Prepaid providers with data by country (A-Z)Edit
- All countries
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Cape Verde
- Cayman Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- European Union
- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- Korea, Republic of (South)
- Kosovo, Republic of
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
- Russian Federation
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Prepaid, also known as Pay as you go allows a customer to get mobile access without signing up for a long term plan. This makes it perfect for a person who is only visiting a country for a short time. To complicate matters a bit, the popularity of smartphones has led to another requirement on the prepaid plans: data. In order to be able to use the phones as intended, with internet access, you need to get a plan with decent data rates. To recharge prepaid mobiles worldwide, the user has at his disposal several channels available.
When you purchase a prepaid plan you are given a SIM card to be inserted into your phone. Commonly in the mini size, but with the introduction of iPad, iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 most providers also stock micro-SIMs and nano-SIMs.
The simplest and easiest option is to ask your provider for an appropriately sized SIM card. Most providers are happy to provide this free-of-charge.
Phones Network SupportEdit
To check if your phone supports the network of a provider, you can look here: Network Compatibility of common phones
Phone SIM lockEdit
It is not uncommon that a phone purchased together with a plan is SIM locked to that particular provider. This means that when you go abroad and try to use a foreign SIM card it will not work. We will not provide information on how to unlock your phone in this wiki, there are other resources out there that already tell you how.
An important note about chargesEdit
Watch out! You may incur some charges almost immediately after you insert (and activate/unlock if necessary) your SIM. For example, email might try to download in the background once your phone has a data connection, and will be charged at the standard per MB rate. This can be a problem if you buy a SIM with e.g. 10 € credit and try to activate a data package costing 9.95 €. Probably best to close all apps on your handset before inserting the new SIM, and/or completely turn off mobile data. Also iPhone users on iOS 5 or 6 may want to disable FaceTime and iMessage - if you are not going to be using them - since the phone sends a "hidden" SMS to a Vodafone UK number +44 7786 205094 or +44 7537 4102X1 when the SIM is changed. (It does this to register the phone number with Apple's FaceTime and iMessage servers. More information on FaceTime's hidden SMS (Google) and also a good article at Apple Discussions ). Some networks, particularly official iPhone supported carriers but by no means all of them, suppress charges for SMS sent to these numbers in order to save on manpower caused by complaints about the charges, so you may not be too worried unless you are changing SIM cards on a daily basis (maybe take an old phone and put your UK SIM in it (you might need a SIM adaptor) so you can still receive messages on your UK number?). Note that on iOS 7 the activation messages are sent regardless of whether FaceTime and iMessage are enabled or disabled.
Bolt-ons, boosters and features are all the same name for when you pay a fixed sum for an extra feature on top of your prepaid plan. It is commonly how you get decent data rates. You pay a fixed sum for a certain number of megabytes, once they expire you pay the normal, usually quite high, rates.
Roaming is when you keep using your plan from your country of origin abroad. It is usually VERY expensive to do so, cases where users come home to a bill that eat up a month's salary or more is not uncommon. The cure is to use a local prepaid SIM card instead.
Can't find a good data rate?Edit
Some destinations have exorbitant prepaid data rates. So, you might end up relying on WiFi hotspots but still want a local number for making and receiving voice calls. PrePaidGSM lists prepaid sims for almost every country in the World.
What network settings do I need to enter?Edit
Unfortunately, sometimes it won't be enough to simply put the SIM card in your device and expect it to work: it needs to log in to the network. You will need three pieces of information: APN, username, and password. In many cases, username and password can be left blank.It should be ideally on the operator description page in this wiki, but if it's not try finding in here and if it works, copy it to operator description page in this wiki.
Tethering is the internet connection of a mobile phone or tablet sharing the internet with other devices like laptops through WIFI, Bluetooth or (USB) cable. Thus, the device connected to the internet acts as a router building a "mobile hotspot". Some operators like to restrict tethering in their T&Cs, but this is very hard to maintain technically, so most operators nowadays allow it. Only some Apple devices like the iPhone need a special profile for tethering released by the provider. This limitation does not apply to Android- or Windows-based phones, tablets, routers or modems and should not be generalized.
iPhone says "You Are Not Subscribed to a Cellular Data Service"Edit
The only known reason for this are incorrect APN/username/password. See "What network settings do I need to enter?" above for instructions on how to fix it.
Contributing to the wikiEdit
A couple of simple guidelines to editing the wiki.