Some Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Personal Hotspot?

Many of the latest smartphones allow you to use them as personal hotspots, also referred to as 'Tethering'. This means you can share the internet connection from your mobile with your other devices, such as laptops and tablets.

So for example, if you have an Android handset with tethering capabilities, you can connect your iPad to the internet by connecting it to your Android's WiFi hotspot.

What is GSM?

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is a cellular standard of service used across the planet. Most of the world's cellular service is GSM making it relatively easy to travel from country to country with your own cell phone and number.

The service used predominantly in the United States is called CDMA (used by Verizon). GSM is quickly catching up in the US thanks to T-Mobile and Cingular/AT&T, although it is expensive to make or receive while travelling overseas.

What is a SIM card?

The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card also known as a "smart chip" is basically the "brain" of the phone, providing cellular service as well as many other functions including call history, voice mail and text. SIM cards are the size of a credit card but they have a pop-out chip about the size of a postage stamp which fits into all modern GSM phones. The SIM is embedded with circuitry and when inserted into a GSM phone provides wireless phone service on a particular GSM network.

What is a locked phone?

A locked phone is one that has been altered in order to use only one particular cellular provider (for example: T-Mobile, 02, Vodafone or Cingular etc). An unlocked phone is one where any restriction has been removed and can therefore you can fit any SIM card.

Many handsets are not locked at all. Some handsets however are "locked" by the supplying network to operate with their specific network SIM card.

The easiest way to find out if your handset is locked is to borrow a different network SIM card from a friend and fit it to your handset. If you see any of the following messages your handset is probably locked:

  • SIM Card Not Accepted
  • Enter Restriction Code
  • Enter Special Code
  • Enter Subsidy Code
  • Enter Subsidy Password

If you need your handset unlocking, you have 3 options:

  1. Visit our unlocking partner site to unlock your handset on-line (there is a charge for this service).
  2. Visit you local retailer or service centre to unlock your handset. Prices will vary so we advise you to call in advance and ensure they can unlock your particular model.
  3. Contact your usual network provider. They can usually provide this service but it tends to be more expensive than the options above and may involve sending your phone away.

Remember, once your handset is unlocked you are free to use a GSM SIM card as many times as you like - so you can continue to make massive savings on your calls in the future!

It is not illegal!

What are PIN and PUK numbers?

Some prepaid SIM cards have a security mechanism in place that requires the user to enter in a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code every time the phone is turned on. When a PIN code has been assigned it is important not to forget this code. If you enter the PIN code incorrectly into the phone 3 times in a row then your phone will display a 'Blocked' message. When this occurs you will then be required to unblock your phone using the PUK (Personal Unblocking Key). If you enter the PUK incorrectly 10 times in a row you will block your SIM card indefinitely and you will have to purchase a new one.

All phones have a different set of procedures to enable PIN locks so you may have to consult your phone manual for full details.

How do I install a SIM card?

Turn the phone over and remove the battery cover and battery. Remove the existing SIM Card and replace it with your new International SIM card, making sure to use the locking mechanism of your phone to hold it in place.

Store your usual SIM card safely so that it can be re-fitted at a later date.

Will GO-SIM work in my handset?

GO-SIM is designed to work with all mobile GSM handsets. In reality, GO-SIM works with almost all handsets in the usual way but a few handset models may require you to make calls and send text messages using the GO-SIM menu that will appear in your phone once the GO-SIM card is fitted

Very few mobile handsets will NOT work with GO-SIM at all but if you are still concerned, why not consider buying a GO-SIM and handset package from our website?

Some mobile phone Networks operate on different frequency bands so it is important to check that your mobile phone is compatible with the Network in the country where you want to use it.

Until recently there were 3 GSM bands used across the world:

  • * 900MHz
  • * 1800MHz
  • * 1900MHz

Tri-Band GSM mobile phones operate on all three of these frequency bands although most modern European mobile phones will work on at least two frequencies: 900 and 1800 MHz (known as Dual Band GSM).

1900MHz is typically used in the Americas, so a transatlantic traveller would be well advised to opt for a triband (1900MHz) mobile phone. However, in the Americas some networks operate exclusively on 850 MHz. A mobile phone that is designed to operate on all four of these frequency bands is called Quad Band (850 Mhz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz)

What is a Global SIM card?

Global SIM cards allow a user to make and receive calls in multiple countries without paying expensive roaming charges - usually saving up to 85% compared with using your usual service while travelling.

The Global SIM card works in 180 countries using countless local Network Operators making it a robust solution for multi-country travel.

The call charges are straightforward and published on our website so that you always know how much a call will cost you. Because this is an international service, base call rates and initial credit is in USD ($) and may be converted to other currencies on this website. The service is prepaid - so you add call credit in advance with no hidden charges - no monthly or annual fees and no call set-up or access charges.

You are automatically notified when your credit is low so that you can top-up securely again with GO-SIM.

Is it like a calling card?

Not at all. Calling cards are used to make outgoing calls via public phones or landlines so you can be billed. Of course, nobody can call YOU if you have a calling card.

What number comes with a Global SIM?

The Global SIM is an international mobile service based out of the UK and therefore the SIM mobile number has a +44 prefix. For US customers, we also provide a US +1 phone number.

The cost to call the Global SIM will depend on how much your network provider or fixed line carrier charges to call a +44 British Isles based mobile phone number.

How good is the signal/coverage?

The Global SIM service operates in 180 countries around the world on countless networks. This means that in many countries you can actually make and receive calls on more than one network. The Global SIM will normally automatically select the strongest signal but it may be possible to manually select another network if required.

The available network list will be displayed in your handset if you select 'manually search networks' (or something similar) via your handset menu. Whichever of the available networks you choose, the call rates will always be the same.

What are the call charges?

Simply click on the Rate Calculator so see the cost of calls in all countries covered by the service. When you get your Global SIM card there will also be a table of call rates included with the user guide - however, although rates don't change often, always check the website for the most up to date information.

How can I transfer my phone contacts?

We recommend that you always keep a copy of your phone contacts. There are many low cost applications available which can be installed on a PC which allow this to be done. When you save a contact on your usual phone, it can be stored to either the handset memory or to the SIM memory so we suggest that you make sure all important that both memories are backed up.

How many numbers does the SIM card hold?

The Global SIM card can hold up to 250 phone numbers and 20 SMS messages.

Can I call or text anyone?

YES. You can call and text anywhere in the world - there are no hidden charges; our rates are the same for calls to fixed or mobile numbers.

Text messages can be sent in two ways - either via the keypad as you would normally or via the SIM menu. If you use the SIM menu the cost of each text message is greatly reduced. Click on the Rate Calculator to see all call charge.

Does it support data use?

Yes, the Global SIM card is GPRS compatible and in some countries 3G is also supported.

Coverage currently extends to over 140 countries with multiple networks being available to connect to in some providing a great solution to data on the move.

Users will need to configure their handsets to take advantage of the service by installing settings provided either manually or sent over the air (OTA). You can send the data settings OTA for your specific handset by going to www.rechargeminutes.com.

If your handset isn't covered by the OTA service, you may still be able to configure it manually using the following information:

  • APN: mobiledata
  • User name: (leave blank)
  • Password: (leave blank)
How much data do I get?

As with voice calls, the cost to use data services vary from country to country so you need to check using the rate calculator on the website. The data rate can also sometimes vary slightly depending which network operator you connect to - so make sure you select the one shown in the rate calculator (where more than one is available we will show the preferred one in the call data and the others in additional information).

The data charge is shown per MB.

  • 1 byte = 1024 KB
  • 1024 KB = 1 MB
  • 1024 MB = 1 GB

100 KB is a few E-Mails, for instance, a quick E-Mail check is about 3-5 KB, sending or receiving a few short mails may be around 20-30 KB.

How can I access my email?

There are two ways. Firstly, you can connect to the Internet using GPRS or 3G (subject to availibiliy in the country) and access your webmail if your handset or mobile device is capable of doing this. See the data FAQ for more information about this.

How do I make a call?

Every time you make a call:

  1. Dial the number using the full international code (even if you are in that country).
    For example, to dial a UK number (such as 0845 6583410) from anywhere in the world you will need to dial 44 845 6583410
  2. Your handset will display a Calling... message
  3. Within a few seconds your handset will ring
  4. Answer the call as usual and you are connected
How do people call me?

To call the Global SIM you must always dial the full international mobile number (including prefix) - for example, dial 00 44 followed by the number 00 44 1234567890.

How do I decide which product to buy?

The best way to decide which product to buy is to go to our home page and select the product that best describes your area of travel. You can then configure the product to your personal needs. If you have any additional questions or would like advice, please call our 24/7 friendly customer service team.

How long does delivery take?

It depends where you are but we offer a next day delivery in many regions of the world.

What happens if I have a problem?

No problem! We offer a range of contact methods which ensure you can always get in touch so we can help. If you can't see the answer to your query in our FAQ's, you can either email or call our 24/7 friendly customer service team.

What happens if I have a problem?
  1. Turn your phone Off then On.
  2. Check Balance by dialing 187
  3. Are you dialling the correct number? This is a common reason for problems when using GO-SIM. Please remember you always have to dial numbers in their full international format.
  4. Do you have network coverage? Like any other mobile phone service, you need to have network coverage of more than one or two bars (as displayed on the handset screen). If you find coverage is low, try switching networks. Often a phone switch on/off will repair any temporary network issues.

If you have followed the steps above and still think you have problems you can contact us by phone, email or the live chat link on the website.

What happens if I lose my Global SIM?

Losing your mobile phone is bad enough at any time but if you are far from home it can become much more than an inconvenience.

We recommend that you take out our SIM card protection plan when you purchase a Global SIM card. By simply selecting this at the checkout stage, your new Global SIM card will be protected and then if the worst happens, we will sort out a replacement card, transfer any remaining call credit and get it to you - fast.