Best Prepaid Sim Card for Data

I will be doing a round the world trip so need a good international sim card... What is the best prepaid sim card for data to use with the iphone for the maps or occasional email. The ones I have found so far are about .50 a MB. Anything cheaper or better out there. Do they have rental sim cards? Getting a new sim card in each country would be crazy. I have checked out gosim and ekit, tmobile doesn't have international plans, and I am not on AT&T so I don't think I can use their product. Thanks,
Dan

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Dan, I doubt there is one good SIM that would work world-wide. For Europe, I'd get a SIM from a U.K. carrier. You can use that SIM all over Europe. Here is a link to a message thread I wrote about my data use last summer. (I also did the same thing at Christmas with no changes.) For overseas DATA use, local prepaid is best solution

Posted by Dan
Castro Valley, CA, USA
23 posts

@Paul so just buy any tmobile prepaid europe sim scard on ebay and a voucher for refill? Have any links or hints on how to find this.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Dan, While there are data SIM's available that will cover the type of trip you're planning, there's usually a fairly substantial cost associated with the convenience of having data available. Also, there may be some restrictions to consider. For example, in some cases data plans are limited to a maximum term of 30-days, so if your trip is going to take several months, you'd have to buy a number of separate 30-day terms to cover the duration of your trip. Also, if you exceed the predetermined limit allowed by the plan you purchase, the cost increases sharply. In order to use data plans, you would also need an unlocked GSM iPhone. Which model iPhone are you using, and which carrier was it obtained from? Also, how long is your trip? For some examples of travel phone firms which offer data plans, have a look at Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad or iPhone Trip. For using "maps or occasional e-mail" it would be much cheaper to limit your use to Wi-Fi only. Some mapping app's allow for off-line use. Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by Dan
Castro Valley, CA, USA
23 posts

Hey Ken, I have a unlocked iphone and i'm on tmobile.
There is not a international plan only roaming... and that can be expensive for data. I was going to use this international sim card as a backup for email and google maps, nothing too complex. I found this on prior postings ..." T-Mobile U.K.'s Pay As You Go Euro Internet Booster works in every country you've listed with the exception of Turkey. " Any good?

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Dan, I bought the SIM while in the U.K. but I've seen SIMs for other companies sold over eBay. Note that I used the U.K. version of eBay (a Google search will give you the address). My regular eBay account worked fine on it.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17738 posts

Dan, Thanks for the additional information. Unfortunately, I'm not sure there's an "easy answer". The fact that you're taking a "round the world" trip rather than just Europe makes the situation a bit more complicated. The cheapest method would probably be to use a "travel SIM" for voice and text, and restrict data use to Wi-Fi only. I suspect that having cellular data access worldwide is going to be a "costly" option. Have a look at the websites for Roam Simple, Cellular Abroad, EuroBuzz, Telestial, Mobal, iPhone Trip, TruPhone or others for information on their plans and costs. Some are prepaid and some postpaid (calls charged to a credit card). TruPhone has an App, but the ratings don't seem too favourable. Let us know if you find a good solution, as I'm sure the information would be helpful for others here.

Posted by Dan
Castro Valley, CA, USA
23 posts

Question so I have seen tmobile and vodaphone seem to have the best prepaid pay as you go sims for international roaming especially once you hit any country in the euro zone. Tmobile has a top up thing where you can get for $15 for 50mb and for $20 pounds 100mb. I am curious if that is a daily price or monthly, can you use the minutes on different days and not at all others? Is there anything better? Vodaphone has a deal daily if you spend $5 they give you 25mb but I wonder if you have to pay that every day. Any other solutions to give me more data for a cheaper price?

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Dan, the T-Mobile U.K. price varies. The cheapest is for daily rates, the next up is weekly, and then it is for 30 days, at least as far as I can recall. (They tell you how long the usage lasts on the web page.) The nice thing, even with the 30 day plan is that if you use up your allotment before 30 days has passed, you can sign up for another block of data. Now these rates are only for the European countries where roaming is allowed. You can't expect to use them for travel elsewhere.

Posted by Kirsty
Dallas
3 posts

There are iPhone rental SIM cards out there and provided you get a decent enough data bundle (without punishing overage rates) then paying post-paid isn't a bad option. Saves having to mess around with top-ups. Check out Cellhire for iPhone SIM rental. http://www.cellhire.com/products/international/iphone-simcards/ If your main concern is data rather than voice (e.g. perhaps you use Skype, Twitter, Whatsapp etc to stay in touch) then it might be better to look at a Mifi Travel Router. Great little devices - about the size of a credit card and the depth of an iPhone that provide wirless data over 5-10 meters. You can rent them too. A 1GB European roaming data offer from the same place is $114 for the month which compares really well Verizon and AT&T's roamed data international plans. The overage is also about 1/10th as well!

Posted by Paul
Tuscaloosa, AL
877 posts

Another revived thread. GoSim's site does say it provides data in a whole lot of countries, which is something. The price per MB can be very, very high, depending upon the country. If I read it right, in Japan it is $30 a MB. In those high-cost countries, finding another option is advisable (unless you're really rich).