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snidely (Offline)
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Default Is the need for an "International" SIM Card ending? - 03-09-2010, 01:33

1. I understand that users in the EU can now roam on each others networks at reasonable rates.
2. It wasn't too many years ago that users in the U.S. paid a lot of money just to roam outside their local area. You paid a lot for long distance just within the U.S. Now, users in the U.S. can go anywhere within the country and call anywhere within the country FREE. Unlimited cell calling in the U.S. is less than $100. (In the U.S., cell phones work like land lines, no extra charges to call a cell phone.)
I think, sometime in the near future, roaming between countries will be seamless. Many companies already own stakes in several countries (Vodafone, TMobile et al). We can already use 3rd party routing to call from country to country for only a few cents (pesos, sheckels).
3. There is now a service from Sprint in the U.S. where you can get unlimited data via wifi over their 3G network. You get a small "wifi card" (a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes) and can connect up to 5 devices to its wifi signal as long as they are within 10 meters. Seems to me you could make use of that to make voice calls. No contract is required. You can just pay for it for the months you need service. Seems to me visitors from overseas could make good use of this.
4. We just returned from 2 weeks in Argentina, Brazil and Uraguay. We made good use of T-Mobile (U.S.) UMA feature that allows you to make calls just as though you were standing in the U.S. Rogers, Canada has the same feature. (I think a couple countries overseas have this.) With wifi getting almost universal (like all McDonalds), roaming for free is quite easy. Expensive hotels still charge an extra high fee for accessing wifi, but moderate and lower end hotels have it for free. Many restaurants had free wifi.

Bottom line - I felt no need to get prepaid SIMS. I did pay TMobile the 66 cents/day for the 2 weeks to get/send unlimited email via our BlackBerrys. We also made use of the BB free message system to keep in touch if we got separated.

For visitors to the U.S. = look into Sprint's unlimited data service. Also, T-Mobile has unlimited prepaid calling for $40/mo. That, with GoogleVoice would let you call home for 2-3 cents/min. to most first world landlines.

...mike


Make use of T-M's UMA/wifi free calling from any place in the world with access to wifi. I use an LG G6, wife an S7)
A/o Oct 20, 2013 no need for intl prepaid as T-Mobile U.S. includes voice roaming at 20/min (in and out)., unlimited text (in and out), and unlimited data in 140+ countries.

My Plan -[6 lines] U.S. T-Mobile unlimited minutes (incoming and outgoing), unlimited text, fast data on each line. that $145/mo. total! . (In U.S. no surcharge for calling a cell.) If a line exceeds 2G of data in a month, pay $10 more for that line. [That only happens a couple times/year.
   
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Grampa (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2010, 20:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post
3. There is now a service from Sprint in the U.S. where you can get unlimited data via wifi over their 3G network. You get a small "wifi card" (a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes) and can connect up to 5 devices to its wifi signal as long as they are within 10 meters.
There was an article in Wednesday's NYTimes about a similar card/service from Virgin Mobile (using the Sprint Network): http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/te...0mobile&st=cse

The cost of the service is $40 per month, with no contract required. I believe there are options for shorter periods. For someone traveling with an iPhone, for example, there are plenty of soft phone options that would allow calling and internet access for the entire family using such a "MiFi" device. Of course, it's another device to carry, battery life is not ideal, receiving calls is tricky when the iPhone is shut off, etc. But it is definitely promising.
   
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snidely (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2010, 21:36

I should have said Virgin Mobile - which is owned by Sprint. Seem to be mixed reviews on Howard Forums.


Make use of T-M's UMA/wifi free calling from any place in the world with access to wifi. I use an LG G6, wife an S7)
A/o Oct 20, 2013 no need for intl prepaid as T-Mobile U.S. includes voice roaming at 20/min (in and out)., unlimited text (in and out), and unlimited data in 140+ countries.

My Plan -[6 lines] U.S. T-Mobile unlimited minutes (incoming and outgoing), unlimited text, fast data on each line. that $145/mo. total! . (In U.S. no surcharge for calling a cell.) If a line exceeds 2G of data in a month, pay $10 more for that line. [That only happens a couple times/year.
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2010, 23:25

For EU users roaming within the EU, it would probably make sense to just roam. That has certainly put a dent in the number of users using these international sims. The availability of free WiFi make it better for travelers. With Skype, TruPhone, on my iPhone, I will certainly rely less on international sims.


Phones: ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 04-09-2010, 01:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman View Post
For EU users roaming within the EU, it would probably make sense to just roam. That has certainly put a dent in the number of users using these international sims. The availability of free WiFi make it better for travelers. With Skype, TruPhone, on my iPhone, I will certainly rely less on international sims.
And remember, Ms. Redding (I think that's her name) is on record that her ultimate goal is to totally remove any roaming charges within the eu similar to what happened in the USA.
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bbob (Offline)
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Default 04-09-2010, 07:46

don't think yet. although roaming has become cheaper providers have raised their price for roaming in non eu countries.

Lower roaming rates means less income so the will find a way to compensate this.
Dataroaming is still to expensive and it will take years before that will become cheaper.

Many of the cards offered here are also used by tourists from the usa or when going to the usa. and the free roaming card have many more free places where they roam.

Places outside the EU will never become cheap when you own say a dutch or german card. Why would they if they are not forced to offer low roaming for non eu countries.

So in the end it all comes down to a personal profile. Do you travel outside the eu, cards are still interesting. Do you travel withoing the eu and do you live in the eu, your local card could become more interesting.
Travel from outside euo into the eu, free roaming cards are still interesting
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 04-09-2010, 10:25

Still have an ekit simplecalling callback sim. Need for non-US Caribbean in situations where cheaper than my Digicel sim for international calls back to the US. Think the international sims still serve a purpose for non-European travel and perhaps for occasional travel to Europe.


Phones/Wireless Devices: Blackview BV8000 Pro, Isatphone Pro, Amazon Kindle 3G, SkyRoam MiFi device, Karma MiFi device, AT&T Liberate MiFi device
Sim Cards: T-Mobile (Mint), AT&T (AT&T, H2O and Kindle), Koko
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adam917 (Offline)
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Default 04-09-2010, 19:06

International SIMs with a generous expiration like eKit can still be a good deal for voice for people who travel to the EU but don't live there. eKit's Home & Roam seems like a good deal even in the UK as calling locally there is a bit reasonable if you don't use it much, also coverage there is good for the rates.

Having one number for the whole trip where you can receive calls & SMS for free can be worth it. I doubt these SIMs will have a decent data deal anytime soon, so one still has to go local for data, but for voice it works nicely. I think these international SIMs make good backup SIMs as companions to local ones when one is travelling.


Active SIMs:
2007-05-14: T-Mobile post-paid (USA: 267)
2007-12: T-Mobile pre-paid (USA: 857)
2009-01-21: Mobal World (UK)
2010-06-08: TracFone (USA: 215)
2011-03-12: Tru (USA: 305)
2011-08-01: AT&T pre-paid (USA: 212)
2011-08-22: Spot Mobile (USA: 603)
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snidely (Offline)
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Default 05-09-2010, 04:19

No one has commented on whether using wifi (much of which you can access for "free") is a viable alternative. I have found it very useful - especially if you make sure you stay in a hotel that doesn't charge you a fortune to access it. More and more hotel chains now seem to offer free wifi.
Many restaurants now post a WiFI logo card in their window. Some are open, some you have to get the security code from them.

...mike


Make use of T-M's UMA/wifi free calling from any place in the world with access to wifi. I use an LG G6, wife an S7)
A/o Oct 20, 2013 no need for intl prepaid as T-Mobile U.S. includes voice roaming at 20/min (in and out)., unlimited text (in and out), and unlimited data in 140+ countries.

My Plan -[6 lines] U.S. T-Mobile unlimited minutes (incoming and outgoing), unlimited text, fast data on each line. that $145/mo. total! . (In U.S. no surcharge for calling a cell.) If a line exceeds 2G of data in a month, pay $10 more for that line. [That only happens a couple times/year.
   
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Grampa (Offline)
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Default 05-09-2010, 20:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by snidely View Post
No one has commented on whether using wifi (much of which you can access for "free") is a viable alternative. I have found it very useful - especially if you make sure you stay in a hotel that doesn't charge you a fortune to access it. More and more hotel chains now seem to offer free wifi.
Many restaurants now post a WiFI logo card in their window. Some are open, some you have to get the security code from them.

...mike
Wifi is great, but it is less good for incoming calls. Many of us carry cell phones largely for emergencies, but you can't count on being in wifi range when an emergency strikes. On my last trip I carried a cheap little phone using OneSimCard, which offers an email-to-sms gateway. That way, non-emergency callers could text me for free, and I could then return the call from my iPhone when I had wifi.
   
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