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Cellucity B4I.Travel: Buying a Prepaid SIM Card in South Africa
The most affordable, hassle-free cell phone solution for tourists who need to call home or locally and surf the web while in SA
Does RICA ring a bell? Can you wax lyrical about the difference between airtime and data? Do MTN, Cell C and 8ta mean anything to you? If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, you’re not alone.
South Africa’s (SA) telecommunications system can seem more mysterious than a Sherlock Holmes novel, and if you’re travelling to SA for work or looking to kick back in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ for a bit of a holiday, the last things you want to worry about are the ins and outs of phoning and web-surfing.
Thankfully, Cellucity, a reliable nationwide service provider in business since 1991, has partnered with globally trusted brand Vodacom, the local equivalent of Vodafone, to bring tourists and business people the B4I.Travel programme for hassle-free cell phone and Internet use while in the country.
Named for the fact that visitors gain access to their local South African cell phone number ‘before they go’, the venture provides a budget-friendly prepaid SIM card service (and various talk time/data packages) to those who want to use their OWN mobile device or tablet overseas.
And thanks to Cellucity and the B4I.Travel programme’s convenient airport Vodacom stores, 24-hour helpline and fantastic international call rates (from $0.08 per minute), phoning home, calling locally and sending emails have never been easier.
ABOUT CELLUCITY’S B4I.Travel PREPAID CELL PHONE SERVICE
Cellucity’s B4I.Travel prepaid service is the affordable, no-fuss option for travellers and tourists to South Africa keen to use their own phone, complete with apps, profiles and silly screensavers, during their time abroad. There are no surprise bills and no hidden costs. And because B4IGO has every kind of SIM card on the market, from standard and BlackBerry SIMs to Android- and iPhone-friendly micro and nano SIMs, whether you’ve got a blueberry, crackberry, smartphone, dumbphone or dongle, you can take advantage of one of the reasonably priced airtime and data bundles (they start from about $14).
Best of all, holidaymakers and business people who sign up get to receive their South African mobile number two weeks prior to arrival, which means that family members, friends, hotels and even colleagues or clients know how to reach you even before you leave. And as a bonus, the B4I.Travel prepaid service includes free incoming calls and the LOWEST INTERNATIONAL CALL RATE IN SOUTH AFRICA (from about $0.06 per minute).
How it works
- Select the airtime and data bundle package you want from the B4I.Travel website (you can choose the SIM card size that’s right for you as well as select whether you want a talk time or data SIM or one that allows for both).
- Decide whether you’d like to take advantage of the International Calling Plus promotion, which allows you to call home for as little as $0.06 per minute.
- Register with your basic information (name, address, etc.).
- Provide a collection date and time, and confirm from which airport you’ll be collecting your SIM card.
- Settle your order via credit card or Paypal.
- Within two weeks prior to your arrival in South Africa, B4ITravel will send you your South African phone number.
- Upon arrival, go to the Vodacom shop in your selected airport to collect your SIM card preloaded with your airtime and data and put it into your phone or dongle (mobile broadband device)/router.
- If you need to add more airtime or data during your stay, simply go to any supermarket, corner shop, petrol station, Cellucity shop or Vodacom shop and purchase a prepaid Vodacom voucher in the amount of your choice and load it on your phone. You can also visit www.vodacom.prepaidstore.co.za/ to purhcase airtime or data online.
- If even that’s too complicated though, you’ll be glad to hear that B4I.Travel will pre-register you to an online prepaid store where you can top up data and airtime once you have arrived without leaving the comfort of the beach.
10 REASONS TO USE CELLUCITY’S B4I.Travel PREPAID CELL PHONE SERVICE
1. You get your number before you go. That means that loved ones and family members can call you as soon as you touch down to make sure you’re safe and sound. Not to mention, you can confirm car rental or hotel reservations with a local number as soon as you land, and if you’re in SA on business, you can give clients and colleagues your information well in advance.
2. It’s hassle free and convenient. You don’t have to deal with shop assistants who don’t know how to help you, stand in long queues to buy a SIM card at the supermarket or trek all over the city to find a nano or micro SIM. You simply pop into the Vodacom shop at any South African international airport (they’re open from 6am to 10pm) and you’re all set up!
3. You get to pre-RICA. RICA, a formal registration process attached to every phone number in SA, can be time consuming, confusing and frustrating. With B4I.Travel South Africa, you simply provide your address, your passport details in advance and the B4I.Travel team takes care of it for you.
4. You don’t pay to receive incoming calls, and you get free voicemail retrieval.
5. Call home for as little as $0.06 per minute. That’s the lowest international call rate in South Africa! And it certainly beats footing the bill for expensive hotel calls or incurring lofty roaming charges.
6. There are no surprise bills and no hidden costs. Because everything’s prepaid, you can always account for exactly how much you’ve spent on talk time and data usage. You won’t be charged for more credit automatically, and there’s no security deposit needed.
7. You get to keep your number (and the SIM card) forever. This point, especially, is a big bonus for tourists and business people who return to SA frequently. You can even have a business card made with your local number. You will just need to make or receive a call every 3 months for the SIM card to stay active.
8. You can take advantage of any Vodacom promotions. Simply opt in by dialing *111# when you get notified via SMS (text) about certain Vodacom call rate promotions, and you can start to save immediately.
9. 24-hour helpline access. Simply call the number provided (+27 (0) +27 82 858 0000) and a Cellucity team member will assist you in the best way possible.
10. You get to use your own phone. So you can document your trip on Instagram, wake up to your own irritating alarm tone and have all your contacts on hand. Do note, your cell phone must be unlocked to use the B4IGO service. Contact your local service provider to find out if this is the case.
*Making international calls from $0.06 per minute is billed per second and is subject to an opt-in to the International Calling Promo at R5 per day for 30 days. Top opt-in and take advantage of these rates, simply dial *111# once you have your South African SIM and following the on-screen prompts. (Should you wish for B4I.Travel South Africa to pre-load this service on to your SIM, you can just purchase the international Calling Promo add on whilst buying your SIM card.)
** Call locally in South Africa from R0.79 ($0.05) per minute, a rate that’s subject to a FREE tariff change by dialing *111# and following the simple on-screen prompts.
Read more about the ins and out of using a cell phone in South Africa.
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