International Roaming Edit
International roaming is when you are using your SIM card from your home country abroad. It has proven to be usually VERY expensive, especially for data. Many cases have been reported where users come home facing a bill that equates to a month's salary or more. The solution is to use a local prepaid SIM card instead. That’s the raison d'être of this wiki.
Can I buy a local prepaid SIM card in every country? Edit
As an international tourist or visitor, you are free to buy a local prepaid SIM card all over the world with only a very few exceptions. These few countries are mentioned in the blacklist (to be compiled) where for legal or technical reasons you will not be able to do it. In our greylist some critical countries are mentioned where for some reason, it’s allowed to do but you should think twice before buying a local SIM. In some countries, you have to show a travel document (national identity card or passport and in some cases a valid visa) in order to buy or register a SIM card. In all other countries, which are mentioned below, you are free to go:
Which requirements must my device(s) meet? Edit
Your device needs to meet only three basic requirements to operate in a different country:
- it needs to be a GSM device
- it needs to be an unlocked device
- it needs to work on the frequencies offered in your destination country
For more info click on the pic.
Data on SIM cards Edit
When you have purchased a SIM card, topped it up with value, you may or may not have data right away. If you have, you will be on the standard or default data rate of the operator. This can also be quite expensive. In many cases, data is charged at a prohibitively high rate unless you purchase a data bundle. Click on the pic to learn more about the default data rates and how to buy data packages.
How to find a good data rate? Edit
First, you should check your home mobile provider, if you are offered international roaming at your destination and at what price. This is for orientation, how much you'll end up paying when you use international roaming. Then, you can look around further in your country, if your provider or others offer you a discounted rate for your destination.
International SIM cards as shown in the all countries section can be an option if you want to travel to a lot of countries in a short time. But you won’t save much using them. Here the general recommendation to cut your roaming data cost is to buy a local SIM card in every country you visit especially if you want stay for a while or use a lot of data. This may sound a bit of a hassle but is straightforward in many cases and not so hard to do if you are aware of a few catches. In many countries, it is possible to keep a SIM card active through a periodic balance deduction (e.g. a roaming SMS every 6 months) so that you can keep the SIM card and its balance for future trips to the same country. If you expect to return to a particular country in future, a SIM card's expiry policy can be more important than its usage charges. Pick your destination country in the list above and compare it with the international roaming rates you are offered.
In this glossary frequently used terms in the national chapters which need more explanation are featured in detail. This is made for users who are not so familiar with the subjects to get a basic knowledge. Just click on one of these pictures to learn more (to be added soon)
Here a Q&A troubleshooting will soon appear giving answers of the most common questions and issues when starting up.
Contributing to the wikiEdit
How to contribute. A couple of simple guidelines to edit the wiki and which products are not included.