Load a Roaming SIM Card
Many people choose to use a SIM card from the Philippines while traveling or living abroad. Using a Globe, Smart or Sun Cellular SIM card allows you to have a Philippine mobile number that people in the Philippines can use to text and call you. This means they only pay regular text message rates to send you a text no matter what part of the world you are living in.
How to Activate Your SIM
If you purchase your SIM card in the Philippines you should make sure to activate your SIM for international roaming prior to leaving the Philippines. If you do not activate for roaming before leaving the Philippines you can still contact the customer servcie of the SIM card brand you are using to request that the SIM be activated for roaming. It may take longer to activate if you have already left the Philippines, that is why we recomend activating your SIM vefore you leave.
Can My SIM Roam
If you purchase a SIM outside the Philippines check to make sure it is a roaming capable SIM card. Not all SIMs can be activated for roaming. Each carrier has different types of SIM cards that can be activated for roaming abroad. Again it is best to check with each carrier before buying to be sure your Globe, Smart, or Sun SIM card will be ready to roam abroad.
What Phone will You Need
You will also need an “unlocked GSM phone” to use that SIM card. In the US the cell phone carriers will lock their phones. This means they will not work with a SIM that is not from the same carrier that the phone was made for. Fortunately phones can often be unlocked inexpensively.
Maintain a Load Balance on Your Phone
You also need to buy load for your phone so it will not expire while you are away from the Philippines. Each Philippine carrier requires a specific amount of load as a minimum balance on their SIM card while roaming. If you should drop bellow the minimum amount of load balance the SIM will be deactivated fro roaming. You will need to recharge with load before you can continue roaming. Remember that load expires after an amount of time defined by the Philippine carrier, so be sure to load it before all your load expires.
How Long Can I Roam
SIM cards activated for roaming are only available for roaming for a set period of time defined by the Philippine carrier. Be sure to find out how long your SIM will remain active for roaming. You can always reactivate the SIM to continue using it while roaming.
Recharging a Roaming SIM
Using an online recharge service is an easy way to purchase Globe, Smart or Sun load for any SIM while roaming. This will help keep your SIM active and you will never be in a jam to try and find a card. Some SIM cards require a minimum load balance be kept on the SIM card in order to use them while roaming.
To purchase a Philippine sim card in the USA you may want to visit your local Philippine store or go online to a site such as www.cellularabroad.com which offers sim cards from different countries. You can also use the online auction ebay.com. There is also a site called www.freephilippinesimcard.com that promises free sim cards in exchange for some of your email information.
Calling and Text SMS a Roaming SIM
Your Philippine SIM card will have an international phone number like this, +639xxxxxxxxx. All Globe Smart and Sun SIMs use this phone number convention whether they are roaming or not. Roaming phones can be called just as if they were in the Philippines. Incoming calls cost so be sure you are loaded. Incoming text is free thus the roamer can receive SMS even if it has no load.
Will I get a Signal
Signal is dependent on the coverage of the roaming partners in the US. As long as the US network has coverage in your area, you will be able to use the service.
Can I Use My Roaming SIM in the Philippines
The roaming SIM may be used in the Philippines, local rates will apply within the home network. There is no action required to use a roaming SIM in the Philippines. Your Philippine carrier will know your home.