I have yet to meet someone who does not carry a cell phone with them – I am sure they exist, but it seems to be that cell phones are now like your wallet or purse. They are everywhere! If you were like me as a student, my mobile phone never left my side to check messages, make calls and keep in touch with everyone – it was an essential part of my life. However, one of the greatest drawbacks was that whenever I went abroad was my phone would ooze money – it could still make calls and send messages, and even access the internet, but doing so would only give me a heart attack when I received my bill at the end of the month.
Back then, phones were locked and sim cards were not readily available. So we would resort to using phone cards, internet calling services like skype or just the plain old landline phone. However as technology advances at lightning fast pace, most mobile phones are now available unlocked (or they can be unlocked very easily) and sim cards are now readily available. It makes it so much easier to swap out the little sim card in your phone, and immediately you can make low cost calls and text message, some even allow you to have internet access and include low rates to call internationally.
For frequent travelers or students, it now allows you to be mobile without the high cost! But how is this done and what does it all involve?
What exactly is a sim card?
Most mobile phones work on the GSM protocol, and that is used in most countries around the world to transmit mobile phone signals. GSM phones are identified by a SIM card or subscriber identity module. This little card, with a microchip on it allows the phone to work on the network to make and receive calls. Sim cards are removable, which means when you travel you can remove the sim card from your phone and replace it with a local sim card from the country you are visiting.
What are the benefits of getting an international sim card?
Rather than roaming under your contract from your home country, getting an international sim card will help you not only save money but also make your life much easier. Benefits include:
- Accesible coverage, no need to find a wifi hotspot like when using Skype
- No more roaming charges
- Local number in country for people to call you on
- Low cost local calls
- Cheap international calls (on most sim cards)
Now, on any extended travel period it should be the communication of choice as sim cards now only cost $30 for a card, and most of the time that includes some calling credit. For more information on international communication options please check out our international sim card page which has further information and advice.
Also – let us know what you use when you travel abroad? Do you use international sim cards or other calling solutions?