don't get me wrong, i'm pretty happy with globe's roaming service. and since it's a postpaid plan, i know that i can use it should i encounter emergencies abroad. but it also encourages spending, and i lose track of my texting when i'm abroad. the resulting bill does not make me happy, and i'd like to have a way of controlling my roaming expenses when i'm abroad.
sun prepaid roaming
i have been using a sun cellular prepaid SIM for about two years now, and i'm very happy to find out that they now have roaming for prepaid subscribers. in order to activate, just text ROAM ON and send to 222 at least one hour before leaving the country. currently, sun's prepaid roaming service is only available in china, hong kong, singapore, macau, and malaysia.
this is definitely good news for me! i can now just load a certain amount of credits on my phone and make do with that amount for the rest of my trip. this way, i have more control over my budget. i also read that there's no maintaining balance needed to keep using the roaming service, so even if i run out of load, my sun friends and family can still text me.
sun budget roaming text
yet another great development for sun prepaid is budget roaming text, which is a "menu-based roaming text alternative." by using budget roaming text, you can text to the philippines (both sun and non-sun cellular subscribers) for just P5/text. balance inquiry is also free, and the menu allows you to check your sent items as well.
to use sun budget roaming text, dial *111# and press call or send. a menu will appear on your phone. press "answer" and choose the number that corresponds to the transaction that you want to perform. e.g. press "answer" and "3" for balance inquiry.
it's important to note that in sending text messages using budget roaming text, you should key in the number in this format: 09221234567, and NOT +639221234567.
the downside to this is, you can't use your phone's address book to retrieve their numbers--you have to manually enter their number every time you send a message. if you plan to use this, make sure you list down the numbers of the people you text frequently on a piece of paper. you also have to have a P5 maintaining balance to keep this service active. you can read more about sun budget roaming text in their FAQ.
a bit complicated, sure, but hey, it saves you a few bucks! :)
to activate: send ROAM ON to 222 at least one hour before leaving the country
balance inquiry: dial *221# then press send
destinations: china, hong kong, macau, malaysia, singapore
to use: dial *111# and press send
rate: P5 per text message sent to the philippines (you can send to both sun and non-sun cellular numbers)