Not too long ago I heard some horror stories about people returning from an overseas trip only to find their mobile phone bill charges A$1000 or more for the time they were away. This is because of the exorbitantly high roaming rates our local carriers charge when using their service overseas. They claim it’s because they are levied by the telco’s in these other countries to share their network but the rates still seem disproportionate to the service provided.
So through a little research I discovered the solution is to purchase a new SIM card online from a company like GO-SIM for use specifically overseas. Admittedly, it does sound like something you might order during yum-cha and although there are several other websites providing a similar product this one suited our needs just fine. What’s more, they recently received a good write-up in the SMH.
The SIM card can be used in Europe to make cheaper calls, send texts, surf the internet and receive emails and fortunately it can also be “topped-up”. Of course, you may need to unlock your phone if it has been locked to a particular network but my understating is that the cost of doing this will easily offset any savings made.
I purchased two SIM cards so that my wife could also use her iPhone should we become separated during our trip which I’m sure will happen when she is busy shopping whilst I’m busy photographing. Just make sure you mention the need for a micro-SIM card if you are using an iPhone 4 or 4s.
p.s. our overseas mobile phone numbers are:
Kim +44 7937 056 373
Alison +44 7937 056 374