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International Sim Card

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 posts
3 reviews
International Sim Card
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I am an extremely non tech savvy female senior travelling to India, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, I would like to be able to SMS (think that's correct name for TXT message) with family in Australia while I am away, I have been told I should purchase a low cost basic phone here in Australia and then purchase a pre-paid sim card here in Australia as this would be the best low cost method for me to remain in contact, I will be travelling for 2 weeks and expect to only use phone once or twice a day to SMS family in Australia to advise location etc and perhaps receive a SMS. I would appreciate any advice if this is possible to do. I have also been told to consider purchasing a sim in each country, but I would not be confident doing this

Schindellegi...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Kyiv (Kiev)
Level Contributor
6,929 posts
35 reviews
12 helpful votes
1. Re: International Sim Card
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If just for SMS (correct designation for that texting system that was initially intended to be used mainly for technical applications) - check with the service provider(s) in Australia on conditions using your phone with a prepaid SIM card in the countries you plan to travel.

Consider also getting some smartphone rather than the cheapest phone, and use W-LAN internet access usually available (for free) in hotels and other accommodations for internet based communications including telephone services - Skype that allows you also to call landlines (but free for calling other Skype user).

And in case you have some iPad or other Apple device - FaceTime that allows free phone and video communication .... very easy with other Mac-Users.

An option is to check also with people you want to communicate what applications they use - if possible with their kids .....

And a website that might help you on deciding what phone to buy (or not) is https://willmyphonework.net

Edited: 2 years ago
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: International Sim Card
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Thank you for your response, I do have an iPhone and my family have iphones so if I understand you correctly all I need to do is get the grand children to show me how to face time and I wont end up with with a huge bill when I return home, I had absolutely no idea it could be as easy as that. I have heard them speak out face timing with their friends, I will ask them to teach Nanna. Thank you so much

Schindellegi...
Destination Expert
for Switzerland, Kyiv (Kiev)
Level Contributor
6,929 posts
35 reviews
12 helpful votes
3. Re: International Sim Card
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Yes, but ....

Yes - you can use applications such as FaceTime to communicate (voice or video) from iPhone to iPhone (or other Mac/Apple device). Kids will most probably love to show their skills on how setting up the phone and update the telephone directory, and how to use it.

But make sure the iPhone is set to no-roaming - it's by default (after complaints following astronomical telephone bills of US users abroad). So you will have to use some other internet access for communicating - best being usually free internet access at hotels (or other W-LAN access points).

Might be worth also checking with your mobile telephone supplier on limits roaming abroad - some service providers block data roaming once a certain limit is reached. Some service providers simply do not allow data roaming, or users can ask to set limits in order to avoid excessive bills (in case of unintentionally switching data roaming on)

In case you want to avoid totally all chances for roaming bills and your provider is not helping you - get a maybe old iPhone with a prepaid SIM card in your country - load just a small amount that worst case will be used up in case of unintentional data roaming. Thats what I am using now for trips abroad (in fact an old Nokia with dual-SIM cards - one prepaid "home", one prepaid from the country I travel most of time with for both specific roaming plans). For the iPhone with postpaid contract SIM I leave data roaming off all the time (wherever I might be).

By the way: iPhone SMS is also using internet communication rather than regular SMS phone function. SMS application is blue when using iPhone SMS function - in case you have not internet connection SMS transmission will not work, users get an error message and can if they want send the SMS as regular text message - then the application is using a green background, SMS will be charged for transmitting a regular SMS.

And maybe also worth mentioning - assuming you test FaceTime at home, make sure to already use international phone number codification for your phone directory - for Australia +61 ..... - so no change required when abroad, should work also within Australia. I have all the phone numbers I use with the respective +00 whatever country code and phone number in my phone directory, so no change necessary when calling from an other country.

Edited: 2 years ago
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
26 posts
3 reviews
4. Re: International Sim Card
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Thank you once again for your time and information

5. Re: International Sim Card

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