Cell phones have become an inextricable part of modern life. They’re easy to use, they’re convenient to carry, and they will work in practically any settled area of the world. However, if you’re outside your country of residence, then roaming charges can turn even the shortest conversations into big expenses. In order to save money while abroad, it’s important to have the right GSM SIM card, and to make sure it’s in a phone that supports it.
What a GSM SIM Card is
Understanding what a GSM SIM card does is the first step of understanding why a traveler needs one. A SIM card is a subscriber identity module; it is essentially a small memory card that tracks who the phone belongs to and which keeps all that person’s information on it. If someone changes a phone handset, it’s quite easy to take the SIM card out and put it into a new handset without losing any of the old information. GSM stands for a Global System for Mobile Communications, meaning that the GSM SIM cards are plugged into a global network.
How the Right SIM Cards Save Travelers Money
When someone has an American phone, their SIM card is likewise American. This means they can only travel and call within the U.S. (and sometimes not even that) before they incur roaming charges. So if an American uses his or her cell phone across national boundaries, or even in Europe, it will still work. However, it will also cost a great deal more to use. If you have a local SIM card for the country you’re traveling in though, then it’s the same as someone making phone calls as if their phone was local. This means no roaming charges or other expansive costs. Simply pop in the GSM SIM card for the area one is traveling in, and make calls as normal.
DID YOU KNOW?
SIM cards are an example some of the most secure cell phone technology currently available. These cards are encrypted, and they require a PIN number to get into. These redundant layers of security make them very difficult to steal information from.
Locked Versus Unlocked Phones
Many of the phones sold in America are locked phones. This means that GSM SIM cards can’t be put in them for other countries, making them pretty much restricted to American calling. You need to have an unlocked phone that will allow you to use a GSM SIM card for a particular country; otherwise, you still won’t be able to make calls for less. In fact, locked phones will only work with the proper SIM cards, which makes them a very poor option for international travelers who want to save a little bit of money on their expenses while overseas.
Prepare in Advance
It’s important to handle one’s cell phone right along with any other trip preparations. GSM SIM cards should be bought for the destination country before departure, and you should make sure your phone is unlocked and capable of using said SIM cards once you’re out of the country. These cellular preparations should never be left to the last minute, especially since problems can arise that have to be taken care of before you depart in order to make sure you can still make and receive calls.
A GSM SIM card is a traveler’s best friend. No matter what your destination is, or how long you’re going to be staying there, it’s always smart to be able to make and receive calls at a lower cost. This is particularly true in case you need to make calls for work, or to check in with other people while you’re overseas. Not every trip is for pleasure, and there’s no reason to pay more than you have to as the cost of doing business.