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adam917 (Offline)
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Question eKit 'SIMple Calling' US/Canada SIM w/ pretty low rates? - 04-04-2009, 12:45

Does anyone know what MVNO this SIM uses and what kind of number you get with this SIM? I am surprised to have found this on eBay yesterday and see the rates are lower that standard pre-paid rates within both countries.

I know that T-Mobile has Canadian roaming but the rates are high (69 cents a minute) and also does not have the coverage this claims to have. Also, it seems most (all?) MVNOs from either country do not roam on each other. AT&T GoPhone in the US has no Canadian roaming at all and the lowest rates for very occasional use are still 25 cents a minute.

I could see getting it if it has a US number. Even 40 cents a minute to call the US from Canada would be a bargain given how long the SIM lasts (cheapest Canadian offer normally is 45 cents a minute with 7-Eleven SpeakOut but they still deduct a monthly 911 fee and you always need a balance on the SIM for it to last the claimed 365 days between top-ups).

Unless anyone here has any info and reasons on why not to get it, I'm going to consider getting it and giving it a try. Those rates are quite low given the extended coverage & long expiration combined.

Thanks...
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 04-04-2009, 13:23

Looks like they're reselling this: SIMple Calling USA SIM Card


Phones: OnePlus 5 Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo AT A1-B.free
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 04-04-2009, 23:01

Quote:
Originally Posted by bylo View Post
Looks like they're reselling this: SIMple Calling USA SIM Card
It seems both eKit and telestial have some sort of deal with Simple Calling. The ekit page is at ekit, Mobile Info.

The way the ekit page, the telestial page, and the ebay page each have different rates would be a concern. Either each can set their own rates or some are out of date or incomplete.

From the Telestial page, there's also this:

Quote:
Note: Your SIMple Calling US SIM card service is automatically deactivated 1 week after your last call or text message; however the remaining credit is not expired until 9 months after your last call or text message. To reactivate your service, simply follow the initial activation instructions.
Sounds like a real pain to have to keep re-activating it, or keep making calls if you are within the US so that you can receive them.

Having said that, looks a useful card for me if I go to Canada this summer - gives me some T-Mobile US coverage (I already have a 7-11 speakout fo AT&T) and acceptable rates for Canada (although data would be nice). Apart from the re-activation stuff (which is a killer, if I understand it correctly) it could even replace my Speakout sim at a similar running cost (I hardly use Speakout - just a car emergency and travel phone).

The ebay page has the best price, but is probably the least likely to be accurate.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 04-04-2009, 23:18

To add a couple of things (can't edit the above message because of the silly 10-minute time limit):

It's interesting that it has call forwarding to any number, even international.

To do this it uses the same codes that Callkey cards like GT-sim used to have, so maybe there is a connection there, or at least the same software? Callkey had an office in Houston a while back.

It's unclear how forwarding would interact with the automatic dis-activation after one week. Not much point in forwarding from an inactive sim.

Note also the following in the Telestial instructions, which make it MUCH less interesting as a card for a foreign tourist visiting the US: "There are currently restrictions in place on receiving international text messages while in
the USA. You can send international text messages however you cannot receive them".

BTW, the Telestial pages say the incoming number for the SIM is in the Los Angeles area.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 04-04-2009, 23:37

Ignore my above messages. I'm out of practice looking at this stuff (don't travel much now!).

It's all the same card. Telestial own simplecalling.com (as stated). The rates are the same, since the ebay page hides the extra first minute cost in the "50c connection fee" footnote.

I'll go back to sleep now..
   
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PhotoJim (Offline)
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Default 05-04-2009, 01:40

The numbers are Los Angeles. Mine is area code 323.

I haven't really used mine yet, but it will be interesting to use in the US because of the broader network coverage than either AT&T or T-Mobile alone.


CA: SaskTel, Wind postpaid; Rogers, Bell postpaid iPad flex plans; US: T-Mobile postpaid data, prepaid voice; PureTalk (AT&T MVNO) prepaid voice/data; AT&T prepaid iPad plan

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adam917 (Offline)
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Default 08-04-2009, 00:44

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTuesday View Post
Ignore my above messages. I'm out of practice looking at this stuff (don't travel much now!).

It's all the same card. Telestial own simplecalling.com (as stated). The rates are the same, since the ebay page hides the extra first minute cost in the "50c connection fee" footnote.

I'll go back to sleep now..
So I must've been lied to when I enquired the seller about this on eBay. How can the activation info quoted in this thread even make sense if you can still do SMS from the SIM?! That has to be some kind of mis-print.
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andy (Offline)
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Default 08-04-2009, 00:53

I looked at it briefly about a month ago, from the ekit site ekit, Mobile Info

But I didn't get round to mentioning it on here, as the call rates are 25 and 40 cents a minute and upwards, and the SIM costs over $60

Although I knew ekit sometimes sell SIMs cheaply on eBay, I'm rather surprised that there also seem to be two tariff systems, as RTuesday mentioned. I'm wondering if this website isn't up to date
   
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adam917 (Offline)
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Default 10-04-2009, 23:14

Well I got the SIM and true rates aren't listed on eBay. You do get charged higher for the first minute and then the low rates start.

When I stuck the SIM in my Samsung SGH-A117, the greeting I got was 'Welcome to Immix'. I heard of company and they seem to be based in central Pennsylvania and claim widest coverage due to national roaming with all the GSM operators (but have strict limits on it because the user has to be living in the local service area).

My question is: How does Telestial/eKit get to put LA numbers on the SIM & apply their own balance check/voice-mail check codes? The SMS Centre seems to be a 610 number though. Do most MVNOs get this kind of privilege?
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 11-04-2009, 02:23

Thanks Adam for the information about Immix. They do seem to have plenty of roaming agreements, but it's not clear if anything other than T-Mobile and AT&T work for thie prepaid: GSM Coverage Maps | United States | Keystone Wireless LLC (Immix Wireless - Pottsville, PA) | Network Information

The real Immix postpaid even roams on Movistar Mexico (amongst many other countries) - if they added that as well to the Simple Calling card they would have a real winner.

As I mentioned above the eKit ad on ebay did list a 50c connection charge in the examples in the footnote to the rate table, but it's certainly misleading and easy to miss. Hope they haven't forgot to mention anything else (like monthly 911 charges... ).

Having said that, I have ordered a couple of these as I may be in Canada later in the year plus it gives me extra coverage in the US. Got a couple of nice consecutive Hollywood numbers (one of them ends in two sets of double digits) according to the email - haven't seen the SIMs yet as I'm in Mexico right now.

How did the activation process go? Any catches there? Any warnings about when you must reactivate it again to keep it active? Any online call records or account balance?

BTW, a sort of workaround for receiving international SMS might be Google Voice - that is supposed to be able to forward SMS to US numbers, and the Simple Calling is supposed to receive from US. So you could give the GV number to a non-US contact. (but, when you reply to their SMS it will come from the SC phone number, unless you go online to GV to send it for free). Also, GV are not giving out any new accounts right now (I have one).

I noticed 0044 (UK) are also selling these (at higher prices). In their notes, they say the problem with incoming SMS is only from South Africa. So sounds like it may be variable depending on the country, worth experimenting with.
   
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