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Old Oct 29, 11, 2:33 pm   #181
 
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prepaid data in Belgium

Quote:
Originally Posted by raph View Post
Germany:
Aldi Talk / Medion Mobile

Medion Mobile is a MNVO using the E-Plus Network

Available in any Aldi Supermarket.

Price: 13 including 10 Airtime.

...

1,99 / 24 Hours Unlimted (GPRS speed after 1GB of Traffic)
14,99 / 1 Month Unlimited (GPRS Speed after 5GB of Traffic)
It's interesting how different the Aldi Talk deal is in Belgium. Here is the Belgian cost:

*Aldi Talk / Medion Mobile*

Sim chip costs 10, and comes with 10 credit. AFAIK, the chip and the topups can only be bought in an Aldi store.

The data package is the only way to get a reasonable price on data:

4 for 1 month (400MB limit)

To activate the data package, SMS the case insensitive text "bundle buy data400" to the number 1966. A confirmation SMS should be almost immediate. 4 will be deducted from the account balance.

To check the data balance and expiration, SMS the text "bundle usageall" to 1966. To check the remaining money credit, SMS the text "bal" to 1966.

The following providers are also in Belgium, but perhaps less attractive to short-term travelers:

*Mobile Vikings*

A data-only sim is 15 (12 goes toward first top up).

12 for 1 month (2 GB limit)

Sims must be ordered online and they arrive in the mail. This is perhaps ideal for those who want to hit the ground with something working -- but obviously not useful if you enter Belgium on-the-fly without planning.

Besides the main MV website, there are also some settings here.

*base*

A sim costs 10 or 15 from a base shop. The different packages are mentioned here, but the only data plan worth considering is this one:

10 for 30 days (500MB cap)

Settings:

here,
and here
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Old Nov 14, 11, 4:05 pm   #182
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joelfreak View Post
For Japan, I found that buying a 3 Hong Kong sim (ask them which one will roam to Japan) will allow you to get unlimited data in a bunch of 3 countries, including Japan. This was an EXCELLENT solution, and worked perfectly, as there are no domestic unlimited data options in JP that I could find.
Can you provide any more information Joel? Going to HK, Bangkok and Singapore in a month with my unlocked iPhone. All that matters to me is data, I probably won't make a single phone call. In Spain I made it by with only 100MB per day but that was a bit tough to do. I'll only be in each city for about 4 days. Thanks for any help!
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Old Nov 14, 11, 6:54 pm   #183
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronjpu View Post
Can you provide any more information Joel? Going to HK, Bangkok and Singapore in a month with my unlocked iPhone. All that matters to me is data, I probably won't make a single phone call. In Spain I made it by with only 100MB per day but that was a bit tough to do. I'll only be in each city for about 4 days. Thanks for any help!
Suggest you get the 3HK data roaming prepaid card and then when you are in Bangkok and Singapore you can use data roaming. Its about HK$168 a day.

Its quite hard to get sim cards in Singapore, they need passport and have to take down your details. For Bangkok its a bit easier but I had trouble trying to activate the sim card.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 3:28 pm   #184
 
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Can someone that doesn't own/work for an international SIM marketer comment on if there is any reasonable cost regional SIM (I've given up on finding a good global one). You would think with EU countries being so physically close, using a single standard, part of a common market and having significant middle class cross-border travel, there would be something.
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Old Nov 19, 11, 3:33 pm   #185
 
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I continue to use the searoam sims when in europe, (they roam worldwide actually) so same number everywhere, most of europe is the same pricing. Bout .25$ local, .06$ to receive and .40 to call the states.

MUCH cheaper to get a SIM in every country, but you won't find a roaming SIM that is much cheaper and country to country COUNTRY SPECIFIC sim roaming is still a bit more expensive.
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Old Nov 20, 11, 7:49 am   #186
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbh1 View Post
Can someone that doesn't own/work for an international SIM marketer comment on if there is any reasonable cost regional SIM (I've given up on finding a good global one). You would think with EU countries being so physically close, using a single standard, part of a common market and having significant middle class cross-border travel, there would be something.
Not in the slightest. In Europe there are no cross border agreements. Even when the same carrier covers two countries, they still charge you for roaming when you cross the boarder. Ortel in the Netherlands might as well be an entirely different company as Ortel in Germany or Czech.

All you have is EU law that caps roaming fees -- which are still through the roof.

And the US is no better. T-Mobile in the UK might as well be an entirely different company as T-Mobile in the US.

That said, Europeans are still much better off than Americans. The under-regulated US market is riddled with scams and lock-ins that trick consumers into giving up flexibility while still paying higher prices. At least in Europe you can get prepaid data for a month for under ~€10 in many countries. The best no-bs-and-no-strings-attached deal in the US is $30/month.
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Old Nov 20, 11, 8:27 am   #187
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbh1 View Post
Can someone that doesn't own/work for an international SIM marketer comment on if there is any reasonable cost regional SIM (I've given up on finding a good global one). You would think with EU countries being so physically close, using a single standard, part of a common market and having significant middle class cross-border travel, there would be something.
I have used several different global sims that have failed me time and time again. I travel to Europe once a month. I use a UK vodaphone sim when I travel. I also get a local sim card for the country I am in. For local clients to talk to me. I use skype to call home. I have Kall8 to receive calls from my clients that is forwarded to my phone. I do travel with two phones that is the biggest problem that I have.

I hope this helps.
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Old Dec 3, 11, 4:18 am   #188
 
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Digital Nomad Travel Pack?

Hey guys,

I wanted to tell you about an idea I have for a startup, which is something I call a Digital Nomad Travel Pack.

Basically the idea is to sell a pack around a particular city that would include:

-a local SIM (one provider chosen based in best prepaid mobile Internet deal)
- a curated list of the best five free WiFi hotspots in that city (cafe, bar, coworking space, hackerspace, library, etc)
- a physical map showing those hotspots
- when applicable, a day pass/4 pack of transit tickets for that city

The idea is that you could order it in advance, have it delivered to you, and hit the ground running with that product in hand, so you can get your work done wherever you are. (Alternatively you could buy from an airport kiosk, but that may come later.)

This would cost, say a 20-30% markup from the total cost of each item. The customer would be paying for not only the SIM, but saving time by learning where work-friendly free WiFi would be located.

I would price it at something that I myself would actually pay for, like 20-30 max.

Would this be a product anyone of you would be interested in?

I figured given that you're all travel gurus that I would bounce this idea off of you first.

Twitter: @digitalnomadpk / Or email cfarivar at cfarivar dot org
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Old Dec 4, 11, 1:16 am   #189
 
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Hi,

mrsimcard.com already offers a similar service and ships sim cards internationally which I think it great. I like to think that I already have a local sim card that I can start using right after landing (and don't need to lose half a day going to a local carrier store to purchase a local sim card).
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Old Dec 4, 11, 3:04 am   #190
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
-a local SIM (one provider chosen based in best prepaid mobile Internet deal)
The best prepaid day-to-day deal is not generally the same as the best whole month deal. And with the whole month plans, some have lower caps than others. So you would need to have a package optimized for a month, and one optimized for a few days.

Ideally you would include both sim chips (short term and long term), and the customer would decide on the fly to top-up the one that makes sense, so you don't have to sell two different kits for the same area. But then the complication is that most sims in Europe must be bought preloaded with credit. Perhaps you could offer a rebate to customers who return the sim when they're done, and treat it like fuel in a rental car. Charge for the starting amount, and give credit for the unspent amount. An option like this would possibly attract travelers who already know what the best deal is, but don't want to be forced into a use-it-or-lose-it game. Reusing sims would enable you to focus on just month to month deals - or even 1-2 year contracts.

This could make T-Mobile more viable in the US. At the moment there is no way to get a zero balance T-Mobile sim, and if someone wants a T-Mobile sim that can be used again a year later, they must spend $100 and get the gold status, and hope they return before 365 days. Infrequent European travelers to the US are essentially stuck with AT&T, because only AT&T will distribute zero balance sims so customers can do a topup just before arrival (which starts a 30-90 day clock).

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
- a curated list of the best five free WiFi hotspots in that city (cafe, bar, coworking space, hackerspace, library, etc)
- a physical map showing those hotspots
A digital version rolled into an Android app with offline data would be nice. The physical map would still be useful to those with dumb phones. I'm not sure why you would limit it to 5. Five is perhaps a good goal, but no reason to stop there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
- when applicable, a day pass/4 pack of transit tickets for that city
Careful with that. If you bundle unneeded things, customers feel like they're giving up flexability. E.g. if you include a day pass on the transit, and the customer buys a "museum pass" in that city which also includes free transit for the day, there's waste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
The idea is that you could order it in advance, have it delivered to you, and hit the ground running with that product in hand, so you can get your work done wherever you are. (Alternatively you could buy from an airport kiosk, but that may come later.)
It's a great idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
This would cost, say a 20-30% markup from the total cost of each item. The customer would be paying for not only the SIM, but saving time by learning where work-friendly free WiFi would be located.
If you can pull off what I suggested, and recycle sims on contracts, it's not just convenience for the customer but savings as well. You could do a 20-30% markup, and the customer could still be paying less than whatever prepaid use-it-or-lose-it deal they would otherwise be forced into.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfarivar View Post
Would this be a product anyone of you would be interested in?
I would be quite interested in seeing what you come up with in the U.S., where prepaid data is extortionately astronomical.
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Old Dec 4, 11, 1:18 pm   #191
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I bought a Vodaphone SIM in cape town South Africa for 1 Rand and added 29 Rand worth of air time, as I didn't need to make calls. of that, I converted 9 Rand to data up to 10 MB. I am getting speeds of 1286 Kbps.

The pricing and ease of getting one was radically different from what I had been able to find here.

All I needed was a letter from my hotel and my passport.
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Old Dec 5, 11, 3:37 am   #192
 
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Has anyone used or been using WorldSim services before? I'm more interested in reducing my costs, unfortunately not everywhere i go can get my Skype to work...
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Old Dec 6, 11, 12:15 pm   #193
 
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Telstra (Australia) & using your U.S. number without incurring roaming fees

I have a Sprint iPhone 4S, lucky to be one of the early ones that is not locked. (I hear Sprint will unlock it now for customers in good standing, but your mileage may vary.)

I wanted to have good data coverage on my trip and be reachable at my normal US phone number without paying exorbitant roaming fees.

The place I was staying at has the best coverage on Telstra. I ordered a $2 prepaid SIM from Telstra which unfortunately can only be shipped to an Australian address. I had family receive it and mail it over to me.

I activated it in the US (which was somewhat cumbersome; I had to call Telstra's 13 xx number as 12 xx numbers don't work from overseas). They did require a passport number to open the account. I asked the agent to subscribe me to the $50 for 30 days plan that gives you 2GB of 3G data plus lots of texts and talk minutes.

The number I called had absolutely no ability to add credit, however. I had to add credit by dialling #100# and following the prompts to add credit. My first credit card (Chase MileagePlus Explorer Visa Signature) did not work and ended up on a Telstra anti-fraud blacklist; the next credit card I tried did work.

Made a test call and lo and behold it did work, albeit at exorbitant roaming rates that Telstra applies when inside the U.S.

Upon arrival in Australia, my phone worked as expected. Now the challenge was to forward my U.S. phone calls to it without spending a lot of money.

It turns out an outfit called Localphone (Google it) offers a local U.S. number which will forward to a foreign number. I created an account with them (which took a day or so to finish) and the cost was 11 cents per minute to forward the calls to an Aussie mobile #. Localphone also has an iPhone app which would place calls to U.S. numbers for free, which was much appreciated. All I had to pay was the cost of using up my Telstra minutes of which I have many.

Finally, since I use Sprint with Google Voice, I simply added this as a forwarding phone. If you aren't on Sprint, other carriers have the ability to forward for what is usually 20 cents a minute or less. Placing calls/sending/receiving texts with Google Voice worked normally (however text forwarding to international numbers isn't possible so I had to use the GV iPhone app).
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Old Dec 6, 11, 12:24 pm   #194
 
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Nice update Joshua. I just want to mention that Sprint is the only major US carrier (not prepaid) I am aware of that charge to forward calls to a US number. All the others take it out of your minutes. Also, none of the US carriers allow international call forwarding.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
I have a Sprint iPhone 4S, lucky to be one of the early ones that is not locked. (I hear Sprint will unlock it now for customers in good standing, but your mileage may vary.)

I wanted to have good data coverage on my trip and be reachable at my normal US phone number without paying exorbitant roaming fees.

The place I was staying at has the best coverage on Telstra. I ordered a $2 prepaid SIM from Telstra which unfortunately can only be shipped to an Australian address. I had family receive it and mail it over to me.

I activated it in the US (which was somewhat cumbersome; I had to call Telstra's 13 xx number as 12 xx numbers don't work from overseas). They did require a passport number to open the account. I asked the agent to subscribe me to the $50 for 30 days plan that gives you 2GB of 3G data plus lots of texts and talk minutes.

The number I called had absolutely no ability to add credit, however. I had to add credit by dialling #100# and following the prompts to add credit. My first credit card (Chase MileagePlus Explorer Visa Signature) did not work and ended up on a Telstra anti-fraud blacklist; the next credit card I tried did work.

Made a test call and lo and behold it did work, albeit at exorbitant roaming rates that Telstra applies when inside the U.S.

Upon arrival in Australia, my phone worked as expected. Now the challenge was to forward my U.S. phone calls to it without spending a lot of money.

It turns out an outfit called Localphone (Google it) offers a local U.S. number which will forward to a foreign number. I created an account with them (which took a day or so to finish) and the cost was 11 cents per minute to forward the calls to an Aussie mobile #. Localphone also has an iPhone app which would place calls to U.S. numbers for free, which was much appreciated. All I had to pay was the cost of using up my Telstra minutes of which I have many.

Finally, since I use Sprint with Google Voice, I simply added this as a forwarding phone. If you aren't on Sprint, other carriers have the ability to forward for what is usually 20 cents a minute or less. Placing calls/sending/receiving texts with Google Voice worked normally (however text forwarding to international numbers isn't possible so I had to use the GV iPhone app).
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Old Dec 8, 11, 4:45 am   #195
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrcamp View Post
Nice update Joshua. I just want to mention that Sprint is the only major US carrier (not prepaid) I am aware of that charge to forward calls to a US number. All the others take it out of your minutes. Also, none of the US carriers allow international call forwarding.
Just FYI. Sprint offers free conditional call forwarding.
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