Talking to Soldiers
Ways to Communicate
Calling Cards: Iraq
Calling Cards: Afghanistan
Calling Cards: Kuwait
Iraq Phone Home Cards
Afghan Phone Home Cards
Kuwait Phone Home Cards
GSM World Cell Phones
SIM Cards: Iraq
SIM Cards: Afghanistan
SIM Cards: Kuwait
Best Afghanistan SIM Cards for Cell Phones
You must have an unlocked GSM cell phone to place and receive calls while in Afghanistan. Unlocked GSM phones require the purchase of a SIM card, which contains the cell phone number, account settings and personally-saved info.
The best SIM cards to use have free incoming minutes, which usually means getting a local SIM card rather than a global roaming SIM card. The soldier calls home in the U.S. letting family know he is available to talk. The family member can then call the soldier's cell number in Afghanistan using a cheap prepaid calling card. This can really save money over time.
* Unlimited service life if used within the specified time period, otherwise the cell number will be recycled.
Intallation Note: Your SIM card will arrive in what looks like a credit card. Simply punch out the SIM card, which is the size of the thumbnail, and install it inside the phone, usually underneath the battery. Make sure the SIM card metal contacts are oriented correctly with the contacts in the phone. Read your GSM phone manual for specific instructions.
SIM Card Background Information
There are two types of SIM cards that can be used in cellphones in Afghanistan:
1. Global roaming SIM cards that can be used in multiple countries. You are typically issued a phone number in a country in Europe and when used in Iraq, it is in roaming mode. The advantage of a roaming SIM card is that it can be used in Iraq and Kuwait too for example or in locations where the Afghan cell network may not reach. Many times airtime can be "recharged" or "reloaded" online or by phone, which is convenient. The disadvantage is that the per-minute rates are higher and you are charged for incoming minutes. This can really add up over time.
2. Local Afghanistan SIM card that is issued by Afghan Wireless, the cellular company in Afghanistan. You are given a local Afghanistan phone number. The main advantage of using an Afghan Wireless SIM card is that the per-minute rate is cheaper and incoming minutes are free. This can really save you big money over time.
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