Why expats may want to consider owning dual-sim cellphones

Based on the recent news in another thread that I can import a cellphone through the mail, I am weighing the whether I want to fork up an extra $13 for a dual sim phone.

According to one advantage for owning a dual sim is the following:

Going abroad
Let's say that you're going to Greece on vacation. You want to take a phone so you can keep in touch with local friends and traveling companions and still be reachable by your family back home. Traditionally, you had two choices: either use your existing number and pay expensive carrier roaming fees or take an unlocked handset and pair it with a Greek SIM card. Each option has its pros and cons. Keeping your usual number meant that the folks back home can reach you without making an international call. On the the other hand, you'd have to fork over roaming fees to call home and to reach anyone in Greece.

Getting a local SIM is great for calling within Greece, but you'd still have to pay more to phone anywhere else. Also, remember that once you remove a SIM card from a phone, the number attached to it is essentially useless. If someone tries to contact you, the call goes straight to voice mail and you get no alert that they rang. Similarly, text messages would be lost in space while your SIM card is out of commission. With a dual-SIM phone, however, you don't have to select one or the other. Anyone at home can reach you immediately and cheaply (not vice versa, though) and you can chat with local friends without incurring roaming fees. It's convenient, it saves money, and you don't have to carry around two handsets.

So, does anyone want to share whether they own a dual sim phone and how they use it?

Dual SIM phones used to suffer duels between the two cards, commonly meaning neither worked properly.
That issue seems to have been mostly sorted out now so they're a lot better than before.
I used them mostly because I lived off the beaten track where the networks had poor signals, so you needed two just to stay in touch.
My wife has a Samsung smartphone with 2 SIMs; using one network for data because it's very cheap, and the other for calls as its coverage is far better.

I have a cheap and nasty dual SIM Samsung because I didn't want to lose my old number and my Smartphone is single SIM only, but I have an unused SIM that I might well put in there in case I need to give a sexy lady/man or a sheep farmer my number and I don't want my wife to find out.

Not sure if this is relevant, or going off the topic Nards, but Whatsapp is a pretty good option these days. My sister urged me to downlod it on my phone when I came down. Was able to stay in contact with her while in Ecuador using that, and also my mother back home. Guess the downside is the other party also has to have Whatsapp, and as far as I know you have to be connected to internet, but in todays day and age that's pretty simple. Found it to be a pretty easy, and convenient alternative.

Since I have an unused SIM, it could also be an advantage when you don;t want to give someone your number but the situation means it would be rude or difficult not to do so.

I remember hearing about an expat who has a single sim cellphone with a u.s. sim in it so her elderly mother can call her using a standard phone. 

Of course there are different ways to accomplish the task of allowing someone in the states to call you using a U.S. Based phone number.  I know people who purchase a Skype phone number for $60 a year.  And since they have a plan in Ecuador that gives them internet access they can pretty much be reached all the time here in Cuenca.   However, I would imagine that if they start traveling outside Ecuador and are subject to international roaming charges, they may not be available all the time since their allocated megabytes get eaten up rapidly with international roaming. Lots of people have magic jacks which gives them a U.S. based phone number and while Magic Jack has an app they can install on their phones for when they are traveling, it requires internet access.

The question is how best to manage the situation at the lowest cost when you are traveling to other countries for extended periods. If you have a dual sim and one sim slot has the u.s. sim card, I would think it would be easier to reach you.


Not a cell phone, but Ooma is a VOIP device small enough to carry in your luggage and install in your home or apartment with any land-line type phone in any location where there is internet access.  You can then make and receive calls to/from your US number via the internet:

For cell phones Whatsapp works great, we communicate to-from Colombia and the US with no problems.

I recently purchased a magic jack off a gringa who returned to the states. The price included a few years of service so it was a good deal.   The best part of this kind of device including the one George Archer mentions is you can hook it up to your router and use a regular phone with it.

I was going to buythe following device, and still may, since it works with a free google voice number.  (Free for now anyway). The thing I like about Google voice apart from the fact it is free, is it supports SMS (texting). Magic jack doesn't.

I use a skype number, mostly for my mum to call me on as she's a total technophobe so have no clue how to use a smartphone.
That could also be used for business should I so wish.

I think a dual sim phone can be a good thing, some members pointed out some benefits, I also think it might be important if a person wants to separate their personal life from the business life, and organize contacts accordingly.

Personally I find it unnecessary, and simply use a one sim phone, and even if I wanted I couldn’t as Iphones don’t have dual sims, well not mine. As for keeping touch, almost everyone I know uses whatapps. It’s how I communicate with all my friends socially in Ecuador, and also family and friends abroad. You/They either need a wifi or data plan but otherwise its great, and I think like 1 or 2 billion people use whatsapp so it’s the norm, unless people resort to facetime or viper or whatever else.

Whatsapp as j600rr pointed out is simple to call ppl, and it's also simple to send texts, images and private info as they have encryption and they don’t leave stuff on their servers.

While I use whatsapp since just about all the Ecuadorians use it, I prefer Skype for text and voice communications because I am not restricted to using it on just my one cellphone, but can use it on my PC, laptop and tablets, using full-sized keyboards to write complete thoughts.  And generally most of the gringos in this town didn't grow up texting on cellphones, so they too prefer Skype as well.

Yes I know about the web feature for whatsapp that allows you to use whatsapp on your laptop or PC, but this requires my cell phone be turned on and next to my computer, and I am not always tied to my cellphone nor is it always charged.

I opted against buying a dual sim phone primarily because I am cheap, cheap cheap. Plus, since I am mailing it to Ecuador using a different mailing service (Transexpress), I wanted to minimize risk for now.

I ended up buying off of Ebay a used Microsoft Lumia 435 for $19.99 including shipping in supposed like-new condition.

I was considering a new Lumia 532 from which is dual sim and is selling at this moment for $49.99 with free shipping. … =lumia+532

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