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Old Saturday, September 4th, 2010, 01:31 PM
amarg amarg is offline
Join Date: July 9th, 2010
Posts: 61
amarg is on a distinguished road
Default Re: bait and switch?

The sim card is the little square chip that is inserted into your cell phone by your carrier. A SIM card or Subscriber Identity Module is a portable memory chip used in some models of cellular telephones. The SIM card makes it easy to switch to a new phone by simply sliding the SIM out of the old phone and into the new one. The SIM holds personal identity information, cell phone number, phone book, text messages and other data. It can be thought of as a mini hard disk that automatically activates the phone into which it is inserted.
The SIM card can also be loaded with prepaid minutes like with Pay As You Go phones in Canada and US. These minutes can be topped up when running out by using a pin number. That's basically what's happening in Aruba with these cell phone rentals. There's no plan so there pay as you go. The whole discussion is actually a little misleading and confusing as you don't really need to buy a new SIM each time you need to buy minutes. The SIM activates your phone with a chosen carrier, such as Setar or Digicel and provides a phone number and disk capabilities as I said. You are given a certain number of minutes when you purchase the SIM card which is "topped up" with varying denominations of time and in this case, they are worked out to cheaper by minute rates than what our North American companies charge.
So to answer your question, if you have an unlocked phone or world phone that allows you to insert a SIM card from a different carrier (you can get your phone unlocked easily by taking it into a cell store), then yes, buying a SIM from Aruba will help save you lots of money. You have to pay for the card itself for purposes of activation etc., as it is a mini hard disk and then you will be provided minutes. After that, you can keep topping up these minutes as they run out.
It seems some visitors keep the same cell phone with SIM card year after year and just activate it and top it up on each visit. Others seem to rent new phones or buy new SIM cards each time. I don't understand why buying a new SIM is necessary. Maybe Charles can answer this - shouldn't it only be necessary to reactivate the phone and buy minutes? That's what we do here? A SIM card never expires, prepaid minutes do.
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