Our good friend and technomad Paul Oppenheim stopped by this week with a dispatch from Germany and some more info on his current holy quest: to find an international phone plan that supports data and that doesn’t cost more than the mortgage on his condo in San Francisco.
Those familiar with data plans and roaming charges outside of the US might be familiar with the sad details: taking one’s smartphone outside of one’s home country can be an expensive endeavor. Sure, there’s international infrastructure and partnerships to forge, but is that all worth a twelve thousand dollar phone bill? Probably not.
As a result, many opt to use a different Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card while abroad — something, perhaps, with less aggressive data charges. The problems with that notion though are that you need to have a different (local) phone number and that until recently there wasn’t a great place to research carriers internationally. Spanish providers, for example, tend to provide all of their subscriber info and instructions on local, Spanish sites.
Part of that has changed with the paygsimwithdata repository over at wikia. There, travelers can leaf through a wide spectrum of providers sorted by country and service, with many vendors broken down by availability, pricing and value. And yes, it’s all in English.
Bear in mind that while traveling you’ll still have to suffer with a different, local phone number, but having connectivity for a reasonable cost is a small price to pay.
[Flickr image via mroach]