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Free international SIM cards -- is this a good deal?

Free international SIM cards -- is this a good deal?

Mar 15th, 2005, 04:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Free international SIM cards -- is this a good deal?

I found a website that is offering free international SIM cards --www.mobalworldsim.com -- is this a good deal?

I was planning to buy SIM cards in each country I visit, but this is going to add up to over $200 before I even make any calls.

Any advice welcome
The_Lulworth_Cove is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 05:10 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Yes the sim card is free; however..

1. They are using O2 service in the UK. In the UK you will get free incoming calls but pay more than $1/minute for outgoing...

2. Throughout the rest of the continent, you will pay over $1/minute both to make and receive calls.

Those prices are no better than t mobile US international roaming rates which you may already have.

Again, depending on your use of the phone there's not one answer that fits all. If you are one of those who only use the phone in emergencies and don't make or receive a lot of calls, it's a good deal. The phones are very reasonably priced and apparently are unlocked so if you are looking for a decent dual band phone, their Nokia for $49 is a good deal even if you throw the sim card away.

OTOH if you are going to be in a country for say 5 days or more and expect to receive calls and make calls, you might be better off with a prepaid sim in that country or if you are a t mobile US customer use t mobile international roaming.

If you are going to be in several countries, look into www.riiing.com (or if you speak Italian www.riiing.ch)...you can buy the cheap phone from mobal and the sim card from riiing and have the best of all worlds or if you are going to say the UK, you can buy a Virgin mobile sim card for almost free today and use it in the mobal phone and have the cheap outgoing.

It has to be researched. If you have more info on your exact plans, perhaps I could give you my opinion as to just what you ought to consider (note consider) doing....
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi xyz,

>..look into www.riing.com ...<

I did.

Am I correct that I am buying a SIM chip that I then insert in my phone from Mobal, after having it unlocked by www.mobileliberation.com?

That I then pay 0.39E/min for outgoing w/in Zone 1, which includes the US or is the US 0.99 for incoming and 1.29 for outgoing?

Does the prepaid SIM card expire?
ira is offline  
Mar 15th, 2005, 05:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
The US is not within zone 1 for riiing...all of Western and Central Europe is. Your mobal phone is probably unlocked which means you can insert the riiing sim card into it....as riiing allows roaming in the US you will immediately see if the phone is unlocked as it should register probably on T mobile which is its basic roaming partner in the US.

In Europe, outgoing calls to the US or to the rest of Western Europe are €0,39/minute but there's a €0,25 set up fee which means a very short call costs €0,64 not all that much cheaper than using T mobile US roaming but €0,39 minute charge for each minute thereafter (around 51 cents US) sure beats T mobile roaming.

The nice thing about riiing is that it's absolutely free throughout Western and Central Europe to receive calls basically the whole continent west of the former Soviet Union. And since it's free to receive calls, that makes using a callback service very attractive. Look at www.callbackworld.com for an excellent callback service. Also since riiing is based in Liechtenstein and since, at least till now, surcharges on calls to Liechtenstein mobiles are very low (AT&T for example charges a 22 cent/minute US surcharge for calls to just about all Western European mobiles but only 1 cent (that's right one cent)/minute surcharge for calls to Liechtenstein mobiles...and call back world which charges about 30 cents/minute to call back English and French and Dutch mobiles, charges 14 cents/minute for a call back to riiing.

Of course these cheap rates are getting some of the established operators such as Vodafone quite angry as they reap in millions on their obscenely high international roaming rates....but if riiing sucedes are survives, look for international roaming rates to come down drastically.

As I said, however, riiing is certainly not cheap to make and receive calls while in the United States.
xyz123 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2005, 02:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 3
Thanks for the great info xyz123, you really seem to know your stuff.

I have checked out the riiing website and it seems like a good deal, but when I really compare it with Mobal it has some flaws -- 1) as I understand it, riiing works like a call back service, and I have heard that they can be unreliable and drop calls. 2) Riiing only works in 100 countries and Mobal works in 160. 3) I do not have to rechare the Mobal SIM like I would the Riiing SIM, so I know I will not run out of credit in an emergency. 4)The riiing card expires after about 10 months and Mobal's never expires.

I think for what I plan to do (future trips in the years to come) Mobal is going to work out best for me. Despite the higher calls, having just one phone number for all my future trips that I know I can be contacted on is worth alot.
The_Lulworth_Cove is offline  
Jan 8th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 252
Evidently xyz123 is the resident expert on phones. I have a specific question for you or whoever knows. I know there are dozens of posts about this but I just don't get it.
What is the best deal
for a student who has a phone that works in Europe & who will be in
France for 5 months, taking weekend side trips all over. She will probably want to make calls in France to her friends, receive calls from the US & have the phone as security & for WHEN she gets lost in Praque or where ever she goes. Would she use the same phone to call the US or is there a better way to call home - phone card or the callback system? I don't quite get the callback system. Do I have to buy the card online at home or do I wait until I get to France to buy it. You mentioned ebay - is that where I buy the riiing card, if that is the best deal? HELP!
Mimmel is offline  

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