There are international SIM cards on the market offering worldwide data roaming or at least in major regions. Their offers are collected here in this all countries section. Their data rates are often more expensive than on the national level. So always compare with local SIM cards and roaming offers in your country. Although you won't save much using these cards, they may be a good option for frequent travellers and people travelling through multiple countries. Many of these products are still overpriced, but rates are slowly coming down. Currently, the cheapest products come from Russia.
For travel combo packages with a Wi-Fi hotspot rental or purchase combined with a worldwide data plan check this other article here.
PART 1: Worldwide Data SIM Cards Edit
The data SIM-only approach has the main advantage, that you can use your own gear. You don't need to buy or rent and learn how to handle another device. But you need to be sure, that your device works on the frequencies employed in this country. So check compatibility of your mobile with the bands offered in your destination before you start your journey. Compared to offers that include a WiFi router they are harder to share between devices and are priced higher for data than WiFi combo plans, for which you'll have to pay extra for the hardware.
TravelSimEditTravelSim is one of the oldest and most established companies to have launched an international prepaid card, using an Estonian (+372) number. It has voice and text service in about 196 countries and proved to be quite reliable.
The only problem has been its very high cost for data. If you travel a lot and always go to different countries it can be much more comfortable to use only one prepaid number which can be used (almost) worldwide. But this has an extra price.
In 2016 they lowered some data prices and scrapped their data card. They now offer only one product for voice, text and data with lower rates, but a higher start-up price.
Start-up price and availabilityEdit
The TravelSim card is only available online on their website with worldwide free shipping in these starters:
- TravelSIM card with 1 GB pack in zone 1: 29 €
- TravelSIM card with 5 GB pack for Russia, China and Northern Countries: 36 €
- TravelSIM card with 1 GB pack in zones 1 and 2: 60 €
- TravelSIM card with 50 € credit: 75 €
So the starter is 11 € with a package included or 25 € with credit. It can be reloaded by international credit cards on your TravelSim online account and stays valid for 2 years after the last top-up. A SIM card replacement costs 10 €.
Unlike voice and text, data is available in about 100 countries on 2G and 3G only. The rates range from crazy 0.19 € to 10 € per MB depending on the country. The price model is split into 2 schemes: a pay-as-you-go rate and package rates.
It's the default rate when no package is activated. Rates are charged in 1 KB or 10 KB increments and the most important countries are 0.19 EUR per MB: in the most countries of Europe, North America, China, Egypt, Korea, Russia, Thailand, Turkey. But some single countries or operators can be up to 10 € per MB. For details see new price guide (click on data rates)
Furthermore, they offer these new data roaming packs according to three zones:
|Zone 1||Zone 2||Zone 3||
|10 MB||24 hours||1 €||1 €||1.50 €||13||21||29|
|50 MB||24 hours||2.50 €||3.50 €||6 €||14||22||30|
|150 MB||7 days||5.50 €||9 €||15 €||15||23||31|
|250 MB||14 days||8 €||15 €||24 €||16||24||32|
|500 MB||30 days||12 €||25 €||45 €||17||25||33|
|1 GB||30 days||18 €||49 €||89 €||18||26||34|
|2 GB||30 days||36 €||89 €||169 €||19||27||35|
|10 MB AUTO||24 hours||1 €||1 €||1.50 €||20||28||36|
To activate a package type *146*941*<activation code>#. To deactivate *146*940*<activation code># and *146*942*<activation code># to check the status of service.
- Zone 1: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UK, Uruguay, USA
- Zone 2: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Georgia, Guadeloupe, Indonesia, Ireland, Korea (South), Montenegro, Panama, Peru, Philippines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkey
- Zone 3: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Grenada, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Macau, Macedonia, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Nigeria, Qatar, Serbia, Sri Lanka, St.Kitts, St.Lucia, St.Vincent / Grenada, Suriname, Taiwan, Turk & Caicos Isl., Ukraine, UAE
Zone 3 package includes zones 1 and 2, zone 2 package includes zone 1. They offer these special packages for certain countries:
- for China, Israel, Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, Sweden they offer another package with 5 GB for 30 days at 26 €, activation: *146*941*12#
- for Turkey: 500 MB for 7 days at 19 €, activation: *146*941*49#
- for the EU: 5 GB for 30 days at 39 €, activation: *146*941*56
Only one package can be activated at once. A data package is activated as soon as the order through USSD-command is made (even in the country not listed above). The package cost is taken immediately. The package is completed either when the ordered amount of data is used, or when duration time is reached. It's possible to order a new data package, when the data amount has been finished, despite the duration time of this package. If the amount of data hasn’t been used, the client can't order a new package. To order a new package the current one has to be deactivated with USSD-command. In case of deactivation, unused amount of data will expire and money will not be refunded. Daily AUTO package is activated only when data session is initiated in one of the countries from the list. The package cost is taken from user’s balance immediately, when Daily AUTO package is activated. If customer uses data in one of the countries next day, the Daily AUTO package will resume its service automatically and the package cost is taken immediately from user's balance.
The rates are above the prices of average national data SIM cards. It depends on how much you are willing to pay extra for an international solution. Always compare the TravelSIM rates with the roaming rates of other mobile providers.
As calling an Estonian mobile number can be expensive TravelSIM made a deal with the VoIP providers Skype and Viber that can be activated by *146*711# for free. When the feature is activated, Skype and Viber users can call the TravelSIM number for free using special dialing format +372800XXXXXXXX, where XXXXXXXX is a TravelSIM number without the prefix 372. The call is free for the Skype and Viber user, but the TravelSIM user still has to pay for an incoming call.
- APN: send.ee
- Username: number of your Travelsim: 3725......
- Website: www.travelsim.com
TravelSIM is copied into many different clones like OneSimCard, XXSim, airBaltic mobile or LemonSIM. These products may offer the same or a very similar portfolio. Some have severe restrictions like XXSim or more options like airBaltic mobile mentioned below.
On the other side of the Atlantic OneSimCard by Belmont Telecom Inc. offers a very similar product. Its "data & roam" SIM works in 160+ countries, is also based on an Estonian number (+372) which is added by a US or Canadian number and has essentially the same rates like TravelSIM.
The main difference is the underlying currency of US$ instead of Euro. The SIM costs $29.95 with free shipping in the US and the tariff table is identical to TravelSIM: The PAYG rate of 0.19€ is $0.25, 0.39€ is $0.50 going up to 20€ or $25. They also sell totally the same data packages for the equivalent rates in US$. Although data of some countries are not counted twice in the packages like with TravelSIM, they simply cut in half the allowances of the (2x) countries, which is the same in the end. For more info see TravelSIM above or check their website. If you live in America, it might be the closer choice for you to get the same SIM plan.
- APN: apn (no joke, but only for the OneSimCard data & roam)
- Website: http://www.onesimcard.com
XXSim EditLike TravelSim XXSim is a reliable international SIM card based on an Estonian (+372) number which has been around for years. In fact, both products use the same platform. Voice is available in about 190 countries and data in a few less. While TravelSim has issued a data card, XXSim has not (yet). XXSim offers the exact same data prices given above at the pay-as-you-go-rate, but they don't offer any packages though.
That's why XXSim can't be recommended. First you pay the premium of an international SIM card, but you don't get the discounts of TravelSim. Charging 0.19 EUR per MB within the EU, you are almost at the price cap for any SIM card sold in the EU with roaming data. So for many users the roaming option of your home carrier is the more convenient choice at the same price, while TravelSim is the cheaper alternative if you want to buy an international card.
- APN: send.ee
- Website: http://xxsim.com/
airBalticcard mobile Edit
The airBalticcard Mobile International SIM card of the Baltic airline is another product with an Estonian number (+372). It's based on the same Estonian SIM platform as Travel SIM, XXSim or OneSimCard giving roaming data in 196 countries. They have been around since 2006 and calls are made through call-back procedure.
Their SIM card is sold in all airBaltic flights and online with worldwide free delivery in all three sizes:
- for € 10 without balance
- for € 35 with € 30 credit
- for € 50 with the same credit
Similar to TravelSIM the airBalticcard and its credit don't expire as long as it's being used. If the SIM-card is not used for 2 years or the balance not refilled, the prepaid card will be deactivated.
Top-ups can be made online by credit card or by refill cards sold in airBaltic flights and ticket offices. Check balance by *146*099#.
Data rates Edit
They advertise with very low rates between 1c and 4.63c per MB. But these are not their standard rate per MB, but a mathematical breakdown of their package rates by MB. Their default rate is the same as TravelSIM, OneSIM or XXSim (see above). In about 150 countries worldwide the same packages as TravelSIM (see list at TravelSIM above) are offered and further special packages for the Nordic States or Turkey are offered similar to TravelSIM.
Check this list for details about their offers and how to activate and deactivate the packages.
More info Edit
- APN: send.ee
- Website: http://airbalticcard.com/
Piranha MobileEditPiranha is an international SIM card coming with an US (+1) and an UK (+44) mobile number. It offers prices slightly below TravelSIM based on a pay as you go rate, but higher as no packages are offered.
Start-up price and availabilityEdit
All SIM cards are FREE with just a £2.50 delivery charge to anywhere in the world. Top ups can be made online with credit card or PayPal.
Generally, they offer good rates on voice, text and data, but the rates are as complicated as the technical settings. Most calls are made through the callback procedure. In tests, the card proved to be very reliable:
For data, they offer roaming in about 140 countries. It is billed in 50 KB increments. Rates differ even in the same country, depending on which local roaming network you are on. Some price examples:
- 0.02 € - 0.08 €/MB: all available EU/EEA networks
- 0.03 €/MB: USA (T-Mobile)
- 0.09 €/MB: USA (AT&T), Turkey (Avea, Vodafone)
- 0.11 €/MB: Australia (Optus, Telstra), Canada (Rogers), China (Unicom), Israel (Orange), Russia (Megafon, Beeline), Thailand (dtac, True), Singapore (Starhub), S.Korea (olleh), South Africa (Vodacom), Switzerland (Salt., Swisscom)
- 0.11 €/MB: Brazil (vivo), Mexico (Movistar), UAE (du, Etisalat), India (Aircel)
- 0.23 €/MB: Indonesia (Indosat), Japan (NTT docomo)
- 0.34 €/MB: Egypt (Etisalat)
- 1.73 €/MB: Cuba (Cubacel)
Because of different rates for different providers in the same country, be sure to pick the cheapest first and disable automatic network selection, so your device can't switch the roaming networks. Furthermore, Piranha mobile allows you to make calls through VoIP if you install their VoIP app or have a VoIP-router and Wifi connection. No data packages are offered.
Using openroamer.com APN, there are other offers on the market. They all employ the same technicalities as Piranha Mobile and have only slightly modified rates:
- AeroSip Global SIM: http://www.aerosip.com
Due to increased costs, effective March 2017 the Mobi Passport SIM Service is discontinued. Existing accounts with an active SIM card have been migrated to Piranha Mobile.
More info Edit
KnowRoaming is a Canadian start-up with a new approach: They provide a "SIM sticker" that has to be applied to your home SIM. Thus, all calls, texts and data outside of your home market are diverted through the KnowRoaming SIM addon.
Their sticker intercepts electrical signals before they go to the regular SIM. If you're in your "home" country it passes everything through. Otherwise it "takes over" and functions as a second SIM. They claim that this sticker will fit over regular, micro and nano SIMs.
As this sticker proved to be too complicated for some, from 2017 they now offer regular triple-size SIM cards too with an UK and US number.
Start-up price and availability Edit
The SIM sticker is only available online with worldwide free shipping. It costs $29.99 with $10 credit and comes with an applicator for micro-, mini- or nano-SIM. They also sell a regular SIM card at $9.99 without credit. The SIM card comes with a free US number, some other countries can be added for pay. The SIM card or sticker can only be managed and reloaded by their app available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
The SIM card does not expire. Only prepaid credit expires after the 15 month of inactivity. Data is available in more than 150 countries and from summer 2017 in 60 countries in 4G/LTE too (see 4G list). The data rates range between $0.15 and $1 per MB depending on the country. Like TravelSIM, the price model is split into two tariff lines: a pay-as-you-go rate and a package rate.
Pay-as-you-go Rate Edit
It's the default rate and the only rate for some countries. Here are some examples:
- $0.10 per MB: USA
- $0.15 per MB: all countries of the EU/EEA, Australia, Canada, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Turkey
- $0.20 per MB: Argentina, Hong Kong, India, Israel
- $0.25 per MB: Brazil, Mexico, UAE
- $0.30 per MB: China, Russia, Thailand
- $0.35 per MB: Japan
see full prices here. Data seems to be proxied through French servers.
Data Packages Edit
Furthermore, they offer the following data pack to be activated by app:
- "Unlimited" data for $7.99 per day. This pack is only valid in about half of their offered countries (for list of countries scroll here).
In their T&Cs they state a FUP, that they can throttle speed to 258 kbps after having reached only 250 MB per day.
Free WhatsApp Edit
In 2016 they've added free WhatsApp use to their products. You're not required to buy credit to be able to use this feature. It works in all countries and includes not only sending messages but voice or video calls and send images at no charge as well. The daily limit is set to 100 MB. It might be the better alternative to ChatSIM (see below) for using only WhatsApp on roaming. Please note as the Google Push Messaging is blocked, you will not get notification on incoming messages. You need to periodically check the app to see if there are incoming messages.
More info Edit
The sticker technique has been copied by mobile value-added service provider Taisys Technologies and European carrier JOIN Experience who issued a pan-European plan for 39 countries. They call their sticker SIM "Slimduet Card" and combine it with an own app to purchase bundles and manage your plan. More info about their product: https://www.slimduet.net/en
Keepgo is an Israeli-based start-up founded in 2009 with offices around the world. For travelers, it's offering a SIM card preloaded with a data bundle for roaming at selected destinations in 4G/LTE too at very high rates.
Countries and rates Edit
They offer a unified rate in a total of 70+ countries.
- AMERICA:, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatamala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA.
- EUROPE: all over the EU/EEA, Switzerland und Turkey.
- OTHER: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Israel, South Africa, Egypt.
List of countries and the local roaming networks. In about 50% of the countries 4G/LTE roaming is available.
SIM card is data-only, no voice or texts, but VoIP is possible. Their "Lifetime Data SIM Card" is available for US$ 49 containing 1 GB roaming data. They also sell a mobile WiFi Hotspot router (mifi) including the SIM from above for US$ 99. Package allowance is valid for 1 year. (e.g. if you buy 1 GB package, you can spend it whole year) and data traffic are charged in 1 KB increments. The SIM card is supposed to last a "lifetime".
Availability and refills Edit
You have to order it online on their website in mini, micro or nano size. Shipping is free to 38 countries and payment by credit card. There you can refill the SIM card too. These refills are available:
- 500 MB for $19 (= 3.8c per MB)
- 1 GB for $35 (= 3.5c per MB)
- 3 GB for $85 (= 2.8c per MB)
- 5 GB for $119 (= 2.4c per MB)
- 10 GB for $219 (= 2.2c per MB)
Each refill extends the data validity for 1 year including the unused data on the card at the moment of the refill.
More info Edit
- APN: internet.keepgo.com
- Website: http://www.keepgo.com/
This SIM card is offered by the Transatel group based in Paris. Their data SIM card can be used in every data device. Recently, they've made a deal with Microsoft to market their product with Windows10. Their SIM covers more than 100 countries so far in 2017.
You can either choose a SIM card preloaded with initial data credit called "International Data SIM card", which can be used in any of the covered countries, or the international "WiFi hotspot". The international data card comes in different start-up packages to be delivered worldwide (express delivery is extra):
- for € 25: with € 25 of credit valid for 3 months (incl. free SIM card)
- for € 50: with € 50 of credit (+ € 5 free bonus) valid for 6 months (incl. free SIM card)
- for € 100: with € 100 of credit (+ € 15 free bonus) valid for 1 year (incl. free SIM card)
- they also sell a 3G MiFi/WiFi hotspot (Huawei E5330) for € 74 including € 25 credit for 3 month, or for € 98 with € 55 credit valid for 6 months, or for € 145 including € 115 credit for 1 year.
- they also sell a 4G MiFi/WiFi hotspot (Huawei E5577 Cs) for € 129 including € 25 credit for 3 month, or for € 153 with € 55 credit valid for 6 months, or for € 200 including € 115 credit for 1 year.
- all the regional packages (see below) can be combined with the starters too
You can top-up online on your personal account using credit cards or PayPal. You can either top-up value that is valid for all countries and can be transformed into packages or a specific pack. Three sizes are offered:
- 25 € valid for 3 months
- 50 € (+ 5 € free bonus) valid for 6 months
- 100 € (+ 15 € free bonus) valid for 12 months
The data SIM will be automatically be deactivated 18 months after your last use.
PAYG data rates Edit
In 2017 they offer more than 100 countries mostly in Europe (map of countries and list of operators), some in America, Asia and Africa on a reduced per-MB rate now:
- 0.025 € per MB: most of EU/EEA (excl. Germany), Russia, Taiwan, Belarus, Israel, New Zealand, Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, USA, Canada
- 0.04 € per MB: Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland and all Digicel networks in the Caribbean
- 0.06 € per MB: Germany, Cambodia, Ivory Coast, Ukraine, China
- 0.09 € per MB: Hong Kong, Thailand, Brazil, Macao, Vietnam, Egypt, Mexico
Data is on 3G and on 4G/LTE in about 50 countries - for networks see http://www.transatel-datasim.com/data-coverage/.
Regional data bundles Edit
For continents, regions or countries they offer these regional bundles valid in all included regions for 30 days:
- Europe: € 25 - 2 GB in most of the EU (excl. Germany), but Russia, Ukraine and Turkey too
- country packs for France, Italy, Spain, Israel and UK: € 15 - 1 GB
- Asia: € 39 - 1 GB in most Asian countries incl. India and China
- America: € 39 - 500 MB in US, Canada and Mexico, but few Latin American countries
- Oceania: € 19 - 1 GB only in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands
- Africa: € 39 - 1 GB in only in 6 African countries so far
- Carribbean: € 29 - 1 GB in all Digicel networks all over the Caribbean
In 2017 all Digicel networks in the Caribbean area were added. This is by far the best roaming deal around for this very high priced area, if you plan to visit different islands that are covered by Digicel.
More info Edit
- APN: mobiledata
- Website: www.transatel-datasim.com
GigSky and Apple SIM Edit
GigSky is an US-American company based in California, which runs a world data SIM with data-only services in about 180 countries so far, but no voice or text available. Data is mostly on 4G/LTE too, which is a plus compared to other SIM cards.
The SIM card is sold for US$ 9.99 or £ 9.99 in mini, micro and nano size and it won't expire. Top-ups are made by credit card through your personal account.
They have lowered prices in 2017 and introduced 5 regional plans, You don't need to purchase an extra bundle for every country visited anymore.
Data Rates Edit
Their 5 regional bundles are for North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Middle East/Africa. As they don't cover all countries in the region, check their list before:
|Data||Validity||North America||Asia||Latin America||Middle East|
|100 MB||1 day||n./a.||US$ 10||US$ 10||US$ 10|
|300 MB||1 day||US$ 10||n./a.||n./a.||US$ 20|
|500 MB||15 days||US$ 15||US$ 25||US$ 20||US$ 35|
|1 GB||15 days||US$ 20||US$ 40||US$ 30||US$ 50|
|2 GB||15 days||US$ 30||n./a.||n./a.||n./a.|
It's recommended to check their pricelist here.
Apple SIM Edit
Apple has teamed up with GigSky for iPads. They sell an Apple SIM configured in WiFi and cellular models in the US and UK and is available for individual purchase at iStore locations in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and US.
It has the same coverage and same regional packages at slightly different rates and validities instead that you can check here in detail.
More info Edit
- APN: gigsky
- Website: http://www.gigsky.com
- users have reported that hotspot use (= tethering) is blocked through Apple devices
Tellink is a Belgium-based independent telecom provider offering roaming SIM cards for long now. They are based on the network of Orange Belgium (previously Mobistar) and it uses Orange's reliable roaming in 200 countries and more than 600 networks. Only very few countries are not covered. Calls are made through call-back, but you receive a Belgium number.
Their "Easy SIM Card" can be ordered online for €25 to be delivered worldwide in 1-10 business days. It comes in all 3 formats with €15 airtime. Credit and SIM will never ever expire. Top-ups for €10, €25, €50 or €100 can be made on their website with international Master- or VISA-card.
Data rates Edit
These rates per MB are offered (selection):
- € 0.04 per MB: in all EU/EEA countries
- € 0.29 per MB: China, Singapore, S. Korea, Switzerland, Turkey, USA
- € 0.59 per MB: Australia, Serbia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Ukraine
- € 0.79 per MB: Canada
- € 0.89 per MB: Brazil, India, UAE
- € 1.09 per MB: Russia, South Africa
- € 1.39 per MB: Mexico
Take care that in some exotic countries like Vietnam up to €14.99 per MB is charged.
EU data packages Edit
For the EU/EEA countries they offer these data packages valid for 30 days:
- 500 MB: € 8 - activation: EU500
- 1 GB: € 15 - activation: EU1024
- 2 GB: € 29 - activation: EU2048
- 3 GB: € 42 - activation: EU3072
- 4 GB: € 55 - activation: EU4096
- 5 GB: € 68 - activation: EU5120
For activation text code to 1960. Rates generally resemble TravelSIM, but are based on a different roaming platform which is considered to be very reliable too.
More info Edit
- APN: mobinternet.be
- Website: http://www.tellinkroaming.com
MTX Connect Edit
MTX Connect is based in Luxembourg and offers a data-only SIM card. Calls are possible through VoIP, but no SMS. It has coverage in nearly all of Europe, most of the former Soviet Union, much of Asia, a handful of other countries, the United States (on AT&T) and Canada see list. A few countries are covered in 4G/LTE which is still rare on international SIM cards, but not specified. Several of this wiki's greylisted countries are covered like China, India, Japan and Turkey.
Their SIM card is sold online only. It's sold for €5 with free worldwide delivery and containing €7 balance. For EU countries add equivalent taxes. Activation needs to be done online by giving your personal information. Top-ups can be done online by credit card and SIM management through your online account. Paragraph 2 of the terms and conditions states that "All credit expires after 18 months inactivity (measured from the date of last use)", contradicting the FAQ, which states "MTX Connect SIM card balance will expire 365 days from the last successful top-up or the date of last service activation, whichever is later".
Data rates Edit
MTX Connect has a European and an "Everywhere" rate. Prices are quoted without taxes. If the customer selects an EU country of residence in the "Edit personal data" section, then VAT will be added at the rate of the selected country, even if the service is used outside the EU VAT area.
- PAYG rate for every country: € 0.029 per MB
- Optimal daily: 250 MB in the EU, 100 MB everywhere for 24 hours: € 3.49 - overuse throttled to 64 kbps
- Unlimited daily: "unlimited" for 24 hours: € 9.99 - with an unclear FUP
- 1.6 GB in the EU, 1 GB everywhere for 15 days: € 19.99
- 3.5 GB in the EU, 2 GB everywhere for 30 days: € 39.99
Free chat Edit
Their SIM card includes free chat by Telegram, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber and Line apps. It's automatically activated for 30 days with SIM card activation and extended for 90 days with every balance top-up. It doesn't require tariff plan activation and works with zero balance, but includes text messaging and emojis only, no other chat like video, audio or pics.
More info Edit
- APN: internet
- Website in English: http://www.mtxc.eu
AlwaysOnline Wireless (AOW) Edit
AOW is a prepaid, data-only wireless service operated by Vancouver-based Otono Networks. The AOW network is on 4G/LTE-only in over 90 countries worldwide.
Access to the internet is offered through the AOW Global Data SIM or for iPads with their Apple SIM. Data SIM cards in standard, micro, and nano format, are available online on the AOW website for US$ 14.95, with free international shipping or at select retail locations worldwide.
AOW is also available on iPad with Apple SIM compatible with all cellular models of iPad, either with an embedded or removable Apple SIM. Apple SIMs are available for purchase at most Apple Store locations. Apple SIM plans are purchased directly on your iPad through the settings app. Once a plan is purchased on an iPad, it begins automatically. Rates may vary between Data SIM and Apple SIM.
All top ups are self-serve, and credit card is the only payment option. For their Data SIM, top-ups are done online through your AOW account. Here, you can purchase and schedule your data plans according to your travel schedule.
Data SIM will expire after 12 months of inactivity. To keep a Data SIM active, you just need to have a plan scheduled.
AOW offers plans by the hour, by the day, and by MB. Pricing depends on the country where you plan to travel to, with lower rates valid in the US:
|Volume||Period||Price (US$)||per MB||
|Data in the US only:|
|20 MB||1 hour||0.99 - 1.99||5-10c||I||100 MB for 1 hour: $0.99|
|200 MB||1 day||9.99 - 19.99||5-10c||I||500 MB for 1 day: $2.99|
|500 MB||15 days||19.99 - 29.99||4-6c||I||1 GB for 15 days: $7.99|
|1 GB||15 days||29.99 - 59.99||3-6c||I||3 GB for 15 days: $22.99|
|3 GB||30 days||59.99 - 139.99||2-5c||I||5 GB for 15 days: $34.99|
All data is 4G/LTE-only and includes tethering to other devices. For a full list of plans and rates, click here. You must purchase a new plan for each country you visit; however, any data remaining on the initial plan will roll over onto the plan for the new country.
- To use AOW Data SIM on an iPhone, you need to install the AOW mobile app which will configure your data settings; for all other smartphones, APN is: isp.ao.com
- VoIP apps are supported for calling and messaging
- Website: alwaysonlinewireless.com
JT Global (ekit, GO-SIM, Telestial) Edit
Jersey-based JT Global is one of the longest-running supplier of international SIM cards. It uses various sale channels and brands for its pretty similar products called GO-SIM, Telestial and ekit all using a UK-based (+44) number. Speed is up to 3G.
JT Global brands Edit
GO-SIM, ekit and Telestial are privately owned sub-companies and all part of JT Group with offices in the UK, USA and Australia. They offer two very similar international SIM cards:
- international voice and data SIM including 190 countries and 150 cruise ships: €21 or $19 with $10 worth of credit preloaded
- international data-only SIM with data coverage in 100 countries (list) on 3G, but no voice or text: €31 or $29 with 200 MB and €95 or $89 with 1 GB.
GO-SIM/ekit charges at least $10 or €12 for shipping plus in some countries 8-20% VAT or sales tax. Note that the prices in US$ are generally lower than in EURO or GBP.
Recharges can be made online on your account or using their app by internatl. MasterCard, Visa or AmEx and for Telestial PayPal too. Prepaid credit expiry is 3 months after the last use or recharge on the voice & data SIM and 30 days on the data-only SIM. Tethering and hotspot use are allowed.
Data rates Edit
Their rates for data up tp 3G:
- Zone 1: $0.25/MB: EU, USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel
- GO-SIM and Telestial packages: 500 MB: $39, 1 GB: $69, 2 GB: $119
- Zone 2: $0.59/MB: Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, South America, Russia, Ukraine, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, East Asia, SE Asia and Fiji
- GO-SIM and Telestial packages (incl. Zone 1): 250 MB: $29, 500 GB: $49, 1 GB: $89
- Zone 3 (on voice & data SIM only): $0.89/MB: China, Taiwan, Egypt, Morocco, Senegal, Tanzania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Asia, West Asia and more
- rest of the world (on voice & data SIM only): up to $29.99 per MB in some countries like Cuba or on cruise ships (see rate finder).
Ekit sells different packages for Zones 1 and 2 that are more expensive, as they are based on the their pay-as-you-go rate plus 30-200% discount depending on top-up.
More info Edit
- APN: mobiledata
- Ekit website: http://www.ekit.com
- GO-SIM website: http://www.gosim.com/
- Telestial website: http://www.telestial.com
Naka Ltd. (Swiss Mobile, Lufthansa Mobile, etc.) Edit
Swiss Mobile Edit
Swiss-based MVNE Naka Ltd./AG introduced 2014 its international roaming SIM in cooperation with Swiss airlines. They have now lowered prices and offer quite good rates for data. But their SIM card is a mixed bag: you will get a "UK" number (+44) that proved to be registered in Jersey (+447937...) that can lead to substantial surcharges for the caller as it's outside of the EU. Roaming is in 180 countries, all are free now for incoming calls and all calling is now done as call-thru, not call-back anymore.
Reviews are mixed: While some users had no problems and enjoyed quite low rates, others reported issues with their lack of support and calling that is routed through call-back and call-through procedures that you may consider inconvenient. That's why it's only mentioned here for data and with a word of caution.
The starter can be bought on Swiss airlines flights in the on-board shop at CHF 29 or online on the Swiss website at CHF 40 plus delivery of CHF 1.50-3.00 to anywhere in the world. In both cases it contains a credit of CHF 20. For the first use, it needs to be activated on their website, where you can pick a "UK" number too.
Recharges can only be made on their website of min. CHF 20 by credit card or PayPal. There is no validity period of your top-up. If you don't use your plan for more than 9 months, an unspecified inactivity fee will be charged. When the balance is run to 0, the plan will stay on for another 365 days before it gets terminated.
Data rates Edit
Data prices on their pay-as-you-go rate are quite variable even in the same country. For their cheaper rates you need to enable these operators on their website and choose the cheapest one on your SIM menu at settings and countries sub-menu before roaming. Price quotes are:
- CHF 0.01-0.10/MB: Poland
- CHF 0.018-0.10/MB: UK
- CHF 0.025-0.10/MB: Germany
- CHF 0.10/MB: Australia, most EU countries, Hong Kong, Russia, Turkey, Canada, South Africa, Israel, Switzerland
- CHF 0.10-0.43/MB: USA
- CHF 0.24/MB in China, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, India, Indonesia
- for more countries check here
For certain regions they have released special data packages valid for 30 days:
- for the EU: 250 MB: CHF 5, 500 MB: CHF 7.50, 1 GB: CHF 13.50
- for the US: 200 MB: CHF 15, 500 MB: CHF 25, 1 GB: CHF 35
Be sure to pick the cheapest option for your destination first where they offer different options.
Lufthansa Mobile Edit
Similar to Swiss you get Lufthansa Mobile on Lufthansa flights from March 2017. They are sold at € 29 with € 10 credit. It has essentially the same rates as Swiss Mobile in € instead of CHF.
Other products Edit
Naka Ltd. offers more similar products. iVittamobile is geared to seamen. Unfortunately, their pricing is even more obscure and generally higher than Swiss mobile. ChilliSim is another roaming SIM card sold through a UK company aimed mainly for the US market. While it's starter price is lower at $30 with $20 credit, its rates are much higher for instance at $0.19/MB and for a 1 GB pack at $39 within the EU. So these are not mentioned further.
More info Edit
Many aspects of their SIM cards remain unclear like speed, tethering, network policy etc. There is no phone support and requests by email remained unanswered.
- APN: chili
- Website in English with discrepancies to other language versions
Drimsim (Дримсим) Edit
Drimsim is distributed from Moscow with coverage in 180 countries. It builds on the same platform as the Naka products (see above) that proved not so reliable. They started in 2016 and do all their operations through their app. Unfortunately, their support is in Russian mostly, only with some English. At least their app is translated, but not their website.
Recently, they lowered prices and offer the lowest per-MB rates in the international SIM card market now. Connections are only up to 3G, no 4G so far and it can be buggy at times.
The SIM in triple-size is for free without credit, but shipping is € 10. Top-ups can be made through their app by credit card without any minimal top-up. Inactivitly period is one year. Check balance by *130#.
SIM cards are sometimes shipped from Sibiria. So expect some delivery time to Europe, Asia or America.
Data rates Edit
Drimsim follows a solely per-MB rate without any packages offered. Their prices are quite low at € 0.01-20 per MB differing according to country:
- 1c per MB: all EU countries, Israel, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Australia
- 1.2c per MB: USA, Luxembourg
- 1.5c per MB: Switzerland
- 3c per MB: Brazil, China, Mexico
- 3.5c per MB : Canada
- 5c per MB: India
- € 2 per MB: Cuba
- € 40 per MB: Mongolia
- for more countries check their price list
Support is given through the app, preferably in Russian and if you're lucky in English too.
More info Edit
- APN: chili
- Website in Russian: https://drimsim.com
- to order fill out this Russian form in English letters: https://drimsim.com/checkout.html
MySims2Go is a UK-based start-up selling internatl. SIM cards since 2010. For voice it roams in "97% of the world's 222 countries" (which is astonishing as the UN only counts 193 member states). They started with a call-back scheme instead of IDD. This has been changed to direct call in 2013 employing a UK-based number (+44). In 2015 they added data services to their SIMs in about 100 countries which is very overpriced and way higher than other offers.
Their SIM is only sold online through their website:
- SIM card + 5 € credit: 29.95 €
- SIM card + 10 € credit: 34.95 €
- SIM card + 80 € credit: 99.95 €
Depending of destination 5-10 € for shipping needs to be added. Payment is by credit card, bank transfer or PayPal. For top-ups of 10, 20, 50, 100 or 200 € go to their website using same payment systems. SIM card expires after 12 months of non-use. Check balance by *187#.
Data rates Edit
They have a total of 11 zones for data and only offer one pay-as-you-go rate, no packages:
- €0.19/MB: USA, UK, Egypt
- €0.29/MB: China, Russia, Canada
- €0.39/MB: EU (ex. UK), Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Korea, Turkey, Ukraine
- €0.69/MB: Brazil, Gibraltar, Indonesia, Kuwait, Moldova, Sri Lanka
- €0.99/MB: India, Kenya
- €1.49-2.49/MB: Tunesia, Thailand, Dominican Rep.
- €3.99-9.99/MB: Bolivia, Morocco, Colombia, Switzerland, Panama, Singapore, Pakistan, South Africa, Tanzania, Bermuda, Nicaragua
More info Edit
- APN: mobiledata
- Website: http://www.mysims2go.com
The Russian TapMobile One company has become the first to implement Remote SIM Provisioning specification in 2016 and advertises its own carrier agnostic SIM. The main advantage of this so-called CwSim comparing to traditional SIM cards is being associated not only with one network operator, but receiving and using profiles of many different operators depending on the location in 180+ countries.
This technology allows to select a data plan of a local mobile operator in one click via the ComfortWay mobile app by downloading of mobile profiles "by air". When you arrive in a country it loads a default profile that it uses to provision not necessarily with a local profile. Usually it seems to be a profile from a roaming platform that has a cheap roaming agreement with one of the local providers. You can activate the default profile by entering the SIM menu and pressing connect. In 2017 finally global sales were launched and customer support service and the distribution of SIM cards are organized in their offices in Prague and Hong Kong.
Users can check balance and prices in the app. Users don't lose unused MB, if they leave a country and come back within the timelines of the bundle validity which allows to use a 500 MB package in 14 days and 1 GB pack in 30 days.
The CwSim card is officially available for purchase at the price of 990 RUB or €17. It's possible to buy it from the official site for €27-39 including delivery (which differs according to world region) and €5 credit pre-loaded. In Australia this product is dubbed Ezyroam with an own distribution. Better prices can be found in Europe on Amazon.de or Amazon.co.uk.
Data rates Edit
From 2017 they offer a per MB rate as well as data packages of up 100 MB, 200 MB, 500 MB and 1 GB. The EU countries and Asia-Pacific region is on average of €8.50 per GB pack. Here are some quotes of their prices based in €.
- EU countries: variable rates ranging 0.92 - 1.99c per MB and 1 GB at €7.40 - €14.80 according to country
- Hong Kong: per MB 0.93c - 1 GB: €7.70
- Australia: per MB 1.32c - 1 GB: €10.90
- USA: per MB 1.85c - 1 GB: €15.20
- China: per MB 2.86c - 1 GB: €23.40
- Brazil: per MB 4.1c - 1 GB: €34
- Canada: per MB 5.3c - 1 GB: €43.40
- India: per MB 7.37c - 1 GB: €60.40
- Cuba: per MB €2.31
Prices can be quite low, but differ heavily between countries. Check other tariffs here.
- APN varies according to profile
- Website: http://cwsim.com/en
ChatSIM, formerly known as WhatSIM, is the first international roaming SIM card aimed at social messenger users only. This Estonian-based SIM by the Italian MVNO Zeromobile roams in 400 networks of around 150 countries, partly in 4G/LTE too. It supports major messengers like Telegram, WhatsApp, BBM, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Line, QQi and Kakao, Kik and Hike.
The SIM card needs to be ordered online on their website. They charge 15 € for the SIM and 5 € for shipping. All three SIM sizes are available. When you get the SIM, it needs to be activated online. For a 15 € charge included in the starter price, you can chat for one month in all covered countries. The rate for one year is 30 €. But this refers only to text and emoticons, not to other types of messages like pictures or videos.
For multimedia contents like photos, video or audio, a price scheme based on credits and zones is in place. To send multimedia messenges or make VoIP calls, you need to have a base package and add an multimedia recharge at a very high price. The zoning starts at 50 credits (= 0.375 €) per MB in the EU which is even above the EU data cap and goes up to 750 credits (= 5.625 €) per MB in exotic countries. All multimedia content and surfing other than text messenging is charged accordingly. VoIP or other calls through the messengers are possible, but billed likewise. Voice calls and SMS are not supported.
Reloads are by credit card on their website. It will not expire, as long as you use it once within 12 months and top-up 30 € every year. You need to switch off data traffic on all mobile apps on your device as long as you don't add extra credit because your SIM will blocked, if anything else but text messenging is detected and you don't have credits.
Better think twice about this SIM, even if you are a chat fanatic. Know Roaming has free WhatsApp included and MTX SIM other messengers too at a lower price.
- APN (for messenging only): chat
- APN (for internet use): apn
- Username: your phone number: 372.........
- Website: http://www.chatsim.com
Discontinued offers Edit
Truphone is an UK provider offering a SIM card for calls, text and data abroad. We don't list them here anymore as they have changed their product line recently.
According to the new rules you must be a UK resident to buy one of their SIMs. If you are resident in anywhere else, you’re not eligible. You must also have a UK debit or credit card with a UK registered address as they'll send your SIM to this address.
Because of this rather restricted audience, Truephone is taken off the list. If you happen to be an UK citizen check their website: https://www.truphone.com
SimplyRoam (rigtesim, Fastroam) Edit
SimplyRoam was another international SIM card for data-only, no text nor voice. It is based on KPN's roaming platform and distributed through the UK-based company Rightsim. Data is on 2G/3G only, no 4G/LTE so far.
In 2017 this product seems to be discountinued as their only distributing channel Ritesim doesn't sell them anymore.