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petkow (Offline)
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Default SIMpool - 13-11-2009, 19:36

Just trying to brainstorm a daft idea here! Has anyone ever though of starting a Simpool? The basic idea is fairly simple, though it could get complex in the details:

Basically, some people (who travel a lot) and who somehow trust each other get together as a club and put together a few local prepaid SIM cards that they have from various countries. When a member wants to go to a country for which he does not have a SIM he checks in the pool to see if someone has one and makes a request. If available, the SIM is then sent to him, and upon reaching the country he can use it right away. If need be he will have to load some credit! He then holds onto the SIM until the next person wants to use it etc.

The idea is that it keeps a huge number of SIMs at easy disposal and for a change you have a local SIM from the moment you touch down. Hopefully it also works around some of the local hassles associated with buying and needing to register prepaid SIMs. IN some countries, some of the best products are "internet only" which makes them unavailable for people without a local address (e.g. Simyo 1c/MB here in Spain). Also the pool will hopefully workaround hassles associated with SIM's that need to be kept active by making calls or recharging them every once in a while.

Another important factor is that SIM’s will be bought by knowledgeable (often local) people who will always be savvy on the latest rates, especially in terms of amazing HSDPA data rates. Also the fact that the SIM’s get more usage may make them eligible for cheaper or free data (e.g. UK ones). Ideally users should also leave specific 'useage notes' with the SIM to describe how it can be best used to call internationally etc.

Now when you get into the details, it gets a bit more complex. The pool needs to rely on a nice website with a clever online database (which could be easily programmed in MySQL or the like), which keeps an eye on where the SIMs are and how much credit they have on them etc.

Unfortunately, the part I do not like is that the SIMs still need to be snail-mailed around the globe. (The shipping rates could also be tabbed by the system, but should basically be reciprocal). I suppose, if such a thing really were to get going, SIMs could eventually be left at important destinations in their registered country at a hotel reception, business centre etc. and wait for a pickup by a member! Or a local member in the country might be able to send the SIM to the travelling members hotel in advance along with a self-addressed envelope for the traveller to send back the SIM after use. This keeps the SIM in the country and the shipping rates very low!

Other problems might be with incoming calls. The problem is that the number you leave a contact may end up with someone else later, but there are workarounds by using DID's etc.

By the way…as an aside …wouldn’t it be really nice instead of snail-mailing in this day and age there was some sort of a “blank SIM”, for which you could load firmware (which could be emailed to the user). Anyhow… as I said, I’m just brainstorming! Can anyone pickup on some of these mad ideas? Don’t worry… be critical! Basically, I’m getting a bit bored waiting for someone who is running very late on this fine Friday evening…..

Last edited by petkow; 13-11-2009 at 20:05..
   
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Malkav (Offline)
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Default 13-11-2009, 22:24

Yeah am up for that, i got tonnes of UK sim's sitting indoors....though am aiming for a trade but am sure some can be put to one side for your idea!


Current networks: Orange 3g UK, 3 pay monthly, Virgin pay as you go UK, 3UK payg, Tesco payg, Asda mobile

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NEC 616, Ericsson t68/i, Nokia 3310, Sendo m550, Mototorola v66i, Motorola a1000.lg u880, Sony Ericsson t230. Orange spv m5000, Samsung z400, Motorola SLVR (Red)!, lobster tv700, spv m700, prada phone, motorola l7e, Skype phone, siemens sl65, blackberry 8810, Nokia 6500 slide X2.
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 17-11-2009, 18:31

Thanks Malkav! Ideally it would really need some people chucking in some "hard-to-gets" like registered Japanese SIM's and things like Indian SIM's which require a bit of red tape to get a hold of!

Anyhow...Judging by the lack of interest, it was probably a daft idea anyhow.... unless anybody else has some input? Maybe the idea is just too obvious! (or too stupid..)

I especially think that at least for people who depend on mobile web access with decent data rates whilst travelling, we could be on to something! For example I have a spare active Yoigo Tariffa 2 and Simyo SIM that I've previously lent to visitors here in Spain. Both of these are impossible to get in shops! These SIMs have had plenty of useage in phones or dongles for cheap and instant web access!
   
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rockjock (Offline)
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Default 01-01-2010, 09:03

Count me in I am in canada but have active Rogers, Fido, Telus, Bell, Wind, Vodafone.gr, vodafone.de and Wind.gr sims.
   
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borjeg (Offline)
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Default SIM pool - 14-02-2010, 12:29

It's not a bad idea!

But we could start in a smaller scale. Just lending SIMs to interested persons. All based on common simpel trust. And then see what it leeds to.

Maybe we colud start a special thread for this purpose and have it glued to the top.
   
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Malkav (Offline)
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Default 14-02-2010, 15:58

or a trade in sims a lot of uk packs come with a number assigned AND an e-top up card so they can activate them the moment they get here......


Current networks: Orange 3g UK, 3 pay monthly, Virgin pay as you go UK, 3UK payg, Tesco payg, Asda mobile

Active phones: Blackberry Torch (02), Google Nexus one (Vodafone)
Inactive Sims: Oskar Czech R, BT Genie Pay as you go UK.

Spare (unused phones)
NEC 616, Ericsson t68/i, Nokia 3310, Sendo m550, Mototorola v66i, Motorola a1000.lg u880, Sony Ericsson t230. Orange spv m5000, Samsung z400, Motorola SLVR (Red)!, lobster tv700, spv m700, prada phone, motorola l7e, Skype phone, siemens sl65, blackberry 8810, Nokia 6500 slide X2.
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adam917 (Offline)
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Default 15-04-2010, 03:55

I'm in, even though I'm from the land of not much GSM (USA). Easy enough for me to get a T-Mobile or AT&T (or MVNO of those) SIM quickly.
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Default 23-07-2010, 01:21

I think its a great idea.

If you look at similar business models there is something like the private car share schemes. So we have :

* The SIM can only be used by 1 person at a time
* The person who uses the SIM is responsible for it from request to return
* The SIM user is responsible to return it to the holder with the same or more value then it was received with
* Care of the SIM needs to be taken by the borrower and there may be special requests ie buy a number of top-up cards to keep it alive for so many months/years

I'm pretty sure it is possible to copy SIMs, so if this were done all people in the club, with an interest in particualr countries could have their own SIM copy. The issue then is managing the use of the SIM to make sure there is no simultaneous use at any time - whether the SIM was in the country or out. Considering if romaing was enabled this could be a significant issue.

I think the rules and issues need to be thought through and then have a system which manages most of it and it could be done.

What would also be useful is if people were going to a specific country if they could inform others so that a SIM card could be purchased for them and top-up cards could be bought also. It may be that just top-up cards were bought for someone who has a SIM from a particular country and just wants to keep it alive. The payment and postage would then be worked out between the 2 parties.
   
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