Great Cheap Local Sim Card Hunt

MSE_Martin
MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
Money Saving Expert
A few weeks ago I published the 'Cheapest International Roaming' article which explains how to make cheap calls from your mobile while abroad. One of the solutions is using a Sim bought in that country. To help I want to use this hunt to build a database of what to get where. If you've bought a Sim abroad, please let us know the details.


How to help: Please reply in the following format

Country Visited:
Make of Sim:

Cost of Sim:
Ease to obtain:
(if this is city specific let us know)

Cost of calls: as much details as you can)
Do you know of a weblink to the tariff
Anything else that may be helpful:
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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Comments

  • declanmcc
    declanmcc Posts: 412 Forumite
    Country Visited: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
    Make of Sim: O2 International Sim https://shop.o2.ie/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1188&cPath=39
    Cost of Sim: E9.99
    Ease to obtain: Online. Not sure if it is available in-store in Ireland.
    Cost of calls: 0.95c per minute to UK landlines and mobiles.
    Other countries listed at this link: http://web.o2.ie/personal/tariffs/speak_easy/international.jsp
    Do you know of a weblink to the tariff:http://web.o2.ie/personal/tariffs/speak_easy/international.jsp
    Anything else that may be helpful:
    The sim offers 10 euro worth of calls upfront plus 5 euro per month for 2 months if you register your sim card online. As obvious as it may sound - if you're visiting Northern Ireland your UK Sim card will work there - there is no need to change over. If your UK phone is unlocked it will accept any Irish network sim (O2, Vodafone, Meteor)
  • declanmcc
    declanmcc Posts: 412 Forumite
    Oops. Slight hitch. The sim will only be delivered to Republic of Ireland residents. I'm sure it'll be available in-store though
  • lswwong
    lswwong Posts: 407 Forumite
    Country Visited: HONG KONG
    Make of Sim: Smartone (now rebranded SmarTone Vodafone)

    Cost of Sim: HKD $180 and upwards (about £12)
    Ease to obtain:
    Very. Just drop into any SmarTone outlets. Lots of them around.

    Cost of calls: check out their website.
    Do you know of a weblink to the tariff: http://www.smartone-vodafone.com.hk/jsp/mobile/prices/store_valued_SIM/english/smartone_idd.jsp
    Anything else that may be helpful: Use Martin's callchecker for cheapest provider for calling a HK mobile number. Think it is still Telediscount 0844 861 85 85 @ 1p per minute.

    Taken from their website:

    It's so easy to plug into SmarTone-Vodafone's quality, value and convenience with a SmarTone-Vodafone Stored-value SIM card. No contract or monthly fee is required. You just pay as you talk or use our various services.

    Supported by SmarTone-Vodafone's superior Dual Band network, your SmarTone-Vodafone Stored-value SIM card provides you the best reception in town.

    A SIM card carries a stored value of $180. All airtime charges, service charges, administration fees will be deducted from your card's stored value.

    You can make local and IDD calls, plus enjoy international roaming services.

    Stored-value SIM card offers a full range of value-added services, including free missed call alerts and caller number display.

    Compatible with Tri-band, Dual Band, GSM or PCS phones.

    You can instantly check the remaining balance and expiry date of your card anytime. Click here for checking methods.

    Your card is valid for 180 days from the date of the first call you make. Each time you recharge your card, its validity will be reset for a further 180 days and you can retain the mobile telephone number assigned to that card.
  • Ian_W_7
    Ian_W_7 Posts: 31 Forumite
    https://www.0044.co.uk sell a lot of sims - seem to be a fair price.
  • andy88_2
    andy88_2 Posts: 3,676
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Forumite
    There are 6 networks in Hong Kong, 3, CSL, New World Mobility, Peoples Telephone, SmarTone, and Sunday. 3 has both 3g and GSM coverage; the rest are GSM only.

    SmarTone costs about 8p/min for local calls, compared to 2p or 3p for many of the others; with 3 you can call UK for 14p/min peak, 2p off-peak using their IDD 1968 service - see below. I'll look up more details and provide more links this evening

    http://dualband.three.com.hk/website/template?pageid=d25100&lang=eng

    actually, the easiest way to reach all of these networks info is via the PPGSM site mentioned below. I would choose 3, as there has often been a 2 for 1 SIM offer at $98 = £7, effectively halving call charges to start with - ie 1p/min local and off-peak to UK

    http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/hongkong.html
  • andy88_2
    andy88_2 Posts: 3,676
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Forumite
    Ian_W wrote:
    https://www.0044.co.uk sell a lot of sims - seem to be a fair price.
    it is always cheaper to buy the local SIM when you get there
  • andy88_2
    andy88_2 Posts: 3,676
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Forumite
    Detailed info on about 300 GSM networks and their payg SIMs, and links to the operator websites, can be found at this site, run by 2 Italian prepaid fans

    http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/operators.html

    GSM World is also very useful for network links and coverage maps.

    http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/index.shtml
  • Country Visited: REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
    Make of Sim: Meteor International Sim
    Cost of Sim: €39.99 online - €19.99 in stores
    Ease to obtain: Online. Available in quite a few shops SEE SHOPS.
    Cost of calls: 0.50c per minute to landlines and mobiles in UK, US, Canada, S. America, Australia, Pacific Rim, Europe. 0.15c per SMS to ANYWHERE!
    Do you know of a weblink to the tariff: VIEW TARRIFF
    Anything else that may be helpful:
    The sim offers €10 worth of calls upfront, another €10 / month when you register the card online, plus FREE incoming calls. As obvious as it may sound - if you're visiting Northern Ireland your UK Sim card will work there - there is no need to change over (coverage limited to counties along the border). If your UK phone is unlocked it will accept any Irish network sim (O2, Vodafone, Meteor)

    Thamks to declanmcc for allowing me to plagiurise some of his post without his knowledge! ;)
    I haven't been asked to tell you that I'm the [highlight]Board Drunk[/highlight] for this board. As the night wears on, my posts will become worse, with simple spelling mistakes, inane ramblings, and a blatant disregard for the truth. I have no authority to do anything, so there's no point asking or telling me. If you see me past midnight, please tell me to get my coat and order me a taxi.

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  • Ian_W_7
    Ian_W_7 Posts: 31 Forumite
    andy88 wrote:
    it is always cheaper to buy the local SIM when you get there

    Maybe - but not much use if you can't understand the language - and wish to inform others before you go of your new number.

    I am not linked in anyway to 0044 and have not yet purchased from them - but I did buy a french sim from CPW a few years ago - and never did get it to work - it was a waste of £30. For peace of mind I would rather spend a few pounds extra knowing the number before hand and having the confidence that all should be well.
  • Edinburghlass_2
    Edinburghlass_2 Posts: 32,692
    First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Ian_W wrote:
    Maybe - but not much use if you can't understand the language - and wish to inform others before you go of your new number.

    I am not linked in anyway to 0044 and have not yet purchased from them - but I did buy a french sim from CPW a few years ago - and never did get it to work - it was a waste of £30. For peace of mind I would rather spend a few pounds extra knowing the number before hand and having the confidence that all should be well.

    Obviously it depends on what country you would be visiting but if its for a popular destination all the shops and markets would be able to sell you a local sim with no language problems.

    The main thing to realise if you do buy via a company like 0044 is the sim must not be used or put into the phone in the UK but wait until you have reached your destination.
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