Global SIM for Egypt

Old Jul 6th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Global SIM for Egypt

I apologize ahead of time for asking a question about as bad as "What should I wear in Paris?" but my head is spinning in reading all the various SIM sites.

My daughter will do a study abroad in Egypt and will also be traveling to other countries while there. We are already set up with a Skype, but now we are now considering that a mobile phone with a global SIM might be a good idea.

What in your experience was a good deal for incoming calls from the US with decent outgoing call rates?
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Old Jul 6th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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I can't speak specifically for the actual cost of a mobile phone in Egypt, but I can't imagine a situation where this would be advantageous for you from a money standpoint.

With a global cell phone, you pay a significant per-minute charge, and it would be a fraction of the cost for her to buy a mobile phone in Egypt to make local calls there (which she should do) and then use either long-distance calling-cards to call back home or Skype. This is a no-brainer from a monetary point of view. You can still call her on her cell phone for whatever the going rate is for calling Egypt, but you'd probably only do that in an urgent situation. Otherwise, you'd use Skype.

I'd also encourage you all to learn how to text-message. You can do that much more cheaply if you want to communicate a short message ("Call me at 10pm" or "We'll call u at 10pm").

Look into buying an international calling plan for Egypt from your long-distance or cell phone company here. Many plans will give you discounted rates to a particular country for a monthly fee, and if you are going to be calling her a lot, that would be to your advantage.

But a global cell phone is certainly not the way to go. That's better for a short trip, where you absolutely must be reachable during the entire period of time you're away. For an extended trip, you'd pay easily triple or more what you'd pay by using other means.
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Old Jul 6th, 2007, 08:01 AM
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>buy a mobile phone in Egypt
Cell phones are VERY expensive higly taxed items in Egypt. Take a few older ones with you and sell them to the locals for good money. (Don't let them catch you doing it ;-) ). You could use "Vodafones passport service", with most european Vodafone cards or a few global cards. www.globalsim.de has free incoming in Egypt and comes with a UK mobile phone number. I'd go for that! Outgoing to the US is 0.39€ per minute. There also are cheaper "callback" alternatives available.
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Old Jul 6th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Doug, somehow I think we've lost something in translation. I appreciate your willingness to help but can't say I appreciate the lecture.

I am not looking at global phones. We already own four GSM phones. We are talking global SIM cards for ONE of the phones we currently own since the kid in question will be who-the-heck-knows-in-what-country at any point in time. The pertinent phrase in my question is "travelling to other countries while there." Thus my emphasis on my looking at "various SIM sites" and why I'm NOT looking at Egypt SIMS. I would like to be able to find my daughter in Moracco, Turkey, Dubai...and I would like her to be able to contact us on the fly, too.

I can assure you that we do know how to text and that we know what an international calling card is.

Logos: That's precisely what I'm going for. Want no fee incoming and dirt cheap US outgoing. Thanks!
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Old Jul 6th, 2007, 07:31 PM
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Actually, I'll stand by my original advice. So-called "global" SIM cards are rarely a good deal for the long term. I still doubt that it will cost much more for her to buy a single phone with a single SIM and use it for all her calls. Communicating on the fly is an expensive proposition and is better done by your daughter buying local calling cards. If she travels extensively, then she might save a little money by using an unlocked GSM quad-band phone abroad and buying a local SIM in each country to which she travels (which would give her a local number). But if she's just going to be there for a few days or even just a week, then she's better off buying a single phone in Egypt (or somewhere in Europe) with a pay-as-you-go calling plan.

But I don't really consider 60 cents per minute "dirt cheap". So I'm not sure the phone that logos999 is suggesting is such a good deal. The free incoming calls are nice, though.

There's actually a new phone coming out from TMobile that might be a very good deal for you. It will roam globally, but you can use it for FREE at any free Wi-Fi hot spot anywhere in the world. This service costs (for now) just $10 a month above and beyond a regular TMobile calling plan. That might be something worth looking into. This phone was recently discussed in an article in Thursday's NY Times. Here's a link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/05/te...gy&oref=slogin
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 02:22 AM
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Given the price for phone calls abroad in Egypt, 0.60ct really is dirt cheap. It's very different frome Europe where phones and minutes just cost a little. If you use a callback service like www.callbackworld.com, you're down to 40ct to the US per minute.
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Old Jul 7th, 2007, 02:39 AM
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By the way, the card I like to use in Egypt is www.09.is. Problem is that is has an icelandic cell phone number. Incoming is free (in Egypt and in Mexico). Callback to this card with www.enlinea.com costs 10ct/US per minute. You can actually reach the US and many other countries for as litle as 10ct from Egypt. The drawback: Audio quality is very low, only one person can speak at a time, just like a good old walkie-talkie.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 07:37 AM
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Josephina ... I should have said this earlier, but you should post this question on the Middle East & Africa board. There are a lot of Egypt experts who can give you more pointed advice. It just dawned on me that this questions is posted in Europe, where most of the Egypt experts don't check.
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Old Jul 9th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Good point, Doug, and I'm glad you made it. Did it on purpose: Best phone experts on are European board, probably because it's so very active.
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