Ask Mr. SimCard

- What is a SIM card or Smart card?
- Can I use a Sim card in a non GSM phone?
- How do I know if my phone is unlocked?
- How can I unlock my phone?
- Can I use my credit card to refill my Sim card?
- Does my Sim card ever expire?
- How will I know how to use the services on my Sim card such as voicemail?
- How do I set my phone up to use data services?
- Will my Blackberry work with my Sim card?
- What is a Sim card (Sim chip)?
- What is a prepaid Sim card?
- What are the prices for shipping and handling?
- Will the Sim card work in my phone?
- What is the deal with Global Roaming Sim Cards?
- Callback versus Direct Dial. What is the diff?
- What's this about data frequency and 3G vs EDGE?
- When is Unlimited data not Unlimited?

What is a SIM card or Smart card?
SIM or Subscriber Identity Module, also known as a “Smart Card”, is a security chip used in GSM communication devices which holds all of the subscriber’s personal identification and service profile information such as billing, speed dial numbers, calling services, and allows a much more personalized service.  The SIM card functions as the devices’s digital brain and prevents your number from being stolen and your calls from being eavesdropped.
The card can be switched from phone to phone, making the new phone receive all calls to the subscriber's number.
 
Also known as a “smart card,” the SIM holds all of a subscriber's personal information and phone settings. It gives the subscriber the authorization to use their carrier's network. The SIM is one of the security devices on the GSM network, making it difficult to steal numbers or make fraudulent calls. The card also allows for roaming with other GSM operators.
 
The card stores personal phone numbers, missed calls, voicemail notifications, text messages, etc. The possibilities of SIM card technology are practically endless.

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Can I use a Sim card in a non GSM phone?
Unfortunately no, but you can buy an unlocked world band - GSM phone in the "Phones" section of our site.

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How do I know if my phone is unlocked?
You should assume that your cell phone is not unlocked unless you specifically purchased an unlocked phone. An unlocked will accept a Sim card from any carrier and find the network if it has the necessary GSM bands. A locked phone products an error message such as "Sim Registration Failed" or "Invalid Sim".

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How can I unlock my phone?
Most cellular carriers including T-Mobile and Cingular Wireless will unlock your phone for you if you have been a customer of theirs for at least 3 months. If your provider will not unlock your phone, there are services on eBay that will do it for you. We will unlock most AT&T phones for a $15 fee including AT&T Blackberries.

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Can I use my credit card to refill my Sim card?
The answer is yes. You can refill you Sim card at thousands of locations in the USA, and most all of them will take a credit card. On-line or phone refills may be accepted. Check with the carrier. The best way to refill is online here at mrsimcard.com. Just click the red TOPUP link at the top of each page. If many cases we can send the refill credit direct to your telephone. Please include the mobile number the topup is going to.

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Does my Sim card ever expire?
Yes, your account can expire, so you must use your Sim card once every 2 to 3 months to keep it active depending on which cellular provider you chose to go with. Please check the ordering page for your Sim card to get the exact time period. One way to keep your Sim card active is to simply place a call or send a text message using your Sim card once every 30 days. In the case of Caribbean sims, you can keep it alive by sending a tiny topup to the line once every 30 days. The credit stays on the line til next time you go to the Caribbean.

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How will I know how to use the services on my Sim card such as voicemail?
When you receive the Sim card, you will also receive detailed directions in English for all the functions and services that the Sim card account offers including voicemail, how to recharge your Sim card, how to check your credit, and more.

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How do I set my phone up to use data services?
When you receive your Sim, you can contact your carrier’s customer support line for assistance. Most of the time, they will be able to send the data settings directly to your phone so you do not have to input anything yourself. If the sim is for use on the iPhone, then please refer to the iphone settings page for the APN settings necessary for your iPhone, or call +1-703-953-2272.

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Will my Blackberry work with my Sim card?
With most prepaid Sim cards your Blackberry will only work for phone calls and SMS messages. The Blackberry email service will only work if the carrier offers a specific prepaid blackberry service. We offer prepaid blackberry service in the USA on T-Mobile, in the Caribbean on LIME, and Digicel, in Europe on Orange, and Call in Europe for the UK, France, and Germany. In using prepaid blackberry service, you do need to use an unlocked blackberry device. Additionally, if you are using the same device you use on your home blackberry service, you will need to release the "blackberry pin" from your home service to activate the prepaid service. You can re-attach the pin when you return home.

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What is a Sim card (Sim chip)?
The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, about the size of a postage stamp, has a small chip in it that contains all your account information for the cell phone company.

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What is a Prepaid Sim card?
A prepaid Sim card is a Sim card with a "pay as you go account". There are no contracts or monthly minimum usage. Just add credits to your account, and credits are deducted as you use your phone.

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What are the prices for shipping and handling?
We charge a flat rate for shipping and handling. All orders will be shipped within 24 to 48 hours of receiving your order. Orders placed on Saturday or Sunday will be shipped on the following Monday. After placing the selected Sim card in your shopping cart, a shipping rate calculator is available for determining exact shipping costs. Please Note: We will ship all next day orders placed after 1 pm EST on the next business day. Normal shipping is approx. 10.99USD within the USA and 11.99USD for most international destinations. Express shipping is an upgrade to normal shipping and is available inside the USA from 9.99USD and to international destinations at a higher rate - apprx 39.99USD. Custom orders are handled on a request basis.

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Will the Sim card work in my phone?
Your Sim card will work in any unlocked GSM world band phone or quad band phone. Please check with your phone manufacturer or cellular provider to make sure your phone is a world band or quad band phone. We do offer a select quantity of unlocked quad band phones. The available on each sim page.

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What is the deal with Global Roaming Sim Cards?
We now have on offer the top global roaming sims available for sale. Our FreeTime Global sim comes with a +1(USA), +49(German), and +423(Lichtenstein) number. The "Global Travelsim" comes with a (+372) Estonian number and offers 112 countries with free incoming calls. This sim is the most pervasive product we offer.

Ok you ask, "Why do you offer four Global Travel Sims?"
The answer is personal preference and free incoming countries offered. If you had to pick one that covers the most area and with the least amount of fuss, then the "Travelsim" is the easy choice. If your travels take you to Germany and eastern Europe, then the "FreeTime" sim is the one for you. We now also offer the Caribbean Travel Sim (CTS) which works gloriously in the Caribbean and the rest of the world.

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Callback versus Direct Dial. What is the diff?
Direct Dial is what you do now. You dial a number with the international dialing code ..ie +1-703-953-2272, wait for the call to complete and talk to your party.

Callback is the way you save a bundle on roaming costs. When you dial your call, the telephone triggers the network switch which does two things. It calls you back and then it dials your number. This little twist is called "Callback". The low cost global roamers all feature "Callback".

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What's this about data frequency and 3G vs EDGE?
There are two issues at play here: the underlying technology a cell-phone network runs on, such as HSPA for 3G or EDGE for 2G, and the frequency the radios in the device use to communicate. If the smartphone uses the 900MHz, 1700MHz and 2100MHz frequency bands for 3G data and the GSM 850MHz, 900Mhz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz bands for 2G, then you will have 3G on T-Mobile because the T-Mobile 3G network in the U.S. is listening for 3G data in the 1700MHz and 2100MHz bands.

AT&T’s 3G network listens for phones transmitting 3G traffic in the 850 MHz and 1900 MHz bands, which the iPhone has, so you will have 3G data on AT&T. On T-Mobile the iPhone sends 2G traffic making a slower data experience, which you will notice streaming movies. Typical stuff like email, web surfing, Facebook, and twitter run well on EDGE.

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When is Unlimited data not Unlimited?
All carriers offering Unlimited service whether data, or talk, or text expect that customers will exercise something called "Fair Use". "In English" this means go crazy but not toooo crazy. The carrier expects that you will use 1GB or 2GB data in a month, so the marketing guys came up with Unlimited. The reality however is that if you "Blow out" data, the carrier will throttle your usage and eventually cut you off.
Most everyone will be fine with their normal usage. This information really applies to the data guzzlers who blow out 3GB in a day, and wonder why the carrier cut them off. Manage your data use by doing the following.
1. Download GPS data updates via wifi before your hit the road.
2. Stream long movies on wifi instead of on 3G
3. Take advantage of free wifi where available. (Starbucks, Fedex Kinkos, Panera, Barnes & Noble)
4. Enjoy your Smartphone

TopUp your prepaid Sim card here after your Sim purchase. Just click the Red TOPUP link at the top right corner of each page. Your refill order is processed and dispatched via email within a few minutes. Refill pins are available on our site as well as from wireless stores all over. Click here to learn how to topup Digicel. Click here to learn how to topup Digicel



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