How Global are Micro-SIM phone cards??


Oct 5th, 2012, 08:45 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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How Global are Micro-SIM phone cards??

Hello Fellow Travelers, I am finally going to replace my old stone-age cellphone and I'm looking for an unlocked GSM phone-- that will allow me to become a "local" in many parts of the world just by installing a local SIM card. Note that many US phones use CDMA, not GSM, and are made incompatible for use in other countries by non-removable software installed by US carriers (hence the term "locked").

OK I'm tempted by phones like the Samsung Galaxy S III but I see it uses a micro-SIM card, not the (still-customary??) larger, older-style SIM card.

So now I'm worried that micro-SIM cards are maybe not yet so common out there in other countries, although that will change in the years to come. So my quest to find a sort of "universal" phone would be frustrated because I may not be able to buy a local micro-SIM card for the new phone say in Morocco or Mexico?

Yes you can cut down a large older SIM card to micro-size but you also risk destroying it!

Business travelers out there-- any experience or tips, especially for the non-European world? The only Fodor's post so far is about central Africa.

Thanks and best wishes for stress-free travels.
TravlrAntqLand is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2012, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 22,546
Well, you can always buy a Passport SIM from Telestial or Ekit.

I just bought an unlocked LG P999 through Amazon, and a Passport SIM, for my upcoming South American trip. (Previously I used an unlocked quad-band Motorola bought directly from Motorola, but it's a dumb phone.) The SIM comes with a US number, for use in the US, and a UK number for everywhere else.

My phone takes a mini-SIM, but Telestial also sells micro-SIMs.
thursdaysd is offline  
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Oct 5th, 2012, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I recently returned from Romania and I took my unlocked iPhone 4G. I had to go to a "real" Orange store to get the micro sim . . . and then they just used a regular one and cut it down.

You probably would have good luck buying a micro (or one they cut down) as long as you go to a real store and not a kiosk. They will make sure it works.

Good luck,
Sandy (in Denton)
sandy_b is offline  
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Oct 16th, 2012, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Apr 2012
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I got a microSIM from GO-SIM, which worked fine. I was just checking their site to see what the rates were like these days (pretty good) and saw that they're also selling a World Phone which works everywhere (even Japan and Korea). So if you're looking for a "universal phone", it seems these guys actually have one - though this one takes regular sized SIMs.
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