Our newer iPhones now support use of two SIMs at once - meaning that you can have two mobile numbers active at the same time, or perhaps choose to have one of the SIMs as a data-only SIM.
A lot of people will only make use of dual SIMs when they are travelling - to use a SIM purchased for overseas use.
It can be confusing working out how to manage these SIMs - switching between them, controlling data roaming, choosing which SIM is used for messages and calls when two numbers are active, and more.
As part of my current research for a new series of classes about travelling with your technology (here's where to express interest if you would like to attend these classes or watch the videos), I finally took at look at the eSIM feature of newer iPhones - a feature that allows you to have up to 8 'virtual' SIMs (eSIMs) on your iPhone. As a result, my mobile service from Telstra is now provided through an eSIM instead of a physical SIM.
12/7/2017 0 Comments
As mentioned in the earlier post Lend your mobile internet to your Wi-Fi only device - using your Personal Hotspot, client Chris K is off overseas this week, and will be purchasing and setting up a TravelSim before she goes (with assistance from iTandCoffee).
This TravelSIM will give her access to a data bundle that offers 1GB for 30 days - so she CAN choose to use mobile data while she travels. (If she was just leaving her Telstra SIM in the iPhone, she would definitely NOT be using mobile data as it would cost $3 per MB!)
The TravelSIM will also allow incoming and outgoing calls for only 25c per minute (much cheaper than Telstra's $2/minute).
The trick is understanding what to do to minimise the cost of using this TravelSIM when traveling, and to avoid unintended use of the Mobile Data allowance.
I promised Chris I would write up some (hopefully) straight-forward rules about the settings that she needs to turn on and off at different times, depending on whether she wants to be making/receiving calls and texts, and whether she wants be using her 1GB allowance of mobile data (vs just using Wi-Fi).
So, here goes Chris! I hope it makes sense.
Enabling/disabling internet, phone calls and texts while travelling OS
In general, leave Mobile Data and Data Roaming OFF to avoid unintended use of the 1GB mobile data allowance
If you really need internet but there is NO access to Wi-Fi:
Block phone calls and texts (incoming and outgoing):
Allow phone calls and texts (incoming and outgoing):
Handy Hints (for iTandCoffee Club Members only)
Related Handy Hints and Articles
Many of you have attended our 'Travelling with your iPad and iPhone (and other Technology)' class, in which we look at (amongst other things) the options for keeping in touch via phone and internet while you are away.
We talk about the risk of 'bill shock' from using mobile data while travelling, and the options that you have for avoiding this nasty experience.
One of the options discussed is purchasing and using a 'travel SIM'. These special SIMs provide you with relatively cheap call rates and, in many cases these days, also offer 'data packs' and 'bundles' that can give you access to reasonably priced mobile data.
One such 'travel SIM' is actually called TravelSIM, and is available from Australia Post outlets or online.
Just today, I received an email from TravelSIM (as we have used this SIM previously in our travels), advising that there have been some changes to their 'Data Packs' - changes that are really worth a look!
See below for the content of that email, which I thought many iTandCoffee subscribers and clients would find of interest.
One of the things that anyone travelling overseas needs to think about is just how to ensure that you have phone access while away.
While the easiest thing to do is to set up International Roaming with your mobile carrier - which will allow people to contact you on your usual number - this can end up being a very, very expensive option.
Telstra International Roaming charges
As an example for those of you with a Telstra mobile, Telstra will charge $2.00 per minute for calls while you are in the UK (both incoming and outgoing), and 75c to send an SMS.
Calls in France will cost $2.50 per minute.
And, if you accidentally use data or send/receive an MMS, you will charged $3.00 per MB.
If you are not planning to make or receive many calls or use data, maybe this is the easiest option to use.
However, if there is the chance that you might be using your phone on regular basis, it is well worth looking at cheaper options.
Purchase SIM cards at your destinations
One option that you have for cheap access to phone and data while you travel is to purchase SIM cards in your destinations.
However, this is not so easy in certain countries, which may require you to have a social security number to purchase a SIM. It also means that you won't know your contact phone number until you purchase the SIM at your destination.
Additionally, to utilise the data offered by these SIMS, you will need to know how to set up certain network Settings to gain access to the carrier's network.
Purchase a 'Travel SIM' before you go
Another option that is cheaper than International roaming - one that I have preferred to use and have recommended to many other clients - is to purchase a pre-paid 'travel SIM' before departing.
My travel SIM of choice over the past couple of years has been the Woolworths Global Roaming SIM, which you can get from any Woolworths supermarket for $29.
You get $10 credit to start you off, and can add credit as required - with the option to set up automatic top-ups to if want to be sure that you always have sufficient credit.
This option allows you to, before you go, give your travel SIM's phone number to friends, family and any businesses that might need to contact you overseas - bank, hotels, airlines, rental car companies, etc. For example, if you get an authorisation SMS every time you pay someone new through your online banking, you can register your temporary number with your bank just before you leave so that you still receive such SMS's.
The Woolworths Global Roaming SIM uses the Vodafone network in the UK, so the phone number for the SIM is a UK mobile number (starting with +44). This means that those who call you on this number are calling an overseas mobile number.
If you are concerned about the cost that this will incur for those who call you, you can choose to pay a little bit extra to register a local number for your Woolworths SIM.
This means that those calling you are only charged the cost of a local call, while you are charge to 'per minute' rate that applies to the country you are travelling in. Some examples of these rates are shown next.
Examples of call, SMS and data rates for Woolworths Global Roaming
When you are in the UK, incoming calls are FREE, and outgoing calls to Australia (or within the UK) are only 18c per minute. Texts are 14c per SMS, and data is 45c/MB.
For France and Italy, incoming calls are only 5c per minute, and outgoing to Australia are 34c per minute. Outgoing calls within the same country are 26c per minute, sending texts is 14c per SMS and data is again 45c per MB.
So you can see that this is so much cheaper than your International Roaming option that is offered by the likes of Telstra.
Do you need help preparing for your travels with your technology?
If you need help with exploring this 'travel SIM' option further, or would like help getting set up with such a SIM before you travel, iTandCoffee can help.
For more great tips about travelling with your iPad, iPhone and other technology, why not come along to one of iTandCoffee's information sessions on this topic, scheduled in June and July.
Find out more about these information sessions here.
A problem that you might encounter when your travel
One of the things that happens when travelling overseas is that your Messages and Phone apps seem to no longer be able to show the names of your contacts.
Instead, you just get phone numbers, which can be a pain when you want to easily recognise who is contacting you.
Keep an eye out for an upcoming iTandCoffee article about how to easily solve this problem.
What's on at iTandCoffee ?
Below is our list of videos, classes and other events that are coming up soon.
Videos shown are offered for eligible members of the iTandCoffee Club.
If you have questions, why not join fun and informative 'user group' meetings, held once a month.
All iTandCoffee classes are run as online classes (using Zoom), which means you can attend from anywhere.
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