rule #1: ALWAYS remember to remove the normal home country sim card before you leave to another country, or before you land at international countries, and ALWAYS remember to disable the data on your cell phone before, IF not you will incur A BIG roaming data charge, costing you thousands of dollars for checking your emails, using maps, facebook etc..
now, if you remove your home country sim card, then how do you receive and make voice phone calls for cheap? how do you get internet access everywhere on you cell phone and avoid paying hotels internet?
1. Get FONGO app for android, bb, or iphone, ipad
2. Download and activate fongo app, that will give you a free canada phone number. You can get and choose your own area code, example 514-xxx-xxxx montreal area code.
3. Write down the new phone number that fongo provide you
4. Before you leave canada, on your cell phone, Forward all your canadian cell phone voice calls to the new fongo phone number. All your cell phone calls will then now ring on the fongo app, and since the fongo phone number is local to the area wherever you live, there is no long distance fees from your cell phone carrier.
if you are from other countries, usa, europe etc, get a local skype number, then forward call call to the skype number. Anyone that call your normal number will ring on your skype device
5. Once you arrive at the international destination, france, japan, Indonesia etc, buy a LOCAL country prepaid data sim card for your UNLOCKED phone. You can use ipad if your ipad has sim card slot. and of course your phone has to be unlocked. (you are travelling and do not have unlocked phones ??!!)
6. Activate the data on your new prepaid local sim card.
7. Start fongo app et voila! Now anyone that call you at your Canadian phone number will ring your cell phone through fongo app.
8. and if you need to call canada phone numbers, you can use fongo to call anywhere in canada for free. Voice mails are downloadable in fongo.
9. For call to local country where you are visiting, use the local sim card, or use skype.
ATT GLOBAL DATA PREPAID PASS :
If you travel to many different countries, more than 1 country, the best, easiest and cheapest option is: ATT global data prepaid is an option, FOR $ 120 usd for 800 mb of data almost worldwide for one month. You get HDSPA 3g+ speed, (if available) instead of 1 or 2 G at sprint or Verizon option. ( I got 3g speed even in india)
it works easily and is fast everywhere.
why prepaid? because you can control how much data and how much money you want to spend overseas. if you are on roaming and are on monthly postpaid fees, your data usage can be unlimited and with unlimited costs.
You need to get the FREE USA ATT data sim card from an att usa store, or ask a friend in usa to ship you one. The SIM card has to be non – activated, virgin. ( a lot of att staff will be confused and want to activate you the same day on some type of data or voice option, saying they need to do it before giving the sim card to you.
The ATT sim card can be registered by the att staff in their system but insist that they are not to be activated. why? once they activated on the wrong plan, you cannot use or activate it on the global data pass)
Then you activate the att data sim card later before you leave the country.
You then can use FONGO or Skype apps to make cheap calls. https://buyasession.att.com
wifi hot spot, to avoid hotels internet charges:
once you already have your att data sim activated, if you need to access internet from other devices, laptops etc, all you have to do is activate the wifi hot spot function on your smartphone or ipad. (Tethering)
Usually you will have access to 3g speed, anywhere. It will let you avoid internet scam charges from hotels.
another advantage of the att data sim card is that the att wifi hot spot use the same data allowance as what you already prepaid. On most home cell phone providers, they charge tethering data separately!
Iridium satellite phone:
if you mostly want a voice option that works anywhere, in the middle of the seas to the north pole, get an iridium satellite phone. The cost of the satellite phone is marginally more than a smartphone, and for yearly prepaid pass, the cost per minute of of a CALL OUT is cheaper (start at $1 usd to $1.75) than even your normal postpaid roaming charges from your home country provider (sometimes they charges as much as $2-$4 dollars per min.)
on your cell phone, if someone calls you on your normal home country phone number, and you choose not to answer, and if it gets transferred to your voice mail, you get charged $2-$4 dollars per minute for someone to leave a voice message)
disadvantages of iridium phone:
1. cost of the phone ($500-$1200 for the new extreme)
2. need clear view of the sky. has to be outside when making calls
3. people calling you, calling IN your iridium phone number: very expensive, they pays $10-$14 usd per min, unless they know how to use 2 stage iridium calling.