Buy yourself free international SIM cards

Many of us are doing much business internationally and a tangible part of it happens over the phone. Whether calling internationally from the UK or receiving and paying calls while abroad, our aspiration is all the same: we want to minimise hefty charges inasmuch as possible. No wonder, in view of the fact that roaming with its whopping rates has traditionally been the scarecrow against intensive use (despite the regulatory pan-EU roaming rate-cutting push, it continues to be one).

Yet, there is an upside to this all. International telecom services are indeed a lucrative business segment and has instigated fierce competition among mobile operators. Therefore, a targeted search for plans with emphasis on international calls, SMS, Internet would do much good to your bill. A number of providers now offer free international SIM cards and can make you less at ease when calling or receiving international calls. There are several bonus features you should specifically look for:

Free minutes

Providers often allow you to call free of charge or at quite cheap rates to countries in immediate and intermediate proximity. If your partners are in Zones 1 and 2, then you should definitely inquire into the number of such minutes and stick to the provider who gives the best, i.e. lowest price (unless you have doubts as to quality of service).

Cheap Internet

If you are in continual need of Internet connection, you constantly on the move and it would be a waste of time to hunt for Wi-Fi hotspots, then look out for mobile Internet packages. Providers have devised packages which would allow you for a fixed comparatively low price to use a fixed number of MB for surfing abroad. Vodafone, for example, offers 1000 MB per day for £6.67, VAT exclusive.

What about SMS?

If SMS is your preferred type of communication, then make sure that your plan has a zero rate for receiving texts from abroad. Otherwise, you would end up paying a hefty mark-up for texting, on top of what you pay for sending such.

giffgaff makes it very easy to find its rates for calls, texts and data. Just go to the International rates section in the menu, pick the country(ies) you have contacts in and see the rates all at a time.

Vodafone has a Working abroad section in the Shop drop-down menu. Select and review it carefully to see the entire offer for international telecom services.

As for 3 Mobile, seek for the international section and make your informed choice.

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