Sweden can transmit 10 megabyte for less than three dollars. That means almost 300 dollars for one gigabyte.
Even so, using your smartphone for normal internet communication can be ruled out unless you're very wealthy. If you want to have access to the Internet from your smartphone the way you're used to when visiting Sweden, there is only one way to go. Take out your regular SIM card and use a Swedish prepaid card instead.
All four Swedish mobile phone operators offer prepaid subscription plans that do not require you to register. Several of these prepaid card plans will give you an almost unlimited amount of surfing at a cost that's a fraction of what you'd have to pay using your regular subscription. Also, these prepaid cards will let you phone home cheaper.
With Telenors prepaid card World you get 15 gigabyte of mobile surfing if you fill up the card with 200 Swedish kronor (about 27 dollars). With Comviqs prepaid card you can call China at 0.19 kronor per minute (about three cents). See details below.
Prepaid cards can be purchased in operators's shops, in newsstands or foodstores. Please note that you'll need to have a phone that's not locked.
If you're only going to make phonecalls and surf the web, you probably won't need to register your prepaid card. But if you expect to use your prepaid card to pay for things, for example to buy subway tickets in Stockholm, you'll need to register your card. This, however, might be difficult for a foreign tourist, because a Swedish ID is usually required.