Let’s face it, we are addicted to our phones. While I personally (and laughably for some) still use a Blackberry because I love the QWERTY keypad, I see it all around me and and 40% of our clients confirm that they are iPhone users. And by the way, what’s not to like? The iPhone is an easy to use, great designed device that let’s you check emails, find places to go and tells you how to get there, let’s you watch and take videos, listen to music and, oh yeah, you can also make phone calls. Now, all of the major carriers carry GSM enabled iPhones that let you do everything you do back home overseas when you travel. It’s so easy to do that it is no wonder that people are just bringing their iPhones with them and using them while traveling overseas. T-Mobile even has this great deal that offers free data in over 100 countries around the globe. But please allow me to explain T-mobiles international data plan along with some of the others.
The T-Mobile plan, while certainly a step in the right direction in terms of affordable international service is in a sense a loss leader. The free data is limited to slow 2G speeds so typically what happens is that customers go to Europe, try to use Google Maps or some other app, get frustrated because it’s so slow and call customer service to complain. Customer service explains that only the slow speed data is free, for the fast data, you have to pay for it, which many people do since they are addicted to the fast data experience available back home on their iPhone. Verizon, AT&T and Sprint offer data bundles right off the bat so in a way they are more up front with the fact that they are going to charge you for data and charge you quite a bit. While some people don’t mind paying a couple of hundred bucks for the luxury of using their phones over season, plenty of people have discovered that there is certainly a more affordable solution and that solution is to swap out the current SIM card with a local SIM card. In fact, Apple mentions that users with unlocked cell phones can use local SIM cards right on their website http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone5c – and as we know, these guys know what they are talking about.
Travelers to Europe using their iPhones, on average, spend about $125 per week to use their iPhones for talk, text and data – and this takes into account the fact that they do so with caution. Therefore, while they are happy with the seamless usability of their devices, many still come away feeling that, sure, while they were able to use their phones, they weren’t really able to use it. In fact, think about it, when would you need your iPhone more than when you are in a place you don’t know so you can find out where you are and where you should go? By swapping out your existing SIM card, you can grab a local SIM and get enough data and also call credit at an affordable enough price that you can use it pretty much as much as you want.
The service we provide is to give you the convenience of having the SIM card in hand before your trip with English instructions and English customer service. Typically, you will pay more from purchasing it from us as opposed to getting them locally. Besides the convenience, in addition, we use the telecom carriers that offer the best value, many of which many be smaller carrier piggy backing on larger carriers’ networks. Some customers are forgoing voice all together and only getting our data SIMs and when and if they need to make a call, do so with an application such as Skype.
In sum, as our addiction to the iPhone and other smartphones grow, so will the time we spend on them. With a local SIM card, this doesn’t mean that your cell phone bill will have to grow in proportion.