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Ipswitch

  • I live in Vilnius, Lithuania
  • My occupation is Telecom engineer
  • I am Male

Hi ipswitch.

Thanks for joining this WIKI and contributing to it.

I had to change your Ebay link a bit because they are soon to become outdated if you link to special offer. And then certain vendors will try the same and our site become full of advertisements.

I think it's legitimate to add the 4th way of purchase, as they give you some more support buying the SIM online. But you need to say that you pay a price for that.

Please keep our Russian site updated, as it's very hard to do this from abroad. The rates are very complex and confusing. When Tele2 starts in Moscow soon, you might help me in adding their Moscow rates, instead of these of St. Petersburg. All other operators are shown for Moscow, even this region is the most expensive market. But users can at least see, what they need to pay at most......

Cheers WOLF

Wolfbln (talk) 21:03, October 11, 2015 (UTC) (ADMIN)

Tele2 update in Moscow Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks for your update on Moscow and Tele2. It is great. I will correct some typos later.

Should we really still include the rates for St.Petersburg? We don't do this for the other providers. The were only included, as Tele2 was not operative in Moscow. But I think we should skip their St. Petersburg rates. To name double rates confuses the reader too much.

There seems to be some issues with the prices and their website for Moscow. The monthly data packages Пакет, Портфель and Чемодан are given other rates on Tele2's Moscow site. Can you check this please. See here  and the packets below.

And they have started a new data-centered tariff for "internet devices" aimed at tablet and modem users. It even has voice and text too. see here: Tariff for internet devices. On this you can add 7 GB for 299 Rub, 15 GB for 599 Rub and 30 GB for 899 Rub. Can you please check this tariff too.

Thanks again for your edits.

Wolf Wolfbln (talk) 21:16, October 22, 2015 (UTC)

About the bird's bazaar Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I do everything I can to make this a decent database. Of course, there is pressure from the market to place overpriced products or offers here.

We had the issue of WiFi hotspot rental agencies last year. This has calmed down now. Very few angencies now want to be listed below the SIM offers. My only condition is that they play by the rules and name all prices and fees. I'm tired of editing misleading advertisement offers.

What the Ukranian SIM is concerned, I haven't made up my mind yet. It gives a great rate. But it's also hard to get. So I decided when it popped up on eBay to leave the links here. We need more feedback, not only from vendors, to get a better survey about this product. May be it's a rip-off or really the "best priced" roaming solution. So the links shouid stay for a while. I ordered one SIM and it arrived from the Ukraine by registered mail in Germany. I'm currently in Asia, so i will test it later this month.

There is a difference between the article text and the comments section too. I think in the article only confirmed information should be given or it should be clearly stated that some users say this or that about it. Of course any rating of network quality or coverage is highly personal. So I try not to give "recomendations" about a product, even if users are frequently asking for something like this. In the comments section of course everybody is entitled to his/her own opinion and we should be more open.

What should I do about a comment like that: http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Iceland#comm-10961 ???

It's clearly "product placement". But some users prefer to get their SIM ahead of travel. What the contributor forgot, is that the "nominal surcharge" is actually the double price of the SIM :-) But jams206 has made quite good contributions in the past, I#m not blaming him ... it's really hard to draw a line here.

Any suggestions.

WOLF Wolfbln (talk) 05:24, February 1, 2016 (UTC) (ADMIN)

Ukraine edit Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I haven't seen the edit, but it's right to undo it. You know, there are very split opinions about the Crimea Peninsula. Some people consider it an occupation, annexion and still legally a part of the Ukraine, other people insist that there was a referendum in the territory and a democratical process of separation to become part of the Russian Fed.

Therefore i've chosen the most neutral wording I can think of: "it became part of the Russian Federation". I think it should stay this way. I had to protect the article for a while and probably still need to protect it.

It's a dilemma, i don't want to take sides on this conflict. But people still feel very strong about it. On the one hand, worldwide most countries including UN still consider the Crimean Peninsula part of the Ukraine. But it is now undeniably under Russian administration.

So should we go for reality or what most people think is international law? I decided to take the Crimean Peninsula out as soon as the 2nd provider has started and give it an own chapter with referrals in the Ukraine and Russia chapters. So everybody has their way. This is not the place to carry out political conflicts and so far the only location we have this problem.

By giving it an own chapter: First, this limits the article protection to this special chapter. I would like to release the rest of the Ukraine from protection. Second, this still does not take any side in the conflict and is covered by reality: While the Crimean Peninsula is now run by the Russian regulator and Russian carrier, they still don't want to be associated with it because of the boycott. So it's still an ongoing special situation which will be reflected by an own article.

Thanks for your help

Wolf Wolfbln (talk) 18:54, February 1, 2016 (UTC) (admin) 

Crimea update Edit

As I'm really fed up by the frequent changes to the Crimean Peninsula chapter, I now take it out of the Ukraine and move it to an own article. However, because of past incident, I still need to protect it. But hopefully I can release Ukraine from protection.

Please check my version here: Crimean Peninsula

If you have any suggestions to that page, please don't hesitate to tell me. There will be a reference in the Russia and Ukraine chapters to this new article, so hopefully the emotions will calm down.

Crimeatelecom Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I'm aware that the 2nd provider has started on the Crimean Peninsula in February. I've already prepared them on the new article on the Crimean Peninsula. May be you have more info which Russian provider is backing them :-)

I've taken the Crimea out of the Ukraine gave an explanation for it in the article and made the territory to an own chapter. I think it makes sense as long as the operators want to be disassociated with Russia, even the area has become part of the Federation.

I hope to settle the dispute in this forum by giving it a special status. Something we do for some territories. I hope Russians and Ukrainians can live with it. I will unlock the protection for the article now. So you can add your information about Crimeatelecom.

But I'm afraid I'm going to protect the article later again, as some users here still feel very strong about the area and I don't want to patrol and edit the chapter all the time.

So tell me when you are finished with it.

Btw. Tele2 has increased rates in St. Petersburg, I've adjusted them. And Beeline has announced new combo plans of the ALL series. As you understand Russian better than I do, please keep them updated.

Cheers WOLF

about Mongolia and Turmenistan Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks for compiling info about Turkmenistan and Mongolia.

Sorry, but I can't link them right now to our countries list on the main page as they require to have a certain standard and in both cases I have different objections.

@ Mongolia: You need to add prices, plans, specifics etc. first. I will check and edit it, check formats and may add some own additional info too. There is not a single rate mentioned in this article up to now.

What the country code is concerned, which I took off. Well, I need to maintain some consistency here. In no other of the 140 countries this code is mentioned. You don't need it for data. Though, I admit, it can be handy. Either you add the other 140 country codes to the other countries or it has to go. I'm thinking of adding a list to the main page which country codes, internal. access numbers and other country-specific data.

So will you please first conclude the article and tell me when it's ready, I'll check it and link it eventually. I think you only need to add the two main players and can disregard the two smaller ones, as they are mostly on CDMA. But this will take some time as I'm travelling in the next weeks.

@ Turkmenistan: This is a critical country indeed. In fact, I couldn't find one single report on the internet, that a user was able to buy a SIM card there. On the other hand, there are only vague reports that it might be not so easy or even impossible. We need to have more info about this. Should it be inluded in the Greylist? I think so. The internet is severly censored in this country. There should be a reference to it. What about social media? We make this survey for travellers. But the main info is missing: Can I just walk in to a mobile store and get a SIM in Turkmenistan? Have you tried it personally? The last Lonely Planet of this country e.g. states that you only get a MTS SIM in one particular branch. Many reports say however that MTS is the "better" (= more reliable) provider in the country (as long as they are not shut off again). It's all right to list it in 2nd position as they don't have so many customers as TM Cell.

So, I will try to get more info about this country too. But this will take some time. I mean all the compiled info is pretty useless, if visitors can't get a SIM there. As Turkmenistan is a very isolated country, it's hard to get verified and reliable data for it. And this doesn't make it very urgent to add it...

BTW. If you keep on adding flags to the country sites, we will have other "nationals" who want to add their flag too and soon we'll have flags flying all over. I've just sorted out the Crimean Peninsula. Imagine, sombody puts a flag (either Russian or Ukranian) to it. So, sorry - except for multi-national chapters - no flags or national symbols here. That's why I will take it off too. Actually, a flag doesn't include any infomation about the mobile system of a country.

I hope you understand my objections. But Mongolia can be added quite swiftly as soon as it's finished by you. This country was really missing from our list. I've added a reference that most areas are without phone coverage and 3G is only in major towns. This is absolutely mandatory to make this clear. But you will link the coverage maps too and they give a rough impression.

@ Russia: What do you think about adding SimSim, the first MVNO in the country geared to foreigners to the list?

Wolfbln (talk) 08:39, May 19, 2016 (UTC) (admin)

keep on with your great work Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Great work on Mongolia so far. I was thinking about what to do with Turkmenistan and your article. Actually I'd add the information you gave in my Talk Page about the obstacles to get a SIM as a visitor to this country in practice and to link it through the Blacklist first.

Another user has made an article about North Korea which I see even more critical: http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/Korea,_Democratic_People's_Republic_of_%28North%29?oldid=26613

He removed all data by himself in the meantime. As some people critised some of the plans as postpaid, others, that visitors can't get them but only businessmen who are stay there for longer - just like in Turkmenistan.

I think that we should make clear in which countries you may get slight or severe problems in purchasing a SIM card as a visitor. That's the reason for the Black- and Greylist.

But I think your work and that for North Korea should be saved as well. and even about Cuba other ways to go online can be mentioned now. So I'm rethinking of changing the main page.

Now the country's list is introduced as: "in these countries you are free to go"....... is actually a whitelist. We may turn it to a general list of countries regardless whether you can get a SIM there or not. And in the articles of critical countries which will be then on the general list we can show with a banner or something like this, to highlighted that there will be problems and which and why.

What do you think about it? But please give me some weeks to make this transition as I'm travelling in South America right now.

About the flags you love so much: I'm thinking in long term we can add to each country an info-box at top right of the article: There will be the name, the flag of the country, country code, internatl. access number, trunk prefix and the MNOs of the country shortlisted. I will design such an info-box in the next couple of months and ask you about your opinion. And you are right, there should be more categories added....

Keep on with your work.

BTW. This WIKI gets 12,000-16,000 hits per day or more than 90,000 per week. That's almost twice as much as last year at this time. I see this as a great success.

Thanks to you and all contributors

Wolfbln (talk) 21:07, May 31, 2016 (UTC) (admin)

Mongolia Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I will go through it. It looks very good. I will do only slight formats and additions.

You do some typos too..... :-)

The APN of Unitel is missing for instance.

You will get your link to the main page in the next hour.

be a bit patient.

Wolfbln (talk) 22:25, June 1, 2016 (UTC)

Black- and Greylist Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I've only added these Blacklist and Greylist banners as I want to change the general list of countries. It has been a "Whitelist" mostly. But there are some articles of Cuba, Turkmenistan and North Korea that I want to add.

But I think I can do this only under the condition that it's clearly marked that the usual scheme of buying SIM cards in the country for data doesn't work there.

That's why I added these banners to these countries to draw attention to these issues. I don't want to get a shitstorm when adding Cuba or North Korea to the countries list.

I've edited your chapter about Turkmenistan. I think it's more a Blacklist then a Greylist country as I couldn't find any report by a traveller (not a foreign resident) to have been able to get a SIM legally there. I amended some of your comments to me to the Basics as I think it's essential. Is it OK for you to link it now to main page?

Thanks for all and keep on going with your great work.

Wolfbln (talk) 10:37, July 14, 2016 (UTC) (admin)

Banners, Ethiopia, Turkmenistan Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks at first for your edit of Russia. It's great. I don't generally erase all typos that I find here as long as the text can be understood as most of us are not native English-speakers. But Russia needed a face lift.

I'm ready to publish Turkmenistan now. It has gone a bit pessimistic being blacklisted, but I couldn't find any report of a traveller being able to get a SIM there. Maybe you should go there and try it :-)

My condition to publish these 'edgy' countries like Turkmenistan or North Korea which I finished yesterday over the template of another user is to clearly mark them. So we can turn the 'whitelist' of countries on the main page to a general list.

I agree that the Black- or Greylist banners can be better. But they need to look good on laptops as well as on the mobile version. Remember >50% of our readers access this site from a mobile device.  I know JPG is not good for letters. As you have said PNG is better. Maybe I'll try to convert my original. But on the other side, you need to acknowledge that many pics are slowly loaded or not at all using a mobile device with not so much speed available. That's why a heavily compressed pic may be even better that a larger file.

Tonight I've spent some time with your draft of Ethiopia. You gave me a great template. Again, I turned it a bit more critical than just presenting the monopoly provider. I think we shouln't only present the operators but give a basic picture of the situation (without being too much biased). I know this is a thin line.

Please help me on my way going this line. We have now more than 100,000 hits per week. Awesome!

Next country will be Cuba. Also blacklisted, but there are some other opportunities to go online I like to point out....

So can I link Turkmenistan and Ethiopia to the main page?

Cheers Wolfbln (talk) 21:44, July 16, 2016 (UTC) (admin)

about your discussion in the Russian comments section Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

I deleted your further "conversation" with this anonymous user. I fully understand and support your position. I made my comments in the Russian chapter at comments about it and why I treat you so differently. I hope that this other user will shut up eventually. If not, I may need to "protect" the Russia chapter for a while, but it can still be edited by registered users like you.

Please continue your great work to this WIKI here, even if you may have a new competitor on eBay now :-)

Cheers WOLF

Wolfbln (talk) 19:09, September 15, 2016 (UTC) (admin)

019

we don't have an online recharge option in israel (strange i know) if you need to recharge let me know and i can do it for you, contact me at iakovl AT gmail DOT com

Revolut for topping up UK SIM cards Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

You gave the information last year here that Revolut debit cards can be used to top-up UK SIM cards. This is very important as many users tried to top them up from abroad in the past without success before. As you know all cards not issued in the UK are declined.

We've got now a feedback of a customer here in the UK article:

This was the text before:

Sometimes, it's possible to buy scratch cards on eBay.co.uk. If you are EU-resident and don't mind to create a prepaid MasterCard to top-up another account, you can install the Revolut app to create a prepaid MasterCard and use it to recharge all UK SIM cards online. This card is confirmed to work as UK-issued. Also you can try to buy UK prepaid gift cards and use them for recharging. As all these procedures are troublesome, think them over, before you leave the UK.

The user added:

Please correct this chapter. I have tried Revolut, Net+ and Centtrip for topup THREE and it dosn't accept these cards.Even they issued by UK registered organizations, financial address is your home address what is out of UK. Using valid random address from UK dosn't help becouse it is not mach wilth card address. Is anyone succeed ?

I don't know what to make out of it. Some information is clearly wrong: Net+ by Neteller is not UK-based, but registered on the Isle of Man which is not part of the UK. 

Can you give us a suggestion how we should rephrase this section?

Thanks for your edits. I'll be coming back from Asia next week and will do more then for this Wiki. We should prepare for the roaming changes in the EU next summer. I know that interest in our Wiki may be declining from then, but there are still many strings attached.

Greetings to Lithuania

WOLF Wolfbln (talk) 03:08, February 23, 2017 (UTC) (adimn)

EU SIM cards Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks for your edits on the European SIM cards. I haven't cared for them so much in the last time. They used to be my baby, but I think or hope we don't need this article anymore after the new EU roaming regulations effective June 2017.

The new rules are quite clear now, but it's very uncertain how the different providers will implement them. Some say, that they will open all domestic allowances for roaming without surcharges like Vodafone. Others will do some restrictions on data at least. There are legal ways like the FUP rules or unfriendly ways like shutting off roaming on the plan or hiking prices and some illegal ways too, that are hopefully stopped by the regulators.

So it's not quite clear, which provider will offer "roam like at home" for which plan this summer..I will keep this featured site for the meantime and I'm slowly constructing a copy of the "rules and regulations" site for the new rules at least. But many questions about implementation like if they really limit "permanent roaming" and you need "stable ties" to the country of the SIM and how they are going to verify them, remain still very open.

Please give your contributions to this WIKI.

See you around WOLF Wolfbln (talk) 12:42, March 24, 2017 (UTC) (admin)

Russia and Europe Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks for updating Yota and the Russian chapter. Can you please add a section at Basics in Russia below Buying a SIM card called Topping up a SIM card or similar and show 2 or 3 sites where users can do it from abroad. I just couldn't follow your extensive discussion. I think it's sufficient just to mention 2 or 3 verified sources that accept internatl. credit cards for recharges and add it like we've done in Poland.

Over the Eastern Holidays I wrote the new article about the EU roaming rules effective June 2017. It will replace the old article from June. As users are either not aware or ask about the new rules, I wrote them down and have added the article now. Can you please check it for consistency. Probably, you understand my dilemma: the rules are clear, but we don't know how operators will implement them. I would really like to have an end to roaming charges in Europe and wish them to succeed. But I'm still not sure, if they will bring them to an end or if we are going to look for new ways to bypass the restrictions. Please let me know, if there is something missing from your point of view. I would like to wait until summer or later to come to a final verdict about "roam like at home".

What's your opinion? Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

Thanks for taking care of the Wiki while I was off for a few days.

I'd like to have your opinion about some issues:

1.) XOXO WiFi

They spammed some articles even if I've warned them before. Now I blocked the profile again, but next time the whole offer will be off. I don't understand nor endorse this behaviour.

They have removed some information in the All countries article as "mistakes". Well, if you look at their offer, they clearly re-sell the Skyroam offer. This should be said. They have also taken off Skyroam's FUP which is quite essential. But in their T&Cs, it can be found again. In line with Flink in the article above, we should mention how much you pay for damages. They wont like this and I don't want to start an edit war. But I consider this information essential. What's your opinion?

2.) Prepaid registration in Germany

I'm watching closely the situation about the new prepaid registration in Germany. It's a mess for locals as well as foreigners. Some people from abroad can't be registered, WebID is not working properly etc. The best way is still doing it at the point of purchase, but this may lead to surcharges. While some of the major providers offer this, others like Lyca and Lebara have put in place an own registration system. But most of the cheap providers only offer WebID so far, which is very inconvenient for foreigners. I think I will restructure Germany again: I'll put the main brands Telekom, Vodafone and O2 on the title page with the brands that are verfied to be registered in stores like Congstar, Tchibo, Lycamobile and Lebara. On a second page through a special link the other brands will be mentioned with a warning in front. Because, they still constitute the best offers, but they are really tricky to get right now (especially for foreigners).

It's still possible to register SIM cards in Germany as a foreigner, but it has become more difficult. We should state this quite clearly, but should retain the info of the other brands in case they will be forced to change their registration schemes again. BTW, your advice to buy a pre-registered SIM on eBay has its catches too, as - while still legal - some vendors sell them in the hundreds and some of them will shut off by the operator when they detect these irregularities. The whole new law is just a joke (like the old one - only worse).

3.) VPNs in Russia

There will be a new law from November banning all VPNs, proxies and the TOR network in Russia. I think we should mention this as this goes even beyond China (that is taking all the apps from the stores). We can't just recommed using a VPN to bypass blocked sites. As these implications are not quite clear, I think we should put in a warning for users.

Thanks again for your great work and I appreciate your point of view.

BTW. I'm compiling a new site for the Ukrainian roaming options of Kyivstar and Lifecell, probably that of DrimSIM from Russia too. They have very interesting offers for low data users. Any suggestions about them? And after this summer we'll collect the users favourites for EU/EEA roaming in different categories. I'm glad to hear your suggestions.

Wolfbln (talk) 00:47, August 2, 2017 (UTC) (admin)

4.) Turkmenistan

What do you make out of this comment from a user there??? Shall we downgrade Turkmenistan to Greylist?

Is this info obsolete? Edit

Hi Ipswitch.

You've added two infos about Sweden in the first line:

a.) country code (+46)

b.) currency (SEK)

The problem is that I have to look for consistency in the articles. In none of our articles, this is mentioned at that point.

In about 160 of the 175 countries so far, the country code isn't mentioned. Why do you start doing it? And why as first information about a country?  

I mean this is a data-centric WIKI and one can argue, if you really need a country code for data. And whether it should be mentioned as first info. But you have to change all the other countries accordingly. I haven't seen you adding +7 to Russia. And please do the same to all other countries, when we decide to mention it. Just to add it in Sweden, and not in Russia simply doesn't make sense. And we need to find a place for this in the article. Does it make sense at this point of an article?

I suggest to add it in an infobox. But for this, all articles have to be changed in layout. When we add country codes (which only makes sense for voice calls, SMS and possibly top-ups) you can also argue that the so-called trunk prefixes should be added too - as you need to insert the number often in the national format for top-ups in some formats.

I'm quite open to have these changes in the Wiki, but you need to do it for all countries or leave it :-)

The second point is the currency. Well, in the Swedish article SEK is mentioned 50 times or more. This is as like explaining that the currency of Russia is Rubles or any currency of a € country is the Euro. So I don't really see any sense in this as far as this is the well known currency of a major country. There is really no danger of confusing SEK to anything else.

I have to say that I've added the currency in some very small countries where they have a common currency like East Caribbean Dollar, or CFA Francs in Africa or use the currency of another country like in Panama. It also makes sense when the local currency is pegged against e.g. the US dollar, so people can easily convert. There are also some countries like Romania where they hide the tax in the RON to EUR exchange and operators advertise rates in EUR which is not the official currency of Romania. There, I think it's essential to talk about it, but this doesn't apply to Sweden. It's like saying the British Pound (GBP) is the currency of the UK. There you can argue that it may make sense, as we use the Pound symbol for GBP and people don't know what this stands for. Right, but does it really belong to this Wiki? And I let Xavier add this info for his new countries in Africa, but does it make sense to say that the US$ is the currency of Alaska and +1 the country code? I don't know.

We may add all the infos, if you like .... but then we need to add it to all countries or none. Why don't you go ahead and make a proposal and make a design for an infobox on top right of the page where the flag now is. We can add flag (as pic), country name, country code, perhaps trunk prefix, possibly internatl. access code, plug size (that's important for travellers!), and currency and some more. This can be added to all countries, but it's quite boring work to do. We should do that - if we decide to do it - on a cold winter's day.

Wolfbln (talk) 20:17, August 12, 2017 (UTC) (admin)

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