This has become somewhat of a perennial AskMe question (previously in 2013
, previously in 2012
, previously in 2007
), but as the mobile communications landscape is ever-shifting, it never hurts to have up to date information.
So, if I'm spending the month of August in London, which of the several offerings is the best PAYG-SIM phone to grab upon arrival? I will be bringing my iPhone (AT&T), but turning off data roaming and using it as wi-fi only when I can. Are there deals on low-end smartphones that are worth the extra cash, or is it still best to just grab a simple flip-phone with SMS?
posted by grabbingsand
on Jun 4, 2014 -
My son is going on a three-week school trip to several countries in Europe about a month.
I'd like to either buy a SIM for his (out of contract, unlocked) iPhone 4s, or direct him to buy one in London, at the airport, when he lands.
I'm specifically looking for decent voice rates to the US, some international texting, and data to include an available network of WiFi. [more inside]
posted by tomierna
on May 26, 2014 -
I recently took my Verizon American iPhone 5s outside the country for the first time and installed a Cosmote sim card on it. Immediately all my contacts on the messages app lost their names and only appear as their American phone numbers, e.g. +1 (xxx) xxx-xxxx. How can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars
on May 15, 2014 -
I'm dealing with a quad band device for a customer that works with a standard GSM SIM card. They are trying to use a SIM from Telus in Canada. They have a SIM from Telus inside the device, but it's not working. [more inside]
posted by nrobertson
on Mar 2, 2014 -
I am travelling to Chicago in two weeks and want to use my smartphone whilst I am there (and away from WiFi). Importantly though I am not actually bothered about making phone calls. DATA is what I crave. What are my best sim card
options? [more inside]
posted by 0bvious
on Jan 29, 2014 -
I will be traveling to Dublin, Ireland frequently in the next 6 mos - year and I need to find an appropriate SIM vendor. I have done a ton of research but I am still hamstrung in terms of concrete advice. Here is what I know:
I have unlocked my old iPhone 4 for this purpose. My husband and I have AT&T for our stateside smartphone service. My mother has Verizon (my preschooler will be with her). I will use the phone to call my husband and daughter nightly (probably two separate calls) and I will want some data coverage for navigation, texting, etc. I would prefer not to initiate any kind of contract until after the first trip.
Any recommendations? TIA.
posted by wildeepdotorg
on Jan 25, 2014 -
If I were to obtain an official, factory-unlocked iPhone 5, and insert the pay-as-you-go TMobile micro-SIM I currently use in another phone, can I assume the iPhone will work exactly as if I'd obtained it on a contract? I'm specifically interested in Facetime and in free iMessaging between iPhones. [more inside]
posted by oliverburkeman
on Jan 20, 2014 -
Does this exist? I want a 3D simulation program where I can experiment with gears (including bevel gears), slots and slides, eccentric cranks, levers, maybe even chain drives and belts and pulleys. Ideally I'd be able to change sizes, numbers/shapes of teeth, location of the drive shaft, etc. to see how those changes affect the motion of the gadget. [more inside]
posted by Lou Stuells
on Jan 15, 2014 -
I will be visiting toronto during christmas/new years and would like to have a prepaid data plan. What is the cheapest/best carrier for data sim while in toronto. Minutes matter less since i will be using phone primarily as directions, trip advisor etc .
similar to this question but reversed
Samsung galaxy s3 tmobile lte version phone if that matters.
Also great places to go in toronto during later christmas/new years timeframe is also helpful
posted by radsqd
on Dec 2, 2013 -
I purchased an iPad (3rd generation) with AT&T SIM in Dallas in 2012. I am now living in Philippines and would like to use the device's comms capability with a Philipppines carrier. However, I have tried simply switching the AT&T SIM with one from the Philippines carrier, GLOBE. [more inside]
posted by lometogo
on Nov 17, 2013 -
Just wondering if I should invest my time/money into this game (having NO experience with it in the past). [more inside]
posted by dbirchum
on Oct 7, 2013 -
Traveling outside of the US for ~4 weeks a year, what's the best/cheapest burner phone that can Whatsapp, GPS/Mapping, and uses fullsized SIM cards? [more inside]
posted by wcfields
on Sep 11, 2013 -
Hi all, my Sony Xperia J isn't reading sim cards. The sim card (3) that came with the phone works on other phones; the Xperia won't read other sim cards. What can I do to get this handset working? This is my work phone and I'm the breadwinner around here, so it's a bit urgent! Thanks. I've got two Win7 PCs to assist in fixing it.
posted by Mistress
on Aug 10, 2013 -
Advice please: (1) are there SIM only, pay-as-you-go cell options available in Canada (2) any recommendations for a solid, inexpensive, quad-band phone for a pensioner that probably won't use apps [more inside]
posted by bifter
on Jul 30, 2013 -
I have an unlocked iPhone 5 with Verizon. (It is verifiably unlocked for foreign SIM card use -- and yes, even though it is Verizon it does have GSM as well as CDMA). I'm looking for advice on how to travel with it to four countries, with the ability to receive/send calls and texts. I'd like to buy and use one SIM card only. And I want to be sure that I don't use any data, which gets expensive.
So the question boils down to:
(1) Keep the iPhone or ditch it for my unlocked travel phone?
(2) Use the Verizon international plan, or buy an offering from Telestial, Global, etc.?
More inside. [more inside]
posted by bchaplin
on Jul 21, 2013 -
I'm going to be traveling in Europe for 3 weeks, which PAYG SIM plan should I get for my unlocked iPhone 4? [more inside]
posted by Joh
on Jul 3, 2013 -
I'm going to Iceland for a few days soon, and am looking for a prepaid local SIM card to put in my iPhone 4S. It has to be a micro-SIM (though they can be cut down to that size) and to have a data allowance (I'll only be there for a few days so it doesn't need to be huge; I intend to use it for basic things like ). (It staying alive after I go back to the UK would be a nice feature, as I'll be back in Iceland again.) Is there a local mobile phone company who have a recommended prepaid SIM-only package, and if so, where in Reykjavík could I pick one up?
posted by acb
on Jun 25, 2013 -
In the 90's I borrowed a demo-CD from a friend, who had a car combat-like game, where you drove around in a futuristic environment. The game was a demo, so it only had one level and only one car. The only mission that was available was where one had to collect two pieces of a device located in two different parts of the map. Most of the stuff was blue. [more inside]
posted by madcow20
on Apr 28, 2013 -
Previous AMF questions have discussed walking into various mobile providers in Italy and just buying a SIM card. Glancing around internet currently suggests that SIM card sales are (more?) heavily regulated in Italy than previously, even to the point of not offering them for sale to someone showing a passport. Curious if any current Italy residents, expats, or students can provide info for the following:
US unlocked GSM smartphone owner heading to Italy for 10 days and would like to have reasonable phone and text options to call/text back to states to check on house and pets with housesitter. Data a plus but absolutely not necessary.
Any advice to smooth the process of buying a SIM card in Italy would be greatly appreciated.
posted by teg4rvn
on Apr 23, 2013 -
Currently in Asia and want to call US cheap. What options besides Skype do I have? Not a big fan of sim cards as they are hard to find here. [more inside]
posted by pakora1
on Mar 25, 2013 -
I'll be traveling to Belize this summer and would like to use my Verizon iPhone 4s, which I will have unlocked from Verizon by that time, for local voice and data calls. I'll
I plan on using Talkatone for making wifi only calls back to the US as well as using the data part from the SIM Card to text back to the US while I'm there.
It would be nice to be able to purchase a SIM Card here in the States before traveling, but I'm not against purchasing a SIM Card at or near BZE Airport when we arrive.
Thank you for your time. I do appreciate it.
posted by Jackie_Treehorn
on Mar 3, 2013 -
I'm heading to Bangkok in ten days for about two weeks. I looked into using my iPhone 5 overseas and the answers from ATT made me think twice about it. So for 100 bucks I bought a used Iphone 3GS. I figure I'd just buy a sim card there and I'd be all set. But then I thought I should check. Do I need to unlock it? or jailbreak it? Is there anything specific to Thailand and Iphones I need to know? What's the process here?
posted by rileyray3000
on Feb 13, 2013 -
I'm searching for the best SIM card for a one month stay in Japan. I've already found e-connect
(1 GB/30 days, only data @ 4100 Yen), but I would prefer an option including SMS/speech.
posted by mathiu
on Feb 12, 2013 -
Sim pilots: help me join the 21st Century by sharing your opinions of the current crop of available controls. [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus
on Dec 20, 2012 -
I have an iPhone 5 purchased unlocked in the UK. I travel regularly to the US for 1-2 weeks at a time, often in situations where WiFi is not an option, and would like to be able to buy a pre-paid US SIM primarily for data. Now that the iPhone 5 has been out for a few months, has anyone finally gotten onboard with pre-paid nanoSIMs for the 5? Or is cutting down a regular SIM still the only option?
posted by olinerd
on Dec 19, 2012 -
I just got my cracked iPhone screen fixed at a stall in Chinatown. I left it with them for an hour. When I picked it up and turned it on, it said there was 'No SIM installed'. A restart fixed it. I don't if it's necessary to remove the SIM to fix the screen, but if they have, could they do anything nefarious with it?
posted by unliteral
on Nov 10, 2012 -
Hypothetically, what are the practical results of completely cloning a GSM phone-- not just the SIM card, but also the radio fingerprint and any other method used to differentiate two mobile devices? [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian
on Oct 24, 2012 -
AT&T/iPhone: I bought an iPhone 4 on craigslist. I plan to cut down my 3G's sim into a micro-sim and put it in the 4. However, before I got started I factory reset the 4 and now it wants to go through an activation process. What does "activation" mean, in this context? [more inside]
posted by homodachi
on Sep 20, 2012 -
Can I put my iPhone 4 AT&T sim card in an AT&T Blackberry Curve 8310 and still send and receive calls and SMS messages without accruing additional fees or contract extensions? [more inside]
posted by billtron
on Aug 27, 2012 -
Having trouble making sense of unlocked GSM phones, SIM cards, and unlocking/jailbreaking US phones for travel to Iceland. Please help. [more inside]
posted by ImproviseOrDie
on Jul 17, 2012 -
Is it possible to buy a pay as you go sim card (UK) for my old phone that doesnt require me to top up every month? [more inside]
posted by aqueousdan
on Jul 15, 2012 -
I need a no-contract SIM for Italy that offers texting and unlimited Internet. I have a similar set up with Virgin Mobile France for 16€/month, I just want a SIM for the times travel to Italy, which is maybe once every other month for a few days. Are there any other mobile providers in Italy besides TIM?
posted by matrushka
on Jul 12, 2012 -
Is there a prepaid phone plan in the US that will let me use my Samsung Galaxy S2 at full speeds, for short visits (ie: without having to pay for a full month of use)? [more inside]
posted by Mayma Hosey
on Jun 9, 2012 -
I am travelling to the US in August and want to be able to use my smartphone for web browsing while I'm there without paying exorbitant fees from my local carrier (Telstra in Australia). Can you all help me figure how to do this? [more inside]
posted by crossoverman
on Jun 8, 2012 -
UK specific iPhone/SIM question: I need to activate my old iPhone 3GS 16gB, preferably without my own SIM. I am giving it to my nephew as a games device, not to use as a phone. I have reset and now it insists on a SIM.
1. are there workarounds so I don't have to buy a SIM, activate it then throw SIM away?
2 This was my O2 UK phone [on a company contract], so if you know anything about the iPhone elsewhere, it probably won't apply.
3. If the answer to the above is 'jailbreak it', can I use iTunes after?
4. if the answer is 'use your old SIM just for activation', will this link it to iTunes in some way? Bear in mind, I still use my SIM in my newer phone [actually purchased more recently, but an 8gB 3GS in reality. Yes, I know...]
posted by dash_slot-
on Jun 6, 2012 -
I will be traveling in Germany for a week soon, and will need a cell phone while there. I won't be able to use my personal cell phone (incompatible with Europe) but I have an unlocked GSM phone that I've used in Europe before. Please help me find a SIM card (with German phone number) that I can order now and get delivered to the US before
I leave for my trip. [more inside]
posted by intermod
on May 29, 2012 -
I have lost my iPhone. When I look at my AT&T account there has been no activity since the last call I made. When I call my phone I get my voicemail message.
My question. If someone found the phone and removed my sim card would my voicemail still work?
posted by pianomover
on May 25, 2012 -
The recently-retired senior generation of my family is traveling from US to London in October. They are arriving separately and splitting up for a couple of different side trips, and want to be able to stay in touch by cell phone. What are the easiest, cheapest options for cell phones that they can purchase ahead of time? [more inside]
posted by kimdog
on May 23, 2012 -
iPhone 4S / Still (Again) in Hollywood Filter: Are there any Pay-As-You-Go type data plans with SIM cards for an unlocked 4s user in the USA? [more inside]
posted by rokusan
on May 13, 2012 -
roadtrip time. I have an unlocked iphone and need a prepaid sim card. which one should I choose? [more inside]
posted by krautland
on May 8, 2012 -
How can I best get cell data while in Japan? I've got a GSM Galaxy Nexus that I'd like to use while I'm in Japan. Is it possible to purchase a pre-paid SIM? If so, where would these be sold? I'll be in Nagoya, if that helps.
posted by VoteBrian
on Feb 16, 2012 -
Two SIM cards in one phone? In one iPhone? Can I really do this now and if it can be done, what hardware do you recommend?
posted by HopStopDon'tShop
on Feb 2, 2012 -
I just had my Verizon iPhone 4s unlocked for international use and confirmed working with two different foreign SIM cards. Three questions:
posted by letitrain
on Jan 16, 2012 -
- Is this permanent? Can it ever be re-locked via software or some other method?
- Can this be used with US SIM cards, or are there restrictions?
- Is this phone now identical to an unlocked iPhone, or is it somehow different?
Can I purchase a prepaid T-Mobile phone from, say, Walmart, activate it with a plan, and then put that SIM card into my older off-contract T-Mobile phone and expect it to work?
posted by speedgraphic
on Nov 9, 2011 -