I'll be bringing my cell (GSM 900/1900) on my travels. Kinda undecided as which type of SIM cards to use...
1) The simple way is to buy local SIM cards as I travel from one country to the next. The rates are usual good but I'll be changing SIM cards constantly and may not deplete the minutes of the remaining cards. And of course, the # changes with every new country.
2) Through ISIC, eKit offers *global* SIM cards (accounts) that can be recharged online or toll-free numbers. The good thing is the number (UK 44) remains the same; the bad - higher per minute rates. But I'll be texting most of the time to keep cost down. I'm concerned about the quality of these global SIM cards. Has anyone used one and how the reception/signal?
With sending sms overseas, a lot of messages that people send do not turn up, because supposedly it is up to the provider of whom you are going to send it through as to if they can be bothered sending it to the receiver. For example if you were using a UK phone using your vodafone sim and sent the message to a telstra phone in Australia, it would be up to Telstra to decide whether they want to send it or not. It supposedly isn't like what happens if you send the sms to you mate that just lives up the street or in your country. I know from experience that my friend said they sent me a text when they were in England, but I didn't receive it in Australia. I personally just found it easier and far more convenient to email people.
If you must take a mobile phone and you plan on spending any length of time in a country, then it'd probably be worth your while buying a SIM when you got to the country. This is mainly due to the obscene rates that you get charged for the international roaming using a UK number.
Have a great trip.
I suspect the compatibility between various providers when using global SIM cards.
Niki, I have used local SIM cards when in a country for more than a few weeks, and it has always worked fine.