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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 17-12-2005, 02:54

I wrote to a seller on Ebay.de about the ECO-SIM cards they are selling. Here is the answer and I would invite your comments if you understood the "merger" to mean what is suggested here.

Hallo Stan,

Ihre Annahme ist nicht unberechtigt, aber so verh?lt es sich nicht ganz: Die ECO-SIM, genau wie die riiig-SIM, wird solange weiter verkauft, bis die Best?nde der H?ndler aufgebraucht sind. Die bisherigen Tarife bleiben dabei, bis auf Widerruf, weiter g?ltig und auch die zuk?nftige Versorgung mit Aufladekarten ist gesichert.
Es braucht also kein K?ufer, der heute ein ECO-SIM erwirbt, bef?rchten, dass diese in absehbarer Zukunft au?er Funktion gesetzt und damit wertlos wird.

Daneben gibt es ab Anfang Dezember die neue UM-SIM, die aus der Fusion der bisherigen UM-SIM und der riiing-SIM hervorgegangen ist. Diese hat ein neues Tarif-Tableau mit teilweise besseren (jetzt ankommende Anrufe in L?ndern der Zone1 und L?ndern der Zone2 kostenfrei) und teilweise schlechteren Bedingungen (Kosten f?r abgehende Anrufe in einige L?nder erh?ht) gegen?ber den alten Tarifen.

Obwohl die ECO-SIM letztlich eine co-branded riiing-SIM ist, sind Aufladekarten nicht miteinander kompatibel: Sie k?nnen keine ECO ADVANTAGE-KARTEN zum Aufladen einer riiing-SIM benutzen, umgekehrt k?nnen Sie keine riiing-Auflade-PIN zum Aufstocken eines Guthabens einer ECO-SIM verwenden.

Ich w?nsche Ihnen ein sch?nes Wochenende

new media nord

============== main points:

ECO-SIM and Riiing cards may and will be sold until dealers stock is exhausted.
EXISTING RATES for those cards REMAIN IN EFFECT until [UM?] dictates (bis auf Widerruf).
Top up cards for each co-branded SIM are VALID and will be supplied for the forseeable future.
Riiing or ECO-SIM users do not need to fear their cards will become invalid or worthless (absehbare Zukunft).
The NEW UM card is apparently the only one using the new rate table at this time.
We know about some improved and some less favorable rates.
ECO-SIM top up cards only work on ECO-SIM and Riiing top ups only on Riiing.

=======================

I was under the impression from the UM email that my Riiing rates would change effective December 1. That does not seem to be the case unless one purchases a new UM card.

So what is the delivered price and start balance of a new UM card sent to US?

And any thoughts on the ECO-SIM versus the Riiing card? The last regular auction of the ECO-SIM went for ~$19 + $5 shipping world wide. The current Riiing auction value is already above that price with a few days left to go.

So, can anybody CONFIRM if the new rates are in effect or not?

Stan



Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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yoyogam (Offline)
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Default 17-12-2005, 19:38

I spoke with the guys at UM. The United-Mobile SIM is a re-branding of Riiing. As of Decmber 1 the rates and coverage are the same. Since last week, goiing to www.riiing.com re-directs to www. united-mobile.com. You can recharge Riiing on that web site.
For the last 3 month the Riiing SIM card holder came with "Powered by United-Mobile" printed on it.
   
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tivoboy (Offline)
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Default 17-12-2005, 20:16

and, does anyone else here think the UM site is really crappy? I mean, very hard to find any info, or what are the ZONES, and costs?
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 17-12-2005, 20:33

Has anyone made or received a call to determine if the Riiing (ECO-SIM) rates have indeed been changed?

yoyogam, thank you for the info. I bought my card(s) back about a year ago. Here is the reply to my 2nd follow up question from the sellers of the ECO-SIM on ebay.de:

"Hallo snaimon,
vielen Dank f?r Ihre Mitteilung - die Kundenmitteilung von United Mobile kannte ich auch schon.

Um den Sachverhalt zu kl?ren, habe ich mich an den Salesmanager (======) von ECO mit der Frage gewandt, ob der neue Tarif auch ab sofort f?r die ECO-SIM gilt. Daraufhin habe ich folgende Antwort erhalten:

Hallo XXX,
......

gsm tarife im tarifrechner bleiben erst einmal so wie gehabt, falls ?nderungen kommen, bekommst Du bescheid.

gru?,
[===]

Der Tarifrechner von ECO, genau wie meiner unter www.callfrom.de, setzt online auf dem riiing-Tarifrechner auf und funktioniert bis heute (mit den alten Tarifen).
Der riiing-Tarifrechner ist nur vom Endkunden unter www.riiing.com nicht mehr per URL zu erreichen, da die gesamte Website ge?ndert wurde.

Mehr kann ich leider nicht dazu sagen, das ist der momentane Stand der Dinge wie er mit bekannt ist.

Mit freundlichen Gr??en
new media nord"

new media nord writes they have also seen the UM email. contact ECO sales manage (name deleted by me). Sales manager writes that the old ECO rates will remain in effect at least for now. If that changes, the sales manager will inform new media nord. nmn then continues that the ECO rate calculator is www.calfrom.de which apparently takes its rates from the OLD to the riiing online calculator WHICH IS SHOWING THE OLD RATES AT LEAST AS OF TODAY. That is all he knows AS OF TODAY.

As I see it, APPARENTLY, owners of Riiing cards are being charged new rates, although I cannot myself confirm this.

OTOH, owners of the ECO-SIM cards may still be calling at the old rates. Again, I cannot personally confirm this, but this is the line being given by ECO-SIM at the moment. There must be or have been something unique about the ECO-SIM brand when UM authorized it. As I recall, they have their OWN help line, not the standard UM help line. That was one reason some people were reluctant to purchase this version of the card to begin with.

Again, I would welcome anyone who can verify the rates with calls made or received.

It also SEEMS that the inbound rate to the US is now a low, low 79 e-cents down from 99 (or 1.29 originally on the um-site).

Stan




Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 04-01-2006, 00:48

I think Riiing rates were updated to the new United Mobile rates in early December. I went on a business trip to Toronto Dec. 5th/6th and kept call records using the mobile phone call timer and the call back account balance notification(had to keep track for an expense report). Definitely was charged the new rates for using Roger Wireless in Canada. Since I will likely only be traveling occassionally to Canada on business, it was the most cost effective solution for wireless calls.

I will be making some personal trips to the Caribbean this year (Jamaica, St. Kitts, Bermuda). Looks like the Caribbean rates are a mixed bag on changes. Jamaica is now up to 59 eurocents outgoing. St. Kitts is the same but now has free incoming where they used to charge. Bermuda is now quite high at 1.59 Euros a minute (my Iridium satphone would cost less a minute...).

Bottom line is the new prepaid United Mobile rates are usually cheaper than roaming with a US postpaid GSM card. Postpaid Caribbean roaming rates are usually US$1.49/minute and up where most United Mobile rates are less.


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
Satphone: InMarSat
Broadband US Wireless Data: AT&T, Sprint (AT&T postpaid or Karma Mobility prepaid)
Broadband International Data: SkyRoam
VOIP: Skype, TextNow
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 04-01-2006, 01:06

Thanks for the update. At least you are or seem to be pleased with the service.

I loaned the SIM & a phone to work colleague who used it in FR in mid-Dec. Made my call to keep the thing alive for 9 months.

Family is headed to Europe this summer and I may be in the market for another SIM. The market is changing so rapidly or so it seems with new offers all the time. I think it is best to sit tight and see what happens. Even in Germany things are topsy-turvy, so I won't be changing Xtra plans or adding new service until shortly before we leave here.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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Przemolog (Offline)
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Default 04-01-2006, 16:22

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetKen
Since I will likely only be traveling occassionally to Canada on business, it was the most cost effective solution for wireless calls.

Bermuda is now quite high at 1.59 Euros a minute (my Iridium satphone would cost less a minute...).
I think that it would be cheaper to use Hop instead of UM in Canada and Bermuda.
BTW, how much do you pay for Iridium calls?
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 04-01-2006, 17:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetKen
I think Riiing rates were updated to the new United Mobile rates in early December. I went on a business trip to Toronto Dec. 5th/6th and kept call records using the mobile phone call timer and the call back account balance notification(had to keep track for an expense report). Definitely was charged the new rates for using Roger Wireless in Canada. Since I will likely only be traveling occassionally to Canada on business, it was the most cost effective solution for wireless calls.
If (BIG IF) you have T-MO post paid US, their roaming rate per minute in CANADA is supposedly

Rate per minute:
$0.49
plus applicable long distance charges
GPRS coverage: Yes

Guessing this is with world class roaming. If applicable, you may want to call.

Another solution for Canada is to pick up a Rogers or Fido card on Ebay and then either sell it as I did OR keep it going if you regularly travel their. Ours was a vacation.

T-MO prepaid DOES NOT ROAM, even to CANADA.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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GadgetKen (Offline)
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Default 04-01-2006, 21:48

"I think that it would be cheaper to use Hop instead of UM in Canada and Bermuda.
BTW, how much do you pay for Iridium calls?"

Good observation on Hop. That would be a bit cheaper for those 2 destinations. Either that or a local prepaid card (Fido/Rodgers in Canada or Cingular Bermuda) would make sense. Don't really want to bother with CBW/Enlinea because call volume is low. Toying with the idea of getting a Cingular Bermuda card (which I think is being eventually sold to Digicel in the Caribbean).

In answer to your question on Iridium costs I am using a postpaid plan for US$29.95/month including the voicemail and 2 stage US inbound dialing options. Outbound to any country fixed/wireless is US$1.49/minute billed in 20 second increments after a minimum of one minute is billed. Rate is 79 cents/minute to another Iridium handset and rates are usually higher to competing satellite networks. Inbound calls are caller pays if direct dialed, or I think US$1.49/minute for 2 stage dialing. Handset somewhat bulky and heavy(Motorola 9500) but has been invaluable in rural, maritime or international situations where there weren't many other options or they were more expensive. Footnote that it's sort of hard to make an unobtrusive call using a satphone, and it works best outdoors with a good view of the sky!

Have 3 other phones(all prepaid): Seimens A65/United Mobile(Riiing), Motorola i205/Nextel(Boost Mobile USA MVNO), Audiovox 8910/Sprint(Virgin Mobile USA MVNO). Stan, I don't currently have a postpaid plan other than Iridium (have erratic useage primarily for personal and business trips so prepaid makes much more sense for me), so T-Mo postpaid wouldn't work for me. A Fido/Rogers prepaid GSM card off E-bay might be a good solution if I don't need to recharge it that often, or could recharge it in the USA or off a web refill system. Anticipate traveling to greater Toronto area on business twice a year but might be going more frequently.

When I was in Canada, my Boost Mobile/Nextel phone did have push to talk, SMS and WAP functionality on Telus Mobility, but couldn't make phone calls. Riiing/United Mobile phone worked perfectly on Rogers Wireless, but cost per minute was a bit on the pricey side(but since I only made a total of about US$21 of calls over 2 days my office didn't mind). Kind of hoping that Virgin Mobile US and Canada develop a cross border roaming agreement (they hint on the Canadian website they are working on this) or Telus adds phone call capability to Boost Mobile roamers.

In general, I'm happy with United Mobile/Riiing. Worked fine in Toronto and will save me quite a bit of money on calls when I go to Jamaica and St. Kitts.


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
Satphone: InMarSat
Broadband US Wireless Data: AT&T, Sprint (AT&T postpaid or Karma Mobility prepaid)
Broadband International Data: SkyRoam
VOIP: Skype, TextNow
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 05-01-2006, 00:00

Fido refills can be made on the website. Also automatic refills are possible. Cards also. Min is $10 for 30 days of validity. Not great.

Rogers also offers online top up among others. Again it seems that $10 will buy you 30 days. Here

http://www.shoprogers.com/store/wireless/s...XTU9JB04WGS1F0A

it says $100 buys you 1 year. Not clear if that is in connection with the phone purchase or if the offer is like T-Mobile. $100 is $8.25 per month to keep alive.

Guess you'd have to guage your investment and usage versus Hop costs or whatever method you choose. There is the up-front investment and the need to FEED the beast to keep it alive.

Another method is to use a good calling card from the hotel room or wherever you are to dial out. Onesuite has local numbers in major Canadian and US cities. Also Enjoyprepaid. Or there is always the ATT or MCI route.

Stan



Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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