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Every traveler experienced this problem. If you want to stay connected abroad with your family, friends or colleges you have 2 options. Either you will use expensive roaming services of your home country provider or you can buy a local SIM card for your phone. Not many people know, that there is also a third option – buy an International SIM Card. In this article you will find out the pros and cons, how the International SIM Card works and we will list top 5 companies providing International SIM Card service.
International SIM Card vs. Local SIM Card
There is no doubt that the local SIM card is always cheaper. But there are two drawbacks and for some travelers could be important. First, if you plan to buy local SIM card after you arrived to your destination, you can’t give your number to your family, friends and colleges before you go. Second is the language barrier. Lets say, you are traveling to French. You will buy a French SIM card. You should remember, all voice instructions will be in French and it could be confusing.
On the other side, you will appreciate the advantage of the International SIM Card when you plan to visit more countries at once. Unless you are a passionate SIM card collector, by using the International SIM Card you will stay connected all the time if you travel from one country to another. For example if you are going for a European trip. There is one thing in common for both options. Whether you will use the International SIM Card or the local one, you will need an unlocked cell phone. (To unlock your mobile phone go to unlocking codes for phones)
How Does It Works
The International SIM Card works in the same way as the normal SIM card with one small difference when you make a call. The most of the providers are using so-called call-back technology. It means, if you want to make a call, you dial the number you want (you have to use the full international format starting with 00 and country code even if you call the number in the same country). However, instead of getting directly through to the person you are calling, you will get a short message on your screen, depending on your phone, like “wait for call” or similar. After 10-30 second you will receive a call which you answer in normal way and you will be connected with the number you are calling.
Where to buy International SIM Card
There are many companies offering this kind of service. The rates depend on which country are you calling from and to. For example if you calling from Indonesia to Singapore you will pay $ 0.55,- for outgoing call, the incoming calls are free and send a SMS will cost you $0.59,-. But to make call from USA to Germany will cost you $ 0.35,-, receive a call is for free and SMS for $ 0.59,- The prices are also different from company to company, so to decide which SIM card is the best for you depends on countries you are traveling to. Now here is the list of top 5 providers offering an International SIM card.
If you are a frequent traveler, you can consider to use the International SIM Card. The main advantages are that you will know your number before you go and you can give it to your family, friend or colleges, all the voice instructions will be in English and if you travel to more countries at once, you don’t need to buy new SIM card in each country. The disadvantage is that the calling rates are higher compare with the local SIM card.