There are international SIM cards together with so-called mobile hotspots (also called MiFis) on the market offering "worldwide" data roaming or at least in major regions. Their offers are collected here in this seperate "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 travelers and people travelling through multiple countries. For Europe alone, check the European Union section too.
For a better readability this article has been split into two separate parts now. The first part is dedicated to stand-alone data SIM cards. In this article below combined offers with WiFi hotspot rentals or purchase together with a SIM card or a virtual SIM with data are listed.
PART 2: Worldwide data SIM cards with Wi-Fi hotspots Edit
The combo approach of a mobile hotspot together with a data SIM has the main advantage, that it offers a coherent solution. You don't need to care about frequencies, compartibility, and how to connect your device. You simply link all your devices by Wi-Fi to your hotspot. This is much easier if you travel in a group, stay together and want to have a common solution. There are hardware offers for purchase as well as rental. If you decide to buy or rent your Mifi, you will certainly have higher start-up costs for the device, but maximum compartibility and service and mostly lower data prices. But you must be aware that there is no voice calling (except of VoIP) and SMS service possible through these data-only plans.
GlocalMe is a Chinese enterprise based in Hong Kong by Shenzhen uCloudlink Network Limited, a fully owned subordinate of Hong Kong uCloudlink Technology Network Ltd. It has been around from 2014 and is the first to offer a 4G/LTE roaming solution with a Wi-Fi hotspot for purchase only.
Coverage is in around 108 countries so far and some of them already in 4G/LTE. It comprises North America, Latin America, Europe, major parts of Asia and Oceania and some African countries (see this map).
WiFi Hotspot Edit
Their WiFi hotspot called G2 has 2 SIM card slots. As it uses a "cloud SIM" for their own service, you can add 2 micro SIMs additionally. The battery has 6,000 mAH and works for 15 hours. It's pretty big and heavy as it measures 117 x 63.8 x 20.9 mm and weights 353 g. You can add up to 5 devices at the same time. It works on 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE up to 150 Mbps speed on 3G: WCDMA Band, 4G: 1/2/5/8 LTE-FDD Band 1/3/5/7/8/17/20, 4G: LTE-TDD Band 39/40/41and 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz making it one of the most universal hotspots on the market so far.
There is still the old G1 hotspot around, that is no longer marketed and on 2G and 3G only, max. HDSPA speed. It still works on their packages, can be fine, if you only need 3G speeds and is now (re)sold cheaper.
The G2 can be found at major dealers, but is mostly marketed through Amazon.com for US$149, Amazon.de for €169.99 or Amazon.co.jp for ￥18,990. It generally gets pretty good reviews on the Amazon feedback sites.
After purchase you need to connect to GlocalMe Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi Hotspot:GlocalMe_XXXXX, Password:XXXXX. Then create your GlocalMe Account through their app available for iOS and Android, then login to your account on the G2 device and top-up online your account by PayPal, VISA, MasterCard, Alipay and others.
Data rates Edit
The pay-as-you-go rate in all of their 100+ countries is a low € 0.05 per MB. For better prices you can add one of their many regional data packages:
- valid for 30 days:
- in China and Hong Kong: 2 GB - € 13.90
- in China, Hang Kong and Taiwan: 1 GB - € 7
- in China, Japan and South Korea: 1 GB - € 7
- in Brazil: 1 GB - € 13
- in Thailand: 1 GB - € 5
- in the US: 1 GB - € 14
- in Australia and New Zealand: 1 GB - € 15
- in the EU/EEA, Switzerland, Turkey and Russia: 1 GB - € 15
- valid for 1 year:
- worldwide: 1 GB - € 29.90
- in China, Hong Kong: 3 GB - € 27
- in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan : 3 GB - € 39.90
- in Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam: 1 GB - € 12
- in Japan, South Korea: 1 GB - € 15
- in the UAE: 1 GB - € 21
Furthermore they offer a yearly pack with 2 GB per month valid in 58 countries (China, Australia, EU, Russia, Turkey, US, Canada, etc.) for one year at € 335.
More info Edit
- Website: http://www.glocalme.com
Skyroam is a San Francisco based company founded in 2008. In 2015 it received funding from Lenovo and many other sources for their new vSIM (virtual SIM) technology. You need to purchase or rent their WiFi hotspot together with data passes.
Skyroam roams in more than 100 countries. This includes all of Europe, North America, major countries in South America, few countries in Africa and major countries in Asia and the Middle East plus Australia (see list).
WiFi Hotspot Edit
The MiFi is called Skyroam 3GMate+ and a custom-made Chinese hotspot, It's smaller and lighter as previous model G2 at 4.2 by 2.3 by 0.8 inches (10.7 x 5.8 x 2 cm) and 4.9 ounces (68 g). It's made of plastic, with a black front and bright orange back. Pop-off the back and you'll find a 2,900 mAh battery. It supports GSM/HSPA on the 850/900/1700/1800/1900/2100 MHz bands. Skyroam says it's HSPA+ with max. 42 Mbps, but no 4G/LTE roaming.
There's no SIM card here: Using an embedded SIM with a global roaming partner, the hotspot checks its GPS, phones home for a few bytes, and then gets assigned a virtual SIM card with a real account linked to it. You can connect up to 5 devices at the same time to the device and it works for 8 hours or 123 hours on standby.
For hire you can get the device order on a dfferent website stating start and end date. You can choose to have your hotspot shipped to your home before you leave, or have it shipped directly to your destination. Shipping fees can be anything from free to $50. Delivery takes 1-3 working day and orders should be placed 10 days ahead. You’ll receive your Hotspot with a prepaid, trackable return label and envelope so you can easily drop it in the mail once you’re back home.
Alternatively, if you are traveling through the UK, you can instead choose to pick up your order at kiosks in London Heathrow Airport (all terminals except T1) or Paddington Railway Station.
Data passes Edit
Skyroam only sells day passes valid for 24 hours valid in all of the mentioned countries. When you have purchased their device, you only need to register once, get a 24-hour daypass, connect, and start surfing. More day passes can be bought through your account using internatl. credit cards or PayPal:
- 1 x 24-hrs day pass: US$ 10
- 5 x 24-hrs day passes: US$ 40
Note, that there is a FUP policy in place hidden in their FAQ: If there is "high usage" (= more than 500 MB within 24 hours), the connection will be throttled to a undefined 2G speed for the rest of the day. Data will reset for the new day pass.
The price for rentals is essentially the same with US$ 9.95 per day, but you need to take these days consecutively and have to add extra cost for delivery and return.
More info Edit
FLINK based in Vienna, Austria rents mobile WiFi hotspots of Skyroam. They use the same 3G MATE+ device (see above).
You can book a hotspot online and have it delivered to your hotel or any private address at home or in your destination country. The hotspot even works when your travel across multiple countries during one day. At the end of your rental period, you need to return the device in the prepaid envelope included in your order. The hotspot can be rented from 1 to 31 days.
Rental price per day (excl. delivery costs) is € 9.90. Delivery by FedEx or postal service is from € 5.70 to € 35.70 depending on country, return is € 6.50 to € 32 or you can choose to mail it by yourself. In case of loss or damage € 130 will be charged to your payment system.
They enforce the same "high use" policy like Skyroam of throttling to 2G speed if you use more than 500 MB per day. However speed will be reset to normal at the beginning of the next day.
- website can be set to English: www.getflink.com
Droam EditDroam is a Dutch company which offers a Mifi device for rent or purchase with global data roaming in 170 countries.
Their MiFi is a pocketsize wireless router that acts as mobile hotspot. Connected to an internet provider, it can provide access to the internet in 3G and 4G/LTE for 5 devices at the same time by WIFI.
Their rental rates have a flat price € 25 per rental and different data bundles per rental day:
- 500 MB per day in the EU, EEA and Switzerland: € 5
- 2 GB per day in the EU, EEA and Switzerland: € 9.50
- 300 MB per day in 100 countries (map): € 9.50
- 500 MB per day in 100 countries (map): €11.50
After having reached your data volume, speed will be throttled for the rest of the day and reset on the next day.
Purchase rates Edit
Instead of renting, you can buy the Droam Wifi Hotspot for € 89.95 including 1 GB data valid for the EU. They have these data packages to add-on valid only for the EU, EEA and Switzerland and for 1 year each:
- 500 MB: € 15
- 1 GB: € 25
- 2 GB: € 57
- 5 GB: € 90
- 10 GB: € 170
Shippings free in the Netherlands when sent using regular mail. FedEx "priority" shipping is available to and from many countries, including the Netherlands. FedEx Prices range between € 14 and 60 one-way.
150 € security deposit for Mifi device, returned within 5 days after the end of rental period. Additional delay in return costs 5 € per day. You can add an insurance for 5.50 € to avoid being charged.
Goodspeed is a brand created by the Finnish Uros Ltd. They follow a different approach in selling WiFi routers for roaming data. They teamed up with Chinese manufacturer ZTE to develop the MF900.
WiFi hotspot Edit
Their new WiFi hotspot is called MF900 and has been released in 2015. It can take up to 10 SIM cards and gives up to 14 WiFi or USB connections simultaneously. It covers all 2G, 3G and most 4G/LTE frequencies used worldwide and battery lasts for 12 hours. It's sold exclusively through Goodspeed online and its sales channels for € 239.
Data rates Edit
Data is given out on day passes for each respective country seperately. Three tariff lines are offered:
- Lite: no base rate, € 16.50 per day gives 1 GB in most EU countries and 500 MB in other countries
- Pro: € 9.90 per month base rate plus € 5.90 or € 9.90 per day for 500 MB or 1 GB depending on country
- Business: € 14.95 per month base rate for larger quantities from 5 devices, rates the same as Pro.
On the device, you can use your own SIM card(s) too. This is limited to one home SIM on the Lite line and unlimited on Pro and Business lines.
About 77 countries around the world are supported. But you still need to have (or buy) a seperate SIM card (or day pass) for every country.
More info Edit
Cellhire was formed in 1987 and has become a specialist global service provider. It claims to be the world market leader in short term communications rental, with a fleet of up to 55,000 handsets and connections on hire worldwide at any one time. Their headquarters are in York, UK, with additional offices in London, France, Germany, Japan, China and throughout the US. They have service agreements with more than 100 network partners in over 40 countries.
This makes their offer quite hard to display as it changes from country to country, though all regional sites offer worldwide shipping for a surcharge. That's why you should check their different sites for their offer:
- Cellhire US: data SIM card in 3 categories (EU, international, international plus) with fixed MB allocations for purchase. Optional 3G MiFi router for purchase. Also sold through Amazon.com and other dealers.
- Cellhire UK: internatl. 3G data SIM and some regional SIM cards for rental, optional 3G Mifi for rental, hidden FUP and deposit applies.
- Cellhire DE: internatl. 4G data SIM and some regional SIM cards for rental, optional 4G Mifi for rental, hidden FUP and deposit applies.
- Cellhire FR: monthly internatl. 3G data SIM for rental with 5 GB, optional 3G Mifi for rental, deposit applies.