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#47489 - 04/08/05 08:41 AM Buying SIM module in Madrid
GoMadrid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 180
Loc: California
I am thinking of getting a SIM module for my cellular telephone on my next visit to Spain.

There is a small outfit that has an office on Calle de Correo near Puerta del Sol called Spainsim.com. They also sell a prepaid calling card (Eurodirect).

Has anyone bought a SIM module from them, or knows whether or not they are reputable.

Thanks

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#47490 - 04/08/05 10:03 AM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
I have no comment.
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#47491 - 04/08/05 12:55 PM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
Sofia Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/00
Posts: 166
Loc: Seneca Falls, NY
What is this SIM module for a cell phone? I never heard of it. Thank you for explaining to me.

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#47492 - 04/08/05 06:00 PM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
GoMadrid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 180
Loc: California
Most newer cellular telephones contain a computer chip called a SIM module.

They are easily taken in and out of the telephone.

My cellphone will pick up other countries networks. For example, my cellphone defaults to Vodaphone in Spain. But the cost for each call is incredibly expensive.

When our friends from Spain came to visit last Summer, we simply gave them the SIM module from my wife's phone. They put it in their phone, and they had cellular service in America.(We had a number of roll-over minutes)

When I go to Spain next September, I am going to buy a pre-paid SIM module and put it in my cellular telephone. Then I will will have cellphone coverage and service just like a Spaniard.

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#47493 - 04/08/05 09:28 PM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
ILbunny Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 29
Loc: illinois
so, if you don't have the SIM module, can you not receive US calls in Spain?
I believe that is what you were saying, right?

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#47494 - 04/09/05 01:58 AM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
GoMadrid Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/23/01
Posts: 180
Loc: California
No. It is a cost issue. By far the cheapest way to call the U.S. from Spain is to buy a pre-paid phone card. My favorite is Eurocity.

My cellphone has a SIM module which identifies it to my cellular service, in this case Cingular.
Since I have a world band phone, when I go to Spain and turn on my cellphone, I have service. I can call the U.S., Zanzibar, wherever. The problem is the cost. The Spanish cellular network that my U.S. SIM module defaults to is Vodaphone. I called the U.S. with my phone just for kicks. I called my home, checking for messages on my answering machine. I let it ring three times, and it cost me $6.95.

If I buy a SIM module from Vodaphone in Spain, I just pop it in my phone, use it to call all over Spain, and the rates are whatever they are with that pre-paid SIM module. I will receive a Spanish cellphone number. All calls received on the phone are without cost.

I use the Spanish SIM module to call around Spain. And a pre-paid 6 Euro phone card to call the U.S. Although the pre-paid phone card is good for calling around Spain too.

Confusing enough?

Somebdy else explain it...

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#47495 - 04/09/05 02:53 AM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
ditravelphoto Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 64
Loc: Seattle
GoMadrid,

I haven't used this service yet, but have come across them several places recently. I just got a SideKickII at the beginning of the year which is a world phone but I had to wait 3 months before they would unlock the sim card so I could pop it out and use other sim cards.

This service looks like you can get a sim card delieved to you in the U.S. BEFORE you leave.

Telestial

If you do use them, let me know how it goes. I am impatiently waiting for my next trip!

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#47496 - 04/27/05 02:43 PM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
lindah Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 18
Loc: Seattle
One possible source for a Spanish sim card is Ebay. I checked out the other sites for sim cards, and they seem to charge a premium.

I bought a used Vodaphone sim card on ebay for around $30 and it's got about $10 euros of credits on it...supposedly. I won't know until I get to Spain and pop it in my phone, but the seller had a good rating.

Otherwise, I read that you can easily purchase a pre-paid sim card when you get to Spain. The benefit of having it before you leave is that there's a phone number that you can leave with friends/family for emergencies.

And, based on my research, in order for you to be able to interchange sim cards from different providers, your phone does have to be unlocked. If you purchased your phone from a cell phone provider (T-Mobile, Cingular/AT&T), they're usually locked to their network, despite their advertisement as "World Phones". I believe it just means that they're tri-band or quad-band and will work on their network or another network which they have a partnership with using the same sim card. In other words, it'll work, but, as posted, you pay the higher rates. If your phone is locked, I have read that some of the companies will unlock your phone for you, but only after you've been on their network for some amount of time. There are also third parties who will do it for you or sell you codes so that you can do it yourself. I haven't done it or had it done, but I have read that unlocking locked phones can cause you to loose some of the programming on the phone. I'm not sure how much truth there is to that though.

There are also websites that sell factory unlocked phones. The catch is that they're more expensive because you're not buying it with a plan so the phone company isn't subsizing the cost of the phone. I have found a site that sells phones with plans (mobilebee.com) and I considered buying a phone with them because I wanted a new camera phone, but I weighed the cost and decided to spend the extra $ on my trip instead. I bought a used unlocked phone instead...again from Ebay smile ...because it was cheaper. If you want to buy an unlocked phone to use in the States, Spain and around the world, be sure that it's either a tri-band or a quad-band.

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#47497 - 04/28/05 01:25 AM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
ditravelphoto Offline
Member

Registered: 05/08/04
Posts: 64
Loc: Seattle
The phone I got through T-Mobile required that I have 2 months of paid service with them before they would unlock. I called them, requested it be unlocked and 1 day later got a text message that it was done. Nothing changed. I have not used it elsewhere yet, but you would "lose" some programming in a way as a lot of info that you have stored or saved on the phone is tied to that SIM card. However I believe that when you pop the original SIM back in, it's all still there. I know with my phone and service a lot of my info like my address book, calendar, notes, photos are all stored on the web and I can access them through T-Mobiles site.

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#47498 - 04/28/05 08:58 AM Re: Buying SIM module in Madrid
aidance Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 03/13/01
Posts: 298
Loc: Cardiff by the Sea CA
Also check Planet Omni. You can buy unlocked phones and sim cards. Same with Telestial.

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