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What is GSM?

GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) is a cellular standard of service used across the planet. Most of the world's cellular service is GSM making it relatively easy to travel from country to country with your own cell phone and number.

The service used predominantly in the United States is called CDMA (used by Verizon). GSM is quickly catching up in the US thanks to T-Mobile and Cingular/AT&T, although it is expensive to make or receive while travelling overseas.

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What is a SIM card?

The SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card also known as a "smart chip" is basically the "brain" of the phone, providing cellular service as well as many other functions including call history, voice mail and text. SIM cards are the size of a credit card but they have a pop-out chip about the size of a postage stamp which fits into all modern GSM phones. The SIM is embedded with circuitry and when inserted into a GSM phone provides wireless phone service on a particular GSM network.

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What is a locked phone?

A locked phone is one that has been altered in order to use only one particular cellular provider (for example: T-Mobile, 02, Vodafone or Cingular etc). An unlocked phone is one where any restriction has been removed and can therefore you can fit any SIM card.

Many handsets are not locked at all. Some handsets however are "locked" by the supplying network to operate with their specific network SIM card.

The easiest way to find out if your handset is locked is to borrow a different network SIM card from a friend and fit it to your handset. If you see any of the following messages your handset is probably locked:
• SIM Card Not Accepted
• Enter Restriction Code
• Enter Special Code
• Enter Subsidy Code
• Enter Subsidy Password
If you need your handset unlocking, you have 3 options:
1. Visit our unlocking partner site to unlock your handset on-line (there is a charge for this service).
2. Visit you local retailer or service centre to unlock your handset. Prices will vary so we advise you to call in advance and ensure they can unlock your particular model.
3. Contact your usual network provider. They can usually provide this service but it tends to be more expensive than the options above and may involve sending your phone away.
Remember, once your handset is unlocked you are free to use a GSM SIM card as many times as you like - so you can continue to make massive savings on your calls in the future!

It is not illegal!

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What are PIN and PUK numbers?

Some prepaid SIM cards have a security mechanism in place that requires the user to enter in a PIN (Personal Identification Number) code every time the phone is turned on. When a PIN code has been assigned it is important not to forget this code. If you enter the PIN code incorrectly into the phone 3 times in a row then your phone will display a 'Blocked' message. When this occurs you will then be required to unblock your phone using the PUK (Personal Unblocking Key). If you enter the PUK incorrectly 10 times in a row you will block your SIM card indefinitely and you will have to purchase a new one.

All phones have a different set of procedures to enable PIN locks so you may have to consult your phone manual for full details.

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How do I install a SIM card?

Turn the phone over and remove the battery cover and battery. Remove the existing SIM Card and replace it with your new International SIM card, making sure to use the locking mechanism of your phone to hold it in place.

Store your usual SIM card safely so that it can be re-fitted at a later date.

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Will HOPSIM work in my handset?

HOPSIM is designed to work with all mobile GSM handsets. In reality, HOPSIM works with almost all handsets in the usual way but a few handset models may require you to make calls and send text messages using the HOPSIM menu that will appear in your phone once the HOPSIM card is fitted

 Some mobile phone Networks operate on different frequency bands so it is important to check that your mobile phone is compatible with the Network in the country where you want to use it.

Until recently there were 3 GSM bands used across the world:

* 900MHz
* 1800MHz
* 1900MHz

Tri-Band GSM mobile phones operate on all three of these frequency bands although most modern European mobile phones will work on at least two frequencies: 900 and 1800 MHz (known as Dual Band GSM).

1900MHz is typically used in the Americas, so a transatlantic traveller would be well advised to opt for a triband (1900MHz) mobile phone. However, in the Americas some networks operate exclusively on 850 MHz. A mobile phone that is designed to operate on all four of these frequency bands is called Quad Band (850 Mhz, 900MHz, 1800MHz and 1900MHz)

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Will HOPSIM work in my 'Smart-Phone'?

Yes, although due to the complexities of these devices they often operate with our SIM card slightly differently to regular handsets.

In HTC handsets you can only make outgoing calls by keying *146* followed by the full international number followed by #

With Blackberry devices the level of complexity depends on the model being used but if the Blackberry desktop is set to the Network’s own versionthen the HOPSIM menu does not appear. Users need to set the desktop to default and then the HOPSIM menu is located in Tools > Applications.

*146* followed by the full international number and then '#' is also only way to make outgoing calls once the default desktop is restored.

Depending on the Blackberry model type (if 7200 series) HOPSIM menu can be found within main screen desktop icons; under sub heading (SIM card) which should read HOPSIM Menu once opened - it's after the Search icon and right before the Options icon. Alternatively, the HOPSIM menu can be found within the Options Folder under sub heading 'SIM CARD'. However you may need to change phone settings profile to 'default - On' or 'phone only - On' to display/access HOPSIM menu file (varies from model to model

If using a Blackberry 8830, you need to go to "Manage Connections" and ensure "Data Services" is "Off" and then cycle the power. If you turn the "Data Services" to "On" the whole system fails and will not reset by just turning the Data Services “Off” 

Blackberry Curve users should select the Blackberry feature and then Applications and the HOPSIM menu is located in there

With the iPhone you need to use the HOPSIM menu to make calls which is located in the main menu under SIM applications.

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What is a Global SIM card?

Global SIM cards allow a user to make and receive calls in multiple countries without paying expensive roaming charges - usually saving up to 85% compared with using your usual service while travelling. 

The Global SIM card works in 202 countries using over 400 local Network Operators making it a robust solution for multi-country travel.

The call charges are straightforward and published on our website so that you always know how much a call will cost you. Because this is an international service, base call rates and initial credit is in USD ($) 
The service is prepaid - so you add call credit in advance with no hidden charges - no monthly or annual fees and no call set-up or access charges.

You are automatically notified when your credit is low so that you can top-up securely again with HOPSIM. And best of all, unused call credit never expires - so you can use the service year after year!

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Is it like a calling card?

Not at all. Calling cards are used to make outgoing calls via public phones or landlines so you can be billed. Of course, nobody can call YOU if you have a calling card.

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What number comes with a Global SIM?

The Global SIM is an international mobile service based out of Estonia and therefore the SIM mobile number has a +372 prefix. For US customers, we can also provide a US number for a small extra cost.

The cost to call the Global SIM will depend on how much your network provider or fixed line carrier charges to call an Estonian mobile. 

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How good is the signal/coverage?

The Global SIM service operates in 202 countries around the world on over 400 networks. This means that in many countries you can actually make and receive calls on more than one network. The Global SIM will normally automatically select the strongest signal but it may be possible to manually select another network if required.
The available network list will be displayed in your handset if you select 'manually search networks' (or something similar) via your handset menu. Whichever of the available networks you choose; the call rates will always be the same.

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What are the call charges?

Simply click on the Rate Calculator so see the cost of calls in all countries covered by the service. When you get your Global SIM card there will also be a table of call rates included with the user guide - however, although rates don't change often, always check the website for the most up to date information.

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How can I transfer my phone contacts?

We recommend that you always keep a copy of your phone contacts. There are many low cost applications available which can be installed on a PC which allow this to be done. When you save a contact on your usual phone, it can be stored to either the handset memory or to the SIM memory so we suggest that you make sure all important that both memories are backed up.
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How many numbers does the SIM card hold?

The Global SIM card can hold up to 250 phone numbers and 20 SMS messages. It is a Java Card 2.1.1 and has a 64K EEPROM.

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How do I activate my SIM card and how long will it last?

The Global SIM card is pre-activated - so no need to do anything simply fit into your compatible GSM handset and start using the service
Unlike many other similar providers, unused call credit on your Global SIM card never expires so you can use the service year after year

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Can I call or text anyone?

YES. You can call and text anywhere in the world - there are no hidden charges; our rates are the same for calls to fixed or mobile numbers.

Text messages can be sent in two ways - either via the keypad as you would normally or via the SIM menu. If you use the SIM menu the cost of each text message is greatly reduced. Click on the Rate Calculator to see all call charge

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Does it support data use?

Yes, the Global SIM card is GPRS compatible and in some countries 3G is also supported.

Coverage currently extends to over 80 countries with multiple networks being available to connect to in some providing a great solution to data on the move.

Users will need to configure their handsets to take advantage of the service by installing settings provided either manually or sent over the air (OTA). You can send the data settings OTA for your specific handset my logging into your SIM card account online. 

If you handset isn't covered by the OTA service, you may still be able to configure it manually using the following information:
User name: (your full Global SIM mobile number)
Password: (leave blank)

Data rates are per 100KB and are shown by clicking on the rate calculator. You require a minimum airtime balance of $9.00 to use data services on the Global SIM card.

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How much data do I get?

As with voice calls, the cost to use data services vary from country to country so you need to check using the rate calculator on the website. The data rate can also sometimes vary slightly depending which network operator you connect to - so make sure you select the one shown in the rate calculator (where more than one is available we will show the preferred one in the call data and the others in additional information).

The data charge is shown per 100kb.

1 bit = 1024 kbs
1024 kbs = 1 mb
1024 mbs = 1 gb

100 KB is a few E-Mails, for instance, a quick E-Mail check is about 3-5 KB, sending or receiving a few short mails may be around 20-30 KB.

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How can I access my email?

There are two ways. Firstly, you can connect to the Internet using GPRS or 3G (subject to availibiliy in the country) and access your webmail if your handset or mobile device is capable of doing this. See the data FAQ for more information about this.

Secondly, you can use the Voice2Email, (or V2E for short) service. This is a unique voice activated dial in service that'll allow you to manage your emails from any mobile handset. With V2E you can listen to, compose, reply, forward and delete emails through the power of speech alone. What's more - you can also access your calendar and contacts too and also import contacts from many popular email accounts.

Perfect for business travellers and holidaymakers alike, it really will provide you with a convenient way to stay on top of your emails 365 days of the year - using the power of your own voice and without the need for a special phone or connection to the Internet.

Set up V2E FREE today when you manage your International SIM card account online. Check in our Rates Calculator to see the cost of accessing your emails in over 175 countries.

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How do I make a call?

The Global SIM card uses a clever process called 'call back'. It is a little different to how you would usually make a call on your mobile phone, but is really easy to use. Effectively, after dialing the number you want to call, our system calls you back within seconds and your handset will ring - answer it as usual and that is it, you are connected.

Every time you make a call:
1. Dial the number using the full international code (even if you are in that country).
For example, to dial a UK number (such as 0845 6583410) from anywhere in the world you will need to dial 00 44 845 6583410

2. Your handset will display a Calling... message
3. Within a few seconds your handset will ring
4. Answer the call as usual and you are connected

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I get the message 'call barred' or 'restricted number' - what does this mean?

If you see the message 'Call barred', 'Restricted number' or 'Check operator services' it is because some handsets have software that means the way you can make a call requires a different dialing procedure. This is called Menu Calling.

To make calls using this method, first locate the new Menu option for the International SIM card in your phone:
• Nokia: the last item on the Main menu
• Sony Ericsson: in the Connectivity menu
• Motorola: in the Office Tools menu
• Samsung: in the Applications menu
• Siemens: in the Main or Extras menu
• If your phone uses icons, look for the International SIM icon.

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How do people call me?

To call the Global SIM you must always dial the full international mobile number (including prefix) - for example, dial 00 372 followed by the number 00 372 53112345.

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How do I decide which product to buy?

Either look at the 'Buy Products' section or select your destination from the countries in the drop-down list. This will take you to the right product for your needs. If you are travelling to more than one country, check that all destinations are covered from the country list on the product page or by using the Rate Calculator. You can also compare products in a simple table of high level features and benefits.

You may also want to check our website special offers where you will find Global SIM cards with extra call credit or with handset bundles at special online only prices.

When you have made your selection, click on the 'Add to basket' button. Add any other items you might need, e.g. any additional airtime credit or a handset, to your shopping basket. In particular, look out for the 'May we also suggest' items below the shopping basket which often contain special offer products.

When you have finished shopping, select your preferred delivery option and click on the 'Checkout' button. You'll then just need to complete the quick registration form online, followed by your secure payment details. A secure online account is then created for you so that when you return (e.g. to add more call credit) it is quick and easy to make additional orders.

Once completed, you will receive a notification via email and your order will be shipped to your door before you travel.

You can also call us at any time on the number displayed on the Contact Us page in the Support section of the website or click on the 'Live Support' button to chat online to a member of the support team.

With the Global SIM card, you are automatically notified when your credit is low so that you can top-up securely again by going to MyHOPSIM. And best of all, unused call credit never expires - so you can use the service year after year!

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How long does delivery take?

It depends where you are but we offer delivery in 3 working days after receiving your documents. 

 For security reasons we can't deliver to airports but we can often deliver to your destination address or even hotel - please contact us to check.

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What happens if I have a problem?

No problem! Unlike many of our competitors, we offer a range of contact methods which ensure you can always get in touch so we can help. If you can't see the answer to your query in our FAQ's, you can:
• Email us by clicking on the link in 'Contact Us' in the Support section.
• Have a 'live chat' with one of our in-house team of experts by clicking on the Live Support link in 'Contact Us' or;
• Give us a call on one of the numbers shown in the Support Section under Contact Us.

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My HOPSIM card is not working, what should I do?

1. Turn your phone Off then On. 
2. Check Balance - you need credit on your account to make a phone call. Simply go into the HOPSIM menu and check balance or log into your MyHOPSIM account
3. Are you dialing the correct number? This is a common reason for problems when using HOPSIM. Please remember you always have to dial numbers in their full international format.
4. Do you have network coverage? Like any other mobile phone service, you need to have network coverage of more than one or two bars (as displayed on the handset screen). If you find coverage is low, try switching networks. Often a phone switch on/off will repair any temporary network issues.

If you have followed the steps above and still think you have problems you can contact us by phone, email or the live chat link on the website.

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HOPSIM been awarded the
"Best Startup 2011- Silicon India"