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lama323
12th January 2009, 03:15 PM
I am traveling to Singapore this Friday, and I just have a few questions

I am on the Vodafone 29 dollar cap and I was wondering;
Can I use my phone without extra cost in Singapore? (obviously calling back to Australia will be more expensive)

what about text messages?
and also what about roaming costs?

Could someone give me a general overview because I am absolutely clueless when it comes to using a phone overseas.
Thanks :)

Comet
12th January 2009, 03:23 PM
If you're going to Singapore, you're going to be better off getting a $8 Singtel prepaid SIM card from 7-Eleven or some other store. Usually plans won't let you use the credit off a cap so you'll most likely end up paying for whatever you use. Receiving text is free, but other than that, you'll be charged to receive and make calls along with data usage.

If you do need to receive calls from back home, either let people leave a voicemail and you call them back through whatever cheap method there is, or carry 2 phones. 1 for calls and text from back home, and 1 for local use.

Exocet
12th January 2009, 03:25 PM
Here's some info from the Vodafone Website:
Roaming For Postpay (http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/services/roaming/postpay/index.htm)

lama323
12th January 2009, 03:58 PM
Here's some info from the Vodafone Website:
Roaming For Postpay (http://www.vodafone.com.au/personal/services/roaming/postpay/index.htm)

Thanks for this, I have looked on the site but I still don't understand how much I will get charged when I roam in Singapore?

Exocet
12th January 2009, 04:03 PM
Singapore is in Zone 2, Asia Pacific - therefore the rates are the standard rates explained there plus $2/minute

lama323
12th January 2009, 04:05 PM
ahh ok thank you :)

David Turnedge
13th January 2009, 02:13 PM
Unlock your phone and buy a local SIM... roaming charges are pricey, to say the least.

emerson
13th January 2009, 02:17 PM
Unlock your phone and buy a local SIM... roaming charges are pricey, to say the least.

definitely, i racked up about $1400 while in Japan for 3 weeks, most of them drunk conversations with my GF who was back in Australia. Damn i love Sake :D

dev_enter
13th January 2009, 02:43 PM
Just been to NZ myself. Unlocked the iPhones before I left and went ahead and bought some Vodafone prepaid sims. A bit of a hassle, just sign your first SMS to each of your contacts with your name and it'll be much cheaper than roaming. :)

Tassiecelt
19th January 2009, 09:48 AM
If I could jump on this one...I'm off to Scotland in May, plan to take my iPhone and leave the macbook at home.

Does the same advice apply to UK about buying a local simcard?

scruffie
19th January 2009, 10:00 AM
How long are you going to be in the UK?

Tassiecelt
19th January 2009, 05:11 PM
How long are you going to be in the UK?

Just four weeks

scruffie
19th January 2009, 07:27 PM
Lama323, definitely go with the prepaid sims. If you decide to roam, voda will charge you for everything except for receiving text messages. Oh...and emergency calls :)

Tassiecelt - go with o2. Using an original iPhone - iPhone - O2 (http://www.o2.co.uk/iphone/usinganoriginaliphone) Its a lot to digest but PM me if you have any questions. I have (finally) an optus unlocked iphone 3g running on o2 with no problems.

hahnlove
20th January 2009, 01:11 PM
G'day I will be going to the US in Feb and have a 3G Iphone 16gig currently on contract with Optus. To get my phone to work do I buy a Unlock sim card online from say ebay or ismartphone etc (any recommendations) and then a US sim from any carrier again any recommendations. Is this the best and cheapest option. Sorry if this is a duplicate post.
ciao for now

drewbles
20th January 2009, 01:34 PM
Seeing as I work for a company that specialises in global roaming for far less than you pay to your provider, I recommend you check out ekit phonecard and mobile homepage (http://ekit.com/ekit/MobilePurchase/Sims) and International Cell Phones, World Phones, SIM Cards, Satellite Phones (http://www.telestial.com) I'm sure you'll find something. We do USA and Global SIM cards, depending on what you need. You'll get either a USA or UK number (if you buy one of our SIM's) rather than your own number. It makes outbound calls a lot cheaper, and people can call you via a 1800 number in Australia to your mobile (they enter in your number, you get charged for the call rather than them).
If you wanna know more just yell (and i make no cash out of this, I'm one of the techs. This is supplied purely in the interests of trying to save people from being ripped off by their telcos, mods, if inappropriate please advise me and I appologise in advance:))

drewbles
20th January 2009, 01:35 PM
G'day I will be going to the US in Feb and have a 3G Iphone 16gig currently on contract with Optus. To get my phone to work do I buy a Unlock sim card online from say ebay or ismartphone etc (any recommendations) and then a US sim from any carrier again any recommendations. Is this the best and cheapest option. Sorry if this is a duplicate post.
ciao for now

You need to make sure you've called Optus and had your iPhone unlocked, then you're free to use any SIM you like (call 1300 300 937 and ask for iPhone support, can take up to 10 working days).

hahnlove
20th January 2009, 10:04 PM
Hey thanks drewbles,

Im going to check out about unloking my phone with Optus and im checking out the ekit web site, thanks for the tip. Now i can contact those agents and sell my film script. ciao

hahnlove
21st January 2009, 10:17 AM
I have checked those websites they all look quite good although they dont give any info on data such as GPS if i would like to get around etc. any thoughts

drewbles
23rd January 2009, 02:39 PM
I have checked those websites they all look quite good although they dont give any info on data such as GPS if i would like to get around etc. any thoughts


I am guessing you mean GPRS. Our Global SIM's have GPRS roaming but our USA only SIM cards do not. Beware though, all roaming companies are expensive for roaming data. Check out ekit phonecard and mobile homepage (http://www.ekit.com/ekit/MobileInfo/Data) for info on our data offerings.

DeKa
23rd January 2009, 03:18 PM
All these global roaming SIMs cater for Europe very well, but none cover Asia very well.
Working for an APAC division of a global company, a SIM card which allowed me to receive incoming calls for free in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea would be great... I've found these ones which cover some, but not all:
ekit: Not good for Asia
ICQSim (http://www.icqsim.com) (remember ICQ!!) Hong Kong and China free incoming calls
Backchat Mobile: (http://www.backchatmobile.com.au) Singapore free incoming calls
WorldSIM (http://www.worldsim.com) : Singapore free incoming calls

If anyone has tracked down any others, that'd be great.

Outbound calls aren't a problem for me as I have my company IP phone which I can use as long as I can find internet access.

drewbles
23rd January 2009, 03:24 PM
All these global roaming SIMs cater for Europe very well, but none cover Asia very well.
Working for an APAC division of a global company, a SIM card which allowed me to receive incoming calls for free in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Korea would be great... I've found these ones which cover some, but not all:
ekit: Not good for Asia
ICQSim (http://www.icqsim.com) (remember ICQ!!) Hong Kong and China free incoming calls
Backchat Mobile: (http://www.backchatmobile.com.au) Singapore free incoming calls
WorldSIM (http://www.worldsim.com) : Singapore free incoming calls

If anyone has tracked down any others, that'd be great.

Outbound calls aren't a problem for me as I have my company IP phone which I can use as long as I can find internet access.

The reason it's not free in say China is the high cost of termination of calls there. We have a SIM that has free-to-receive calls for Singapore and Japan, but China and Hong Kong are not. I guess we can't meet everyones requirements but it's something at least. The paid ones are not as expensive to receive as most roaming companies are.

Paris
25th January 2009, 10:38 AM
Never really had a problem with the standard roaming options for both Vodafone and Optus.

Just make sure you get people to text you when they can, as it's cheaper for all involved.

remhh
25th January 2009, 12:51 PM
I am in the USA at the moment and am using my iphone, it is unlocked (albeit I am using my old 2g iphone. Did not bother to take the 3G over) and I just bought a sim card with a prepaid amount from O2 here. A quick phone call to activate was all that was required and I got myself a US phone number.

Plus: The minutes for dollars are quite good if you spend at least $29.00 US which will last for 3 months.

Downsides: No data with this sim plan, and incoming calls are also charged at 14 cents a minute, as are the outgoing calls.

battye
26th January 2009, 02:10 AM
Earlier today I wrote an article about my experiences of using an iPhone in the USA: CricketMX.com • Using an iPhone in America is not easy (http://www.cricketmx.com/articles/read/using-an-iphone-in-america-is-not-easy/)

Basically, prepaid data in the US is impossible. It's really quite astonishing.

krasivy
26th January 2009, 03:58 PM
Earlier today I wrote an article about my experiences of using an iPhone in the USA: CricketMX.com • Using an iPhone in America is not easy (http://www.cricketmx.com/articles/read/using-an-iphone-in-america-is-not-easy/)

Basically, prepaid data in the US is impossible. It's really quite astonishing.

Not so astonishing when you consider their not-so-proactive uptake of GSM/UMTS mobile technology, as compared to that of the Rest of the World.

krusty
26th January 2009, 10:18 PM
i'm in australia and wanting to buy an iphone, but i'm planning to travel for the next year so don't want to be stuck with an australian plan. would it be feasible for me to buy an unlocked iphone outright and then get sims in the countries i'm going to - US, Japan, UK, Italy? where are unlocked iphones sold?
i saw your article about the difficulties of data plans in the US - i don't really get the difference between a data plan and using wifi, but it seems from your article that wifi is pretty widely available...
any tips appreciated!

krusty
26th January 2009, 11:05 PM
also i've heard there are difficulties using mobiles in japan - can anyone let me know if my oz iphone would work there? thanks

scruffie
27th January 2009, 02:16 AM
You'd be better off buying an iphone in Australia. I've considered getting my iPhone somewhere in europe but ive figured out that getting a good old aussie one an easier and cheaper option. About activating iPhone 3G with a wireless carrier (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937) - information regarding other countries offering unlocked/unlockable iphones.

I'm in Hong Kong right now and planning to head to Japan next week. So far, i can't find a prepaid sim for Japan so I am going to use a HK prepaid card and use roaming in Japan.

krasivy
27th January 2009, 04:19 AM
also i've heard there are difficulties using mobiles in japan - can anyone let me know if my oz iphone would work there? thanks

You will have no problems using the iPhone 3G in Japan - as this model is also being sold in their local market.

If you are planning on using a local SIM card, this is also possible. But just make sure that you've unlocked your handset before doing so. You will also need to pre-apply/arrange for a SIM card for use via SoftBank's web site, and collect that when you arrive there.

krasivy
27th January 2009, 04:25 AM
I'm in Hong Kong right now and planning to head to Japan next week. So far, i can't find a prepaid sim for Japan so I am going to use a HK prepaid card and use roaming in Japan.

You may want to check this out if you're serious about getting a local number whilst in Japan:

Mobile Phones Rental Service in Japan | SoftBank Global Rental (http://www.softbank-rental.jp/en/)

If you're planning on receiving, or even making, a lot of calls, the "SIM only" option that SoftBank offers is definitely the way to go. My suggestion: check out the rates for more info!

I've previously used their services on most trips to Japan, and have found it to be reliable and more cost-effective for what I use it for.

battye
27th January 2009, 02:15 PM
i saw your article about the difficulties of data plans in the US - i don't really get the difference between a data plan and using wifi, but it seems from your article that wifi is pretty widely available...
any tips appreciated!

Data plans come from using the mobile phone network (which is essentially all around us), whereas Wi-Fi are smaller networks that only work in the immediate surrounding areas (probably 30 metre radius or so?) from whoever is hosting it - just like a wireless network in your home or office.

drewbles
27th January 2009, 02:19 PM
You may want to check this out if you're serious about getting a local number whilst in Japan:

Mobile Phones Rental Service in Japan | SoftBank Global Rental (http://www.softbank-rental.jp/en/)

If you're planning on receiving, or even making, a lot of calls, the "SIM only" option that SoftBank offers is definitely the way to go. My suggestion: check out the rates for more info!

I've previously used their services on most trips to Japan, and have found it to be reliable and more cost-effective for what I use it for.


Japan works on HSDPA 2100. Youre iPhone 3G will be happy here (pun intended). DoCoMo or Softbank should work. You only need to rent a handset if you don't have 3G 2100Mhz. Make sure your provider has roaming agreements in place with DoCoMo or Softbank, and you should be right (There are all kinds of strange reciprocal roaming agreements between carriers *within* Japan as well).