Does your smartwatch need a GSM SIM Card? Preferably one that is prepaid and low cost? Then we suggest that you continue reading.
Nearly 16% of US consumers now own wearables and many smartwatches have become light versions of mobile phones. And in a sense they are; you can use them for making phone calls, texting and browsing the internet. A popular consumer category for this type of wearables, is kids . Kids smartwatches are gaining popularity as it says to give parents peace of mind. They’re able to locate a kid’s whereabouts at any given point and communicate without phones, which are both expensive and gives access to unsupervised internet browsing. CCS Insight forecasts that the wearables industry will grow from just over $10 billion in 2017 to almost $17 billion by 2021. That includes fitness bands, smart clothing , hearables and wearable cameras.
Why do Smartwatches Need a SIM Card?
Even though smartwatches usually are an extension of the phone which they’re syncing with, some models are stand-alone devices. They work independently and are connected through a GSM SIM card. The other watches instead use Bluetooth to pull down content from a nearby paired phone, using the phone’s cellular connection.
The SIM card, in any device, connects to a carrier’s network using unique identification data and an authentication key. It’s a small bit of information stored in a chip, that enables connectivity. It’s also what prevents it from connecting to other carriers’ networks. Nano is the most common sized SIM card for smartwathes, although some are also using the Micro size.
So is it better to have a watch with a SIM card slot or not? The answer is: it depends. The downside of having a smartwatch that needs a SIM card is that you’ll have ongoing costs for the service plan. On the other hand, it’s practical to not have to carry around your phone whenever you want to use your watch.
Customizing a Smartwatch Plan
At US Mobile, it’s very simple to design an affordable smartwatch plan that is customized to your watch’s needs. Let’s say your watch needs talk, text, and data – just pick the size of each component in our matrix. The most affordable plan, including talk, text, and data, is $9 which is including our monthly fee. In the case you don’t need all three components, you can just choose the ones your watch requires.
Start by going to our plans page and follow the steps visible below.
Watches with SIM Card
Although the majority of smartwatches have Bluetooth connectivity, there are a couple of great ones using a cellular connection. A few models to mention are:
- DZ09 – very attractive watch with both Bluetooth and cellular connectivity and also have integrated sleep monitoring.
- Samsung Gear S & S2 3G/4G & S3 Frontier LTE – three different designs from the curved display on the S, to a sportswatch look on the S3. Both the S2 and S3 connects with e-sim.
- Scinex SW20 & SW30 – nice looking watches with a touchscreen that can either be connected to a phone or be used as a stand-alone.
- LEMFO LF07 & KW88 – the LF07 is supposedly a replica of Apple Smartwatch Series 2, supporting both Android and iOS. The KW88 has a sportier look and just supports Android.
- NEPTUNE Pine – has a large display which makes it possible to even watch movies on the watch.
- LG Urbane 2nd Edition LTE – classy look of a regular watch with the features of a premium smartwatch.
As mentioned in the beginning, the kids’ smartwatch industry is growing. The following are powered by a SIM Card:
- LEMFO Q50 – a smartwatch with an anti lost SOS call children tracker that is unlocked for worldwide use.
- TickTalk – kids wearable phone and tracker, where parents can even listen into the surroundings of their kid’s location.
- Tinitell – simple design with just one big button, with volume buttons on the side. A watch phone that comes in four colors.
- Trax Play – tiny GPS tracker in a square box form, for small children and pets.
Prepaid internet means that you pay before using it, similar to prepaid cell phone plans. You can either pay for the amount of data you want to use, or you pay for an unlimited service that is limited in time. Some of the advantages of prepaid internet are the lack of:
- Hidden fees
- Surprise bills
A prepaid data plan provides you the freedom to switch carrier and usage as often as you want!
Wireless Prepaid Internet
As the mobile data consumption continues to increase, the wireless prepaid internet is on the rise. The average data consumption in the US is likely to reach 6GB/month by the end of 2017. In terms of GB per user consumption, the US is third behind Finland and Korea.
At US Mobile you can choose between seven wireless prepaid internet plans, ranging from 100 MB for $2 to 8 GB for $35. We have noticed that our prepaid SIM and data plans are used in much more than cell phones, like alarms, GPS trackers, and even smartwatches. Since our plans start off small, they are a great fit for IoT devices which usually need less data. In fact, in a broader perspective, IoT and cars accounted for 71% of the net-adds for carriers in Q2 2017, according to Chetan Sharma. Our wireless plans can just as well be used on an iPad as our customer, Wayne describes:
Internet Speed Test
Measuring mobile internet speeds is increasingly important as people has started using phones as their main internet source. Surprisingly, the US just ranks 28th when it comes to mobile internet speeds in the world.
A slow internet can undoubtedly be frustrating. And obviously, you don’t want to pay the same for a slow vs a fast internet. Therefore it might be a good idea to check how fast your data connection is. There are several apps that can test your speed, no matter if you’re using a cellular connection or WiFi. We like the Ookla Speedtest app, which uses an algorithm to check cellular or WiFi data speed.
The different generations of networks will have a range of upload and download speeds. 7.2 Mbps would be considered 3G (52 Mbps on 3G HSPA+), whereas the 4G standard is to reach minimum data rates of 100 Mbps. The goal for 5G is to achieve significantly faster speeds, with a minimum of 1 Gbps and hopefully up to 10 Gbps.
Mobile Hotspot Plans
Mobile WiFi hotspots let you hook up multiple PCs, iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices to the Internet via WiFi. Using WiFi means that you don’t use your regular, cellular, data plan when you’re online.
There are millions of free hotspots around the country. In order to locate them, you can simply type in “WiFi Hotspots” in the search window in Google Maps to see hotspots in reach. However, if you’re looking for a more certain hotspot access, we recommend our $10 WiFi plan. The plan operates on the biggest hotspot network in the world. It even works on the ground and in the air on all major airlines.
Inflight Wi-Fi has come a long way since its introduction a decade ago. In fact, it’s now one of the top three considerations when choosing an airline. Ticket price and schedules are still the most important factors but inflight WiFi ends up in third place. It’s clear that inflight broadband is changing the airline industry by revolutionizing the onboard experience.
Getting Internet in the Air
There are two ways for equipping planes with WiFi; either via cell towers or by using satellites. Ground-based cell towers, which was the first method of delivering inflight WFi, are similar to the towers that deliver cell phone connectivity.
Cell towers were the first to power WiFi. Instead of pointing to the ground, the towers project wireless service by pointing toward the sky. By pointing upward, the coverage area will be bigger the higher up in the sky (picture an upside-down cone) and planes flying overhead get WiFi. In order to get WiFi through satellites, the plans have an antenna on top of the plane which communicates with the satellite. Satellite-powered service allows planes to provide faster service and can also be used over water. Due to this, more and more airlines are adopting satellite-driven WiFi.
User Habits Onboard
The most common usage of internet onboard is general web browsing on news sites and similar. Also, Facebook status updates, messaging and shopping sites are popular, along with streaming services like Netflix and Spotify. When it comes to downloading content, it’s more frequent on long-haul flights. It needs to be said though that WiFi in the air can still be considered slow with speeds between 9 to 20 Mbps, to be compared to in-home WiFi reaching speeds close to 500 Mbps.
Even as downloading content is likely to be more popular on long-haul routes than short-haul, it’s one of the biggest challenges the airlines will need to face. If everyone on a plane wants to download multiple movies during a 12-hour flight, bandwidth is bound to run out. It remains to be seen how technology and spectrum will be able to tackle this problem, both on the ground and in the air.
The Tipping Point of Inflight WiFi
So when will this phenomenon reach a tipping point? More than 70 airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi, and most carriers are upgrading their technology to meet consumer demand for faster speeds and better reliability. As of January 2017, 39% of available seat miles worldwide have at least a chance of WiFi on board, according to RouteHappy. This is an 8% increase from 2016, and it’s projected to grow rapidly the next few years.
Inmarsat made a passenger survey on in-air Internet and the results are pretty telling:
- 66% of parents traveling with children said it’s a “life saver”, keeping children occupied during flights
- 45% would rather pay for WiFi than use free onboard entertainment
- 56% of passengers say a lack of reliable inflight WiFi is a major cause of frustration
- 77% of passengers would pay for inflight connectivity on short haul leisure flights
An overwhelming amount of passengers now regards inflight WiFi a necessity rather than a luxury. Now passengers even expect the same levels of connectivity whilst in the sky as on the ground. The good news? Juniper research projects that more than half the world’s commercial aviation fleet will be equipped with it by 2022.
If you’ve made it this far in this post, we hope you’ve checked out our global inflight WiFi plan that works on the major American airlines, as well as internationally.
Image Source: Iberia
Wi-Fi Calling is a service for smartphones which, just as it sounds, allows you to call over a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi calling relies on a technology called SIP/IMS that tunnels your call through the internet, instead of a cell tower. Consequently, you’re not using the cell tower to place the call, which means that you don’t need a cellular service. When placing a WiFi call it’s just like placing a regular call, without logging in or using an app. Your carrier and phone will determine if you can call through WiFi or not.
Enable Iphone WiFi Calling
- Go to Settings – Phone – WiFi Calling
- Switch the Wi-Fi Calling on This iPhone slider to On.
- Choose “Enable” to turn on Wi-Fi Calling. You can ignore the warning about what data your carrier collects.
Activate Android WiFi Calling
- Open Settings – More – More Settings (under wireless and network).
- Choose “Wi-Fi Calling” and activate it to enable the feature.
- In case you can’t find this option, search for it since it might be located somewhere else in the interface.
Benefits of Calling through WiFi
So why should you be inclined to call through the Internet instead of placing a regular cellular call?
- It’s free (except for data usage) which means that you can use it abroad and avoid paying extra for international calls.
- It could be used where cellular reception is spotty our straight out bad.
- You can make and get calls with WiFi using your phone number.
- You can make video calls without an LTE connection.
Will I use data when calling via WiFi?
Yes, you will use your regular data plan to make calls. Some carriers also charge an access fee.
How much data does a Wi-Fi call use?
It varies but you can assume about 1 MB of data per minute for a call, and 6-8 MB of data for a video call.
Are all phone able to support WiFi calling?
No. You need to have a phone that’s HD Voice-enabled and have the HD Voice feature activated. If you don’t know if your phone is HD Voice-enabled, check this list.
How do I enable HD Voice?
Most phones are by default set to “Data Only”. In order to get voice and data to be sent over the 4G LTE network, you need to manually enable VoLTE. To do so on an iPhone, go to Settings – Cellular – Enable LTE and select Voice and Data.
What if my phone doesn’t support it?
If your phone, or carrier, doesn’t support it you can always call and text from WiFi via an app. The most common ones are Skype, Google Hangout, Whats App, Facebook Messanger and Viber.
Finally, with US Mobile you get unlimited global WiFi for just $10/month. Check it out!
US Mobile launches an Unlimited WiFi plan so that you can lower your phone bill even more! We’ll give you access to 60+ million hotspots in 120+ countries and 35+ million hotspots just here in the US. With the WiFi plan on your phone or laptop, you can connect to hotspots located almost everywhere on the ground and in the sky on the 20 leading airlines including Delta, American Airlines, and Virgin America.
Why is US Mobile Offering Global WiFi?
At US Mobile, we’re always trying to improve our service. Really we do. This is why we, on a regular basis, ask for feedback from our customers. We know that customers are using more and more data. And it tends to be the biggest expense on a cell phone bill these days. Actually, according to a recent study by Ericsson, the average smartphone user will consume 8.9 GB of data per month by 2021. In our latest customer survey, we were asked to make data more affordable. That is when we decided to build an Inflight WiFi plan on the world’s largest global WiFi network.
“With more than 35 million hotspots in the US, customers can basically use our Wi-Fi plans everywhere; airports, trains, hotels, cafes, outdoors etc.,” said US Mobile’s Founder & CEO, Ahmed Khattak. “Customers will also enjoy in-flight connectivity on all the major airlines at a more affordable price than what the airlines and other comparative services are offering. This Unlimited Wi-Fi plan is a game-changer when you travel abroad. Instead of paying for international roaming, which can be quite costly, you have a whole network of hotspots ready to be used anywhere in the world.”
The Unlimited Inflight WiFi Plan
Our new offer includes a $10 Unlimited Inflight WiFi Plan. You pay a flat fee for unlimited WiFi, which you can use in the US and abroad, in the sky and on the ground. Here is how you lower your cell phone plan in a few minutes:
- Go to our WiFi plans page or your personal dashboard and order the Global Inflight WiFi plan.
- Download our partner’s app and get instant access: iTunes – GooglePlay
- Activate with just “one click” on any device.
The Inflight WiFi plan gives you get unlimited data without having to spend time on finding a free hotspot. You don’t even have to enter credentials in order to connect. It’s very convenient as it connects you automatically and uses three layers of security to keep your privacy is safe.
Switch Seamlessly Between Networks
The app allows you to automatically connect to the best hotspot based on your usage needs. It uses advanced analytics to identify and rate access points. The access points are based on factors such as signal strength, speed, bandwidth availability, and connection success rate. A self-learning algorithm continuously improves its knowledge of global WiFi networks, allowing the app to select the most optimal network in real time.
We hope you’ll enjoy our new addition!
Image Source: Ipass