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12 Jan 2013

Togglemobile, VS worldSim vs local simcards notes (International simcards)

 I have a Togglemobile simcard on the way. When it gets here I'll do a proper review. It will be interesting to see if it actually works as advertised on the road.

Basically the strategy of the company is to offer you a local number for every country you wish to travel to.
This is better even than other international cards which typically either offer you a dual number in the Isle of Man (advertised as the UK) and in the USA (but charge alot for calls to the USA number).... or offer a non-geographical mobile number setup from Estonia.

 Iceland companies tend to have gone bust. Belgium companies offer a similar system but it's basically not cheap. There was a company called Paytoo but that too seems to have gone bust. That was a simcard somehow linked to VoIP but in practice it wasn't that cheap.

 So, Togglemobile then.

- £5 each number rent/yearb (not advertised)
- EU Domestic calls: tends to be 3p/landlines, 9p/mobile, 3p/sms
However consider this:
- Trinidad domestic: 15p/monfile/landline, 9p SMS
but without that local number:
- Trinidad to UK: £1.28/min recieve, £3 local calls etc... so it's back to normal prices... will I be billed incorrectly I wonder

In short, it's easier to use because you don't need to find a shop to register your SIM or go back to the hotel to haul your passport to the shop to prove who you are (driving license also sometimes works)... but it's still £5/year and then you have expensive data rates still.
Have it as a backup but local sims are still better, including international calls via an access number.

 So I suggest having this as a backup or just using for SMS.

The other approach can be to just focus on data rates and use email. This works for Europe and established markets without monopolies. But there's no good rates in a lot of countries still. Data still tends to be harder to get. There are sims out there focussing just on data... an example with iphonetrip is 100mb/day for $8 but I doubt it's really this rate in Trinidad, Oman or Ghana for example.
If you want this for maps, perhaps you should see my post regarding offline mapping.

Thus, as a guide local SIM cards and access numbers are still the best.

WorldSim are also advertising "free call forwarding" but I don't believe this - how would they do this without cost to them? They also suggest setting up call forwarding from your WorldSIM number to the number you wish to call and then calling yourself... I can't see this working... I expect the costs are just moved to the line you are calling yourself from...?

When looking up prices I suggest going straight to Trinidad or Ghana to see the rates to get a worst cast scenario first.

I note that none of the companies offer a UK to mobile number link via VoIP for cheaper rates.

Togglemobile rates:
A great Australian thread summerising the state of the international simcard market, minus Togglemobile:
WorldSIM rates:
Wiki page on all this:

After trying it out in Namibia, Spain & Senegal I can say that it just isn't worth the bother. In the countries where it actually works and is reliable (like Australia), it usually super cheap and easy to get a local sim anyway. It's only really good as a backup for established places such as Oz... in general.

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