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19 Dec 2014JT – OUR VISION FOR 2015

Here at GO-SIM, we take a world-wide view of things. After all, our customers are travelling everywhere that it’s possible to go, and it remains our goal to make communication as cheap, convenient and easy as we possibly can when they get there. You might be forgiven for thinking that because they are based on the Island of Jersey, our parent company would have a narrower view of things. After all, the island covers an area of just 45 square miles and the population remains steady at about 100,000. But size has little to do with it, and the truth is, they are just as focussed on the rest of the world as any other major telecommunications provider, if not more so. The clue is in the name: JT Global.

For a view on JT’s vision of the future for both residents and consumers, take a look at this article for Contact Magazine by JT’s Chief Operating and Technical Officer Dave Newbold. For JT Global’s customers, partners and employees, the future looks very bright indeed.
09 Dec 2014ROAMING WARS – END OF YEAR UPDATE

2014 has been the year that international roaming has been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the spotlight. The battles that have erupted around the world no sign of calming down any time soon. There have been victories and losses on both sides, for consumers and operators alike, but peace seems like it is still a long way off. Here’s a round-up of the latest developments.

We start in Europe, where the EU’s cap on roaming rates in 31 countries is making a real difference for consumers. As already covered in a previous article, their plan to abolish roaming charges altogether by December 2015 has met with strong resistance from operators. While the reduced rate in Europe has received a good deal of favourable attention, it seems that some operators have attempted to claw back their profits by raising the price of non-EU roaming. In Ireland, for example, costs for roaming outside the EU have doubled since early 2013.

Over in North America, while the debate over Net Neutrality rages on in the US (especially now that President Obama has offered his opinion on the matter), network operators do battle with each other over the price of data roaming. T-Mobile, with the support of Sprint, have asked the FCC to provide guidance on acceptable roaming rates. This could eventually lead to EU-style regulation of roaming rates across the USA. However, the larger operators, AT&T and Verizon, believe that things are working just fine the way they are, and are fighting to keep things as they are. Meanwhile, in Canada, roaming has become a big enough issue that established operators are having to defend themselves against a slew of new companies dedicated to reducing roaming costs. One of the major players, Rogers, has entered the debate by offering ‘roam like at home’ rates for the US. This has been seen as a bold move purely because of the amount of money at stake. Rogers’ new plan offers a cap of C$5 (£2.78) per day to roam on AT&T’s network – a vast difference from the previous option which involves a data rate of C$7.99 (£4.45) per 50MB.

It’s a similar story in Africa, where demand for roaming is creating new innovation and forcing operators to offer alternatives. In Zimbabwe, for example, the country’s second largest operator Telecel has just offered reduced  roaming rates for seven other African countries, including South Africa, Malawi and Botswana. This now includes data roaming, which was previously excluded from all roaming deals. In Australia, Telstra has just unveiled a range of passes for international roaming, from A$15 for three days right up to A$300 for a full month. All these new agreements, offers and changes are definitely a step in the right direction, but if you think that this means an end to horror stories about billshock, think again. Just this week, a customer in Singapore received a S$2,270 (£1,100) bill for data charges accrued in Malaysia over the course of a single afternoon.

None of the major players really want to offer reduced roaming rates, not when they stand to make an estimated $90 billion from such charges by 2018. However, companies that specialise in international SIM cards (such as GO-SIM) are becoming more and more popular amongst consumers, forcing the larger operators cut their rates to be competitive. Not wanting to give up their roaming revenue is only one factor – for true international roaming to be effective, they would need to enter into agreements with other major operators, some of which are their direct competition. Many operators will find coming to terms with their rivals a slow and occasionally painful process. While they’re only now starting to look seriously at this, it’s something we’ve been doing for years.

To sum up, 2014 has been a year of seismic changes in the roaming world. Certainly, for those roaming close to their home country, there are much better deals available than there were a year ago. However, you still have to be very careful when choosing one of these plans, as there are hidden dangers lying just past any caps on allowances, and if you are headed further afield, the offers become less and less attractive. A roaming SIM card from GO-SIM still offers the best savings on calls, SMS and data and remains the solution of choice for the savvy traveller.
02 Dec 2014HOW MUCH DOES A TEXT MESSAGE WEIGH?

There are those who would happily lay the blame for many of the world’s problems at the feet of the humble mobile phone. Anyone who has sat around a dinner table with a teenager, for example, might feel that the art of conversation has been somewhat diminished. If you’ve ever received a text message comprised of emoji and combinations of letters and numbers (u wot m8? ;)), you could be forgiven for thinking that written English has suffered as a result. And of course, if it doesn’t work properly, time you should be spending talking into it becomes time wasted swearing at it. However, researchers at the New York Spine Surgery have discovered a new problem - using your mobile phone incorrectly might be causing long-term physical damage.

According to the report, smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day looking down at their device, which easily equates to over 500 hours per year. In a world where we are developing special smartphone lanes for users who can’t break away from their phones to see where they are walking, this is beginning to have an effect on posture. The added pressure on the neck of someone hunched over a phone can be as much as 60lbs, or the weight of a seven-year-old child.

It’s hard to know how to combat this. Obviously, texting and walking with a straight spine will leave you looking like a starship captain in an alien environment attempting to take a reading on your tricorder. The development of wearables and improvements in voice recognition software (meaning that you can dictate texts instead of typing them) may ease the burden on our tired backs. For now, all that we can do is try to be more aware of our posture when using the phone. I’ve found that replacing my home screen picture with a photo of my grandmother looking stern together with a caption that reads ‘no slouching!” has been very effective, but you’ll probably want to find your own solution.
15 Oct 2014OK COMPUTER

Talking on your phone is old news. Talking to your phone is the big new thing, and very much a feature of iOS, Windows and Android systems. It’s all very clever, and increasingly so. A recent study put the three main voice-controlled search engines through their paces, asking them a range of over 3,000 specific questions. Of the three, Google Now came out on top, with an almost 90% success rate. Just as impressive is the fact that this is available for free, right now, via the Google Play app store. We’ve tested it on our Android handsets and it works really well.

The Google app has recently been updated to make travel planning easier, from finding restaurants, bars and places of local interest, to reminders for your flights, car rental or other reservations. There is no need to inform your phone of every little thing you’re doing, such as which country you’re in and the name of the hotel you’re staying at. Your phone already knows where it is (and where it is not), and if you’ve used it to book any of your reservations or flights, it uses that information to your best advantage. So the only thing stopping you now is the feeling of awkward self-consciousness that comes with talking to an inanimate object.
02 Oct 2014NATIONAL ROAMING

Making calls in the UK is a more complicated business than you might realise. Certainly, you will have no problems in metropolitan areas. You will almost always have a strong signal, all bars filled, no matter which network you are on. But if you leave the towns and cities behind and venture into more rural areas, then you might find things getting a little strange. For example, there are many places where you won’t get a signal at all if you are using a particular provider. There are houses where you can only make calls by standing in the furthest corner of one particular room. This can be inconvenient, but at least you’re inside. Other places require a much more complex routine. I once spent a fortnight in a village in Cornwall which offered two options: you could either walk a mile and a half up a winding hillside road to find a signal at altitude, or you could use the improvised ‘mast’ at the local pub. This ‘mast’ was in actual fact the pub’s flagpole, and you could get a signal, if you were tall enough, by standing on an upturned bucket with your phone held in the air. This led to some excellent entertainment as we watched people attempting to shout a conversation into their mobile whilst clinging onto the flagpole. We soon discovered that you could just about maintain your conversation, your dignity or your balance, but never all three at the same time.

Whether British Culture Secretary Sajid Javid has ever had to balance on something perilously unstable to make a call is unknown, but nevertheless, he is leading a push to end this national nightmare. Among the proposals being suggested are a £150 million investment toward putting up new masts in areas that are lacking them, and an attempt to get rival operators to share masts in order to give greater coverage. As with all roaming-based issues, national and international, we will be watching closely to see how everything pans out, but you can read more here.
30 Sep 2014
DO YOU NEED AN INTERNATIONAL SIM CARD?

Of course you do! But don't just take our word for it. Our friends at 1Dad1Kid.com are professional travellers, having been on the road since 2011, so they really know what they're talking about. See what they have to say about GO-SIM here.      
29 Sep 2014
TRAVELSTART'S TRAVEL STATS

South African travel company Travelstart have commissioned a very interesting survey about travel habits in South Africa. It came as no surprise to see that, when asked, 92% of participants felt that the roaming fees charged by local operators were too high. For example, on the most popular network, Vodacom, the cost to call South Africa from most countries is R23.50 ($2.08), whereas data costs can be as much as R128 (just over $11) per MB. Compare this with GO-SIM’s Explorer service, with both international calls and data roaming at $3.89 ($0.37), and it’s clear that consumers have a fair point. Check out the rest of the survey for some interesting facts and figures, such as what people from South Africa use their phones for while out of the country, or what percentage of travellers are likely to take photos in places where they’re not supposed to!
26 Sep 2014
BILLSHOCK BLOCKBUSTER!

It seems that Australia still leads the world in cases of billshock the name given to the unpleasant discovery that youve accrued a huge amount of charges on your mobile phone account whilst roaming overseas. In the last year alone, half of the 14,500+ complaints received by the Australian Telecoms Ombudsman concerned data costs of over A$400. A staggering 60 customers received bills of over A$10,000! But these poor people have been blown out of the water this week by a new entry into the Billshock Hall of Shame straight in at number one, the story of the man who received a bill for A$571,000.

Racking up half a million dollars in phone fees is no simple task and requires a lot of help. Firstly, you need to have your phone stolen while in Europe. Then those thieves need to spend just about every minute of the next 24 hours making calls around the world, including to Somalia. Finally, you need to get the timing right because the customer was resident in Australia but located in Europe, the time difference meant that the phone was recorded as being stolen a day later than it actually was. Fortunately, the Ombudsman has stepped in to ensure that the charges are waived, but we think that it will be a while before this particular record is broken.

If you have heard any Billshock horror stories, or even been unfortunate enough to experience it for yourself, please get in touch and let us know. You never know, you might make it into the top ten!
26 Sep 2014

EU ROAMING CHARGES SCRAPPING THE SCRAPPING?

In July of 2014, the European Commission implemented the first steps toward the abolishment of roaming charges in the European Union by cutting the cost for roaming calls and data. Roaming fees across the whole Eurozone were on schedule to disappear altogether by the start of 2016. However, according to reports this week, new draft legislation may make this a much more gradual process, with telecoms operators working toward the goal of standardised charges across the continent, as opposed to doing away with them outright. Operators claim that to deny them this revenue all of a sudden would make it more difficult for them to invest in new technology and networks, and so a more gradual phasing out is necessary. Negotiations are ongoing, and well be keeping a careful eye on what is eventually decided. Watch this space for the latest news!

18 Aug 2014

Mobile Data Update

Data is now available in Laos with our international SIM cards. Also, data rates in Pakistan have been reduced.
08 Aug 2014New country added! We now provide coverage in Laos for calling and texting with our international SIM cards.
04 Aug 2014Honduras and Nicaragua are now also available for the data bundles of our international SIM card.
04 Aug 2014Cyprus (South) has been added to the coverage of the Data SIM, bringing the number of popular travel destinations covered to over 55.
21 Jul 2014Data rates in Saudi Arabia and Iceland have been reduced. Saudi Arabia is now also available for the data bundles of our international SIM cards.
18 Jul 2014We have expanded the coverage of our international SIM cards. Calling and texts are now available in Tajikistan and Equatorial Guinea. Data coverage has been added to Equatorial Guinea and Malawi.
07 Jul 2014

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR TRAVELERS TO THE USA*

In response to new information from the Department of Homeland Security, the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) has announced new security measures for passengers carrying electronic devices. Effective immediately, any passenger flying into the US from certain airports may be asked to switch on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or similar device to prove that it works. If the device does not have power, it will not be allowed on the flight, and its owner may be subject to additional screening. While the TSA have not said which departure destinations are listed as of particular concern, passengers from both Britain and Belgium have reported being subjected to these measures. Other reports suggest that iPhone and Galaxy devices have come under specific scrutiny.

If you are flying to the US from any destination, we suggest you ensure that you check ALL electronic devices to ensure that they can power up and down, and remember to pack your charger. In the event that your device does not power up as expected, you still have a number of options. You can go back to the airline and place the item in a checked bag, and some airports have postal facilities that will allow you to post the item home to yourself. Additionally, you can keep it in your car (if you are parked at the airport) or give it to a family member (if they are there to see you off). Please note: if you do not take advantage of these options and the device is confiscated, it will be considered excess government property and you will probably not see it again.

04 Jul 2014New data country! Zimbabwe now has data coverage with our international SIM cards, also available with data bundles for even lower rates.
03 Jul 2014Russia has been added to the coverage of the Data SIM, bringing the number of popular travel destinations covered to 54.
02 Jul 2014Data rates in Russia and the Ivory Coast have been reduced. Both countries are also available for the data bundles with our international SIM cards.
19 Jun 2014Data rates in Thailand have been reduced for our range of international SIM cards .
18 Jun 2014China has been added to the coverage of the Data SIM, bringing the number of popular travel destinations covered to over 50.
28 May 2014Data rates in Costa Rica and Macau have been reduced for our range of international SIM cards .
19 May 2014Lower data rates for Israel, Faroe Islands, Rwanda and Uzbekistan announced! Our data SIM now covers 47 countries, with more being added all the time.
07 May 2014Data usage rates have been reduced in El Salvador and Guatemala for the current range of our international SIM cards.
20 Mar 2014We Know EVERYTHING! If you live in Europe, we have a good idea of what your holiday plans are, and we didnt even need to use the NSAs spying programme to find out. Its all there in an EU report, the results of which are collated from a survey of over 30,000 participants. The results are, unsurprisingly, very interesting. The economy, for example, still has a huge influence, with four out of ten respondents giving this as the main reason that they took no holiday at all in 2013. In EU countries that have been hit particularly hard by austerity measures, this figure is even higher, with up to seven out of ten staying home instead. Those of us who are planning a holiday are not exempt, with a third of travellers saying that economic factors play an important part in deciding where to go. 42% of holidaymakers chose to stay in their own country instead of travel abroad, and another 40% stayed within the EU. As for the type of holiday that people like, things have not changed all that much. We are still very much a continent of sun-worshippers, with a trip to a sunny destination being by far the preferred choice. Spain was the top destination for tourists, with France and Italy close behind. In addition, when we get there, its good to see that everything seems to be in order. 95% of travellers said that they were satisfied with their accommodation and surroundings, and the amount of people who said that they were satisfied with the local prices was similarly high. Only 4% of respondents found anything to complain about, mostly related to travel in their holiday location. When it comes to booking a holiday, the majority of those that dont get someone else to arrange everything for them (22%) make their plans using the internet. We also like to make sure we get the most for our money, with one in four people researching and booking each service separately. Of course, if you are reading this, then you can already count yourself as part of that savvy minority! Surveys like this are an excellent opportunity for us to learn the travel habits of our customers, and to make changes accordingly. We already strive to get the very best roaming rates for calls, data and SMS. Rest assured, we will use this information to your advantage, and ensure that no matter what your destination and your reasons for choosing it, worrying about the cost of calls while you are away will not be a factor.
07 Jan 2014Data usage rates have been reduced in France and Anguilla for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
22 Nov 2013Data usage rates have been reduced in Luxembourg for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
05 Nov 2013The rates to make and receive calls in El Salvador has been significantly reduced on the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
18 Oct 2013Lower data rates in Nigeria! From next week on, data rates in Nigeria will drop significantly and Nigeria will be added to the data bundles!
04 Oct 2013More coverage! Service (voice and text) now available in Cameroon, Gabon & Guinea with our international SIM cards.
04 Oct 2013New data coverage. Data is now available in Cameroon, French Polynesia, Guinea, Nicaragua, Martinique and Zambia with our global SIM cards
24 Sep 2013Data usage rates have been reduced in Austria for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
28 Aug 2013Data usage rates have been reduced in Belgium and Ghana for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
09 Aug 2013Check our our latest travel app tip "Are we there yet?" edition!
01 Aug 2013New article about bill shock and overseas phone usage
23 Jul 2013See what the Sydney Morning Herald has to say about our international SIM cards!
16 Jul 2013New country added! Voice, text and data coverage is now available in Cameroon on the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
25 Jun 2013Check out the global festival round up for July at http://on.fb.me/12hATdJ - a great excuse to travel and use your GO-SIM international SIM
06 Jun 2013Great news if you are traveling to Japan! Data rates have been significantly reduced in Japan for the range our our international SIM cards.
23 May 2013New Release- Data Bundles: Purchasing a Data Bundle is a great way to get the best value mobile internet while you are traveling. Data Bundles provide you with a separate credit balance which is used for surfing the web, emailing, streaming music and videos and all other kinds of data usage on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. To purchase a Data Bundle, just log into your international SIM card account online, under account details you can then select the Data Bundle you would like to purchase.
17 May 2013New roaming countries added! Coverage is now available in Rep. of Guinea & Turkmenistan on the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
14 May 2013Check our latest travel app tip on our facebook and google pages. Benefit from our low data rates when traveling with your international SIM.
08 May 2013Data usage rates have been reduced in Greece to only $0.49/MB for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
03 May 2013Check our latest travel app tip on our facebook and google+ pages. Benefit from our low data rates when traveling with your international SIM.
26 Apr 2013Visit our facebook page to learn more about our travel app tip of the week!
09 Apr 2013Travel App of the Week: ONAVO COUNT/ONAVO EXTEND Find out more on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/GOSIMsocial
26 Mar 2013Check out our newest travel tip on our facebook page: www.facebook.com/GOSIMsocial
14 Mar 2013Your GO-SIM international SIM card comes with two numbers, one for the UK and one for the US. The Global number is already allocated to the SIM and is printed on the card. The US number is optional, and can be activated once you have the card and start calling. Should you need a reminder of either of these two numbers, simply dial 568 for your Global number, and 654 for the US number, and it will be sent to you moments later via text message.
12 Feb 2013Cheaper rates in the St Vincent, Trinidad & Tobago and Turks & Caicos! The rates to make and receive calls have been significantly reduced for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
01 Feb 2013Cheaper rates in the Montserrat, ST Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia! The rates to make and receive calls have been significantly reduced for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
25 Jan 2013Cheaper rates in the Cayman Islands, Dominica & Jamaica! The rates to make and receive calls have been significantly reduced for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
17 Jan 2013Cheaper rates in Anguilla, Aruba & Barbados! The rates to make and receive calls have been significantly reduced for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
09 Jan 2013Faster data with the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards. 3G now available in Gambia!
04 Jan 2013Faster data with the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards. 3G now available in Belgium, Croatia and Slovakia!
24 Dec 2012GPRS data coverage has been launched in Macedonia for the current range of GO-SIM International SIM cards.
21 Dec 2012Faster data with the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards. 3G now available in Honduras, St. Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands!
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23 Oct 2012We are happy to announce that you can send SMS from our range of GO-SIM International SIM cards to Verizon (USA) phones again. There was a technical fault beyond our control. We apologize to those who were inconvenienced by this outage.
16 Oct 2012Cheaper rates in Argentina! The calling rates have been reduced in Argentina for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
12 Oct 2012New data country added! Data is now available in Nepal on the current range of our GO-SIM international SIM cards
09 Oct 2012Cheaper rates in Hong Kong! The calling rates have been reduced in Hong Kong for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
04 Oct 2012For anyone wanting to upgrade their Iphone or Ipad, we are pleased to inform you that the iOS 6 firmware update has been tested successfully with all GO-SIM international SIM cards.
25 Sep 2012New roaming country added! Coverage is now available in Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic) for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
18 Sep 2012Data usage rates have been reduced in Albania, Switzerland and Egypt for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
20 Jul 2012 Free Facebook updates while you travel with our range of GO-SIM International SIM cards! For more info please visit www.gosim.com/facebook-notifications.html
13 Jul 2012Keep a journal of your trip - with our free Travel Journal! To set it up, link it with facebook or twitter, just log into your online account at www.rechargeminutes.com
10 Jul 2012Data usage rates have been reduced in Argentina for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
06 Jul 2012Add a German phone number to your current GO-SIM international SIM by logging into your account (under Account Details)
03 Jul 2012Data usage rates have been reduced in China, Cyprus & Azerbaijan for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
29 Jun 2012Data usage rates have been reduced in the UAE and Thailand for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
26 Jun 2012New roaming country added! Coverage is now available in Chad for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards.
22 Jun 2012New data country added! Data is now available in Guatemala on the current range of our GO-SIM international SIM card!
19 Jun 2012Cheaper rates in Russia! The rate to receive calls has been significantly reduced for the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards
12 Jun 20123G data is available in over 95 countries with the current range of our GO-SIM international SIM. For a complete list of countries and the carrier(s) visit our data page.
08 Jun 2012Faster data with the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards. 3G now available in Montenegro on M Tel!
05 Jun 2012New data country added! Data is now available in Albania on the current range of our GO-SIM international SIM cards!
29 May 2012Keep in touch with friends while you're away. Update your Facebook and Travel Journal by sending a text message to our special short code number and get text message notifications when friends posts comments on your wall. Available on all of our GO-SIM international SIM cards.
25 May 2012Data is available in over 135 countries with your GO-SIM international SIM card. Your phone must be configured for data usage to work with our SIM cards. We offer over the air configuration, which means that it is done automatically. Just visit www.rechargeminutes.com to get started!
22 May 2012Forward your existing phone number to your GO-SIM international SIM card while you are traveling, making it easy for people to reach you.
18 May 2012Want to use your GO-SIM international SIM with your own handset? Here are helpful tips on unlocking your phone: www.unlockingcodesforphones.com
11 May 2012Faster data on the current range of GO-SIM international SIM cards. 3G now available in Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, Cayman Islands & Haiti!