I've purchased two GPS smart watches for my preschoolers to use on an upcoming trip to SE Asia (so in an emergency we can keep tabs on them).
They require a sim card (activated, with data loaded, and using the 2G network and GSM (whatever that means)) to be inserted in the back and then an app installed on my phone which marries with the watch.
I tried with spark sims (as I'm already with spark and it seemed obvious to add two sims onto my account), but have since learned that Spark no longer has a 2G network. The watches do not show any signal bars despite the tracking app being loaded on my cell, the watches being linked to the app, and the sims being active with data loaded. SO my external advice tells me it must be the 2G/3G network issue.
Someone recommended trying Vodafone, which apparently still has a 2G network.
The advice I need, please, is:
Is it possible to buy a basic vodafone sim card that will automatically use the 2G network if that is what is required by the device, or do I need to buy a 2G sim (or do something to tell the sim that I need it to be using 2G).
When i loaded the data onto the Spark sims it turned into a massive pain in the ass, I couldn't just top up the sims with my phone, I needed to purchase a $9 1gig data plan for each of the sims after loading money on to the sim cards. Would this be the same with Vodafone? would I need to create an account and then top up and buy data? if so, what is the cheapest data bundle I can purchase and how long does that last for (i.e. does it roll over or expire, apparently the watches use very little data).
(bonus question! to anyone who may be familiar with these devices and know - this could all be for nought should it eventuate that the watches don't work while we're away. My preliminary research says that the places we're going have 2G networks, but does this mean the watches will work? will the sims work in another country or will I find myself buying another two sim cards in each country we go (and having to load data and connect them yada yada, at some point this will all get too hard eh).
Thanks in advance! Obviously I'm a bit of a technophobe and this is starting to confuse and annoy me!!
We currently offer 2 Prepay plans. A bundle based one called My Flex Prepay (http://www.vodafone.co.nz/prepay/myflex/) where you can build your own bundle of minutes, txts, and data based on your needs. The other plan is a simple Pay & Go plan which might be the better option if the device doesn’t use much data, as this plan will be 20 cents per MB, and so you won’t be paying for minutes/TXTs you won’t use. You can purchase the SIM card from any Vodafone store for $5, and then activate the plan of your choice.
Roaming can be a bit expensive at $10 per MB for Prepay plans when you use your Vodafone NZ SIM abroad. The above plans, both My Flex and the Pay & Go do not work while roaming overseas, and so Roaming charges apply You can find all the roaming charges for Prepay here: http://www.vodafone.co.nz/prepay-roaming/
You can top up the SIMs online via our website, or you can create a My Vodafone account which you can access from the My Vodafone app, where you can top up, track usage, etc.
Now the complicated part, the frequencies. You would need to check the frequencies the watches can connect to, make sure these frequencies are available in the country you will be travelling at, and if you’re going to be using a local SIM card with the watch for example, you have to make sure the SIM card provider (the network there) supports the frequencies used by the watch.
For example let’s assume the watch connects to the frequencies we use here in NZ and in Vodafone 900MHz and 1800MHz. If you’re travelling to Thailand for example they use 900Mhz, 1800MHz, and 1900MHz. If you’re roaming then your phone will connect to one of the networks that works with the Vodafone frequencies that should be ok.
But then again if you’re using a local SIM card, you would need to check the frequencies of the network you’re buying the SIM card to use with. Either way it can be a bit problematic if the device connects to 900MHz only, and the destination/service provider you go to supports 1800Mhz only such as Indonesia. You can use the drop down list on the following page for some indicative help about the frequencies used in the different countries (though would recommend to check the overseas service providers websites for more accuracy): http://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=Indonesia
As an added measure for your peace of mind while travelling it can be helpful indeed, yet ensuring it will work everywhere you go, with the different networks and frequencies, and the varying coverage in some locations, can be the challenging part.