Apple SIM goes global: GigSky brings iPad data plans to more than 90 countries & territories

Posted:
in iPad edited August 2015
iPad toting travelers can now use their Apple SIM card in many more places internationally thanks to GigSky, which announced on Tuesday that it has struck a deal with Apple to provide high-speed wireless connectivity in more than 90 countries and territories across the world.




Using the Apple SIM built in to the latest cellular-capable iPad models, customers can view and select a data plan right on the device while traveling. Previously, multi-carrier Apple SIM support was limited to just within the U.S. (on AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile) and U.K. (on the EE Network).

To coincide with the launch, Apple SIM cards will be available for individual purchase at Apple retail stores in 10 new countries over the coming weeks Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Apple SIM cards are also already available to buy at stores in the U.S. and U.K.

GigSky data plans vary by country. For example, 20 megabytes of data for 3 days costs $10 USD in Russia and Brazil, while a 250-megabyte, 30-day plan is $50. Meanwhile, in India and Russia, $10 USD nets 40 megabytes over 3 days, and $50 buys 500 megabytes over 30 days.




The full list of countries supported by GigSky is:
  • Albania
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire, Saba, St. Eustatius
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Christmas Island
  • Cook Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curacao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • DR Congo
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Lao
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Mozambique
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Saint Martin (French)
  • Samoa
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • St Barthelemy
  • St Maarten
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Tahiti (French Polinesia)
  • Tanzania
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vanuatu



"We're elated to offer iPad users a new way to stay connected around the world," said Ravi Rishy-Maharaj, Founder and CEO of GigSky. "iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 are thin, light and great for travel. Paired with GigSky's affordable mobile data service -- easily accessible right from iPad with Apple SIM -- travelers have the freedom to email, map and tweet wherever they go, without the usual challenges of connecting."

With an Apple SIM and an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3, users will be able to choose a GigSky plan upon arrival right from their device.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Dudes. No Iran, Egypt & Mongolia? How on Earth is Apple gonna stay in business?
  • Reply 2 of 24
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    Some of the plans are, shall we say, not very impressive. You'd think that, with such a large potential market, GigSky could have worked out better and more consistent plans with these cellular providers. What they're selling looks like a hodge-podge.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,096member
    No Japan. :(
  • Reply 4 of 24
    ajlajl Posts: 107member
    10 bucks for 20MB?!?

    Are you kidding me?
  • Reply 5 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AJL View Post



    10 bucks for 20MB?!?



    Are you kidding me?

    Also says: "a 250-megabyte, 30-day plan is $50" which isn't that bad for roaming data - I recall being unpleasantly surprised at my AT&T wireless bill a few years ago at the cost of data on a UK visit (home country is US).

  • Reply 6 of 24
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    ajl wrote: »
    10 bucks for 20MB?!?

    Are you kidding me?

    Yea - man, that's really, really unimpressive.
    No sale GigSky.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    I had to laugh at the "affordable" statement.
    ajl wrote: »
    10 bucks for 20MB?!?

    Are you kidding me?

    In some of those contries those affordable rates would be a small fortune.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    rwesrwes Posts: 167member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chadbag View Post



    No Japan. image

     

    List is incomplete. Japan is included, as is Sierra Leone and possibly others...

     

    The map above looks like it's a screen shot sourced from GigSky (which shows Japan and Sierra Leone). https://www.gigsky.com/pricing

  • Reply 9 of 24
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,223moderator
    Sounds like it's time for Uber to get into wifi with some long range transmitters or Elon Musk to get his satellites in place without blowing most of them up. These data plans aren't enough for basic web browsing. Europe has the right idea:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-33325031

    "Data roaming charges to end in EU within two years
    Data roaming charges are set to be abolished within the European Union by June 2017, it has been announced.
    The ban will be preceded by a 14-month interim period, in which companies can still add surcharges - but at a reduced rate."

    Wifi is the way to go though, set up the antennas for 15km radii, say $10k per installation:

    http://www.tp-link.us/products/details/cat-4581_TL-WA5210G.html

    and you just need to install about 200,000 to cover the earth. $2b ?Net. They don't need 100% coverage either. Focusing on the most populated areas would be a fraction of that.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    cm477cm477 Posts: 95member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregquinn View Post

     

    Also says: "a 250-megabyte, 30-day plan is $50" which isn't that bad for roaming data - I recall being unpleasantly surprised at my AT&T wireless bill a few years ago at the cost of data on a UK visit (home country is US).


    That's exorbitant. A couple of years ago I got a SIM card for my iPad in Italy, and I think it was less a than $50 for several GB of data (I think it was 4 GB). I was even able to download "The Godfather" on iTunes (we had just visited the little town where some scenes were filmed). In Hong Kong and Thailand you can get several GB's for about $20 about three years ago. I would assume rates are even cheaper now. Whenever I have travelled abroad, I realized how expensive our plans are in the U.S.

  • Reply 11 of 24
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member

    I'm going away on vacation soon to Europe and I don't have a cellular iPad, I just have a regular iPad Air 2, but I've already gotten everything taken care of, and I've set things up via a family member in the country that I'll be visiting, and I'll just be using a 4G mobile hotspot and I'll be getting 20 GB for 30 days. That should be sufficient for me. Last time that I was there, I was even streaming Netflix USA all of the time, without any problems at all. Companies that advertise their data plans in megabytes is not even of any interest to me. It's all about the gigabytes. Go big or go home.

  • Reply 12 of 24
    cm477cm477 Posts: 95member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

     

    I'm going away on vacation soon to Europe and I don't have a cellular iPad, I just have a regular iPad Air 2, but I've already gotten everything taken care of, and I've set things up via a family member in the country that I'll be visiting, and I'll just be using a 4G mobile hotspot and I'll be getting 20 GB for 30 days. That should be sufficient for me. Last time that I was there, I was even streaming Netflix USA all of the time, without any problems at all. Plans that advertise their data plans in megabytes is not even of any interest to me. It's all about the gigabytes. Go big or go home.




    How much is your 20GB plan? These GigSky rates seem too expensive. 

  • Reply 13 of 24
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,680member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by cm477 View Post

     



    How much is your 20GB plan? These GigSky rates seem too expensive. 




    It was about $50, but the thing is you needed to be subscribed for 12 months, so I just demanded that my mother sign up for the whole year, and she is able to downgrade to a cheaper 5GB per month after I leave, so it works out pretty good.

  • Reply 14 of 24
    ipilyaipilya Posts: 190member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cm477 View Post

     

    That's exorbitant. A couple of years ago I got a SIM card for my iPad in Italy, and I think it was less a than $50 for several GB of data (I think it was 4 GB). I was even able to download "The Godfather" on iTunes (we had just visited the little town where some scenes were filmed). In Hong Kong and Thailand you can get several GB's for about $20 about three years ago. I would assume rates are even cheaper now. Whenever I have travelled abroad, I realized how expensive our plans are in the U.S.




    My iPad plan in Italy under the provider "3" is €5 for 4GB and uses LTE. :)

    http://www.tre.it/tariffe/super-internet-plus

  • Reply 15 of 24
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,997member

    Best way is still to have a SIM-unlocked device and buy a local SIM card wherever you travel.  The local plans are generally cheaper than these.

  • Reply 16 of 24
    anomeanome Posts: 1,279member

    I was all set to post something about what a rip off their plans seem to be, but after checking, it looks like its cheaper than the roaming SIM service I use. By quite a large margin. It's even cheaper than the now seemingly defunct company I was using that let me forward my local number to the international one.

     

    Still not sure this is the way to go. I may end up getting local SIMs for the countries I visit most, and have backup roaming SIMs for places I visit less frequently.

     

    Where they will make their money is with people who don't travel overseas very often, and don't want the hassle of finding a better deal. Convenience often wins out over price with services like this.

  • Reply 17 of 24
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 446member
    Agree these are high rates, BUT if you travel a lot internationally and don't want/need large data blocks this could very handy to check emails, etc.. Data plans in other countries are NOT cheap. Unknown for me at this time is how well is the coverage in each country (usually side agreements with local cell companies)? If it is restricted to large cities then wi-fi is probably the way to go. But I travel to some pretty remote areas, but they do tend to have some cell coverage. So in those areas a 50 Mb data plan for a day or so could be quite useful.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gregquinn View Post

     

    Also says: "a 250-megabyte, 30-day plan is $50" which isn't that bad for roaming data - I recall being unpleasantly surprised at my AT&T wireless bill a few years ago at the cost of data on a UK visit (home country is US).


    That's still pretty high. When I was in Canada last year, I paid $10 per 100mb. So for $50, you get 500mb on Verizon compared to $50 for 250mb on GigSky. Verizon also has a  plan for $20 that includes 250mb. After that, it's $10 per 100mb. With the second plan, you get 550mb for $50.

  • Reply 19 of 24
    The things to remember here is that rates for data (and voice and texting on cellphone plans) vary from country to country. Roaming rates are NOT the same as local rates as the local carriers are trying to get as much out of the tourists as possible. Gigsky has to deal with multiple carriers around the world and create its own infrastructure to deal with them all and also with those people wanting to use its services. It has to pay for all this and make a profit too.

    So for someone who can't be bothered to search for that best deal, who might be only passing through a country for a day or two and needs connectivity, this could be a God-send having it available. It isn't necessarily the best option for data but it obviously fills a need, otherwise they would go out of business.

    For those who have family in a country, who speak the local language and/or might be there for a longer time period, other more economical solutions exist. It could also be a great back up solution in case you go over your local allotment, lose a device or to have a tiny SIM in your pocket to use in someone else's idevice in an emergency.

    That Apple has a "check point" to use to sell their Apple SIM for iPads leads to the possibility of it being for iPhone roaming in the future too. And if it were to take off, imagine the possibility of a dual SIM iPad and/iPhone to allow more than one carrier.

    If this were to become a big success, it could allow Apple the clout to implement a built-in SIM. The carriers had a conniption fit years ago when Apple raised the possibility of a built-in SIM where Apple could become an MVNO and select who it would send your signal through. Time will tell how this works out.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    cash907cash907 Posts: 893member
    Wow. They want $50 for 250MB in Canada. I can get a gig for the same price through Similicious and the SIM card is free with two dollar shipping.
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