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If you look at GoSim's rates (or the rates of other international sim cards), you can see that it has both a US and a global number. What is a global number? Is it the number you dial internationally to call the US number? Then why are the fees higher for receiving a call?

If it is a separate prefix for these numbers, why can't I find any information about these numbers in Wikipedia's list of country codes?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 8 down vote accepted

GoSim's "Global Number" is just a term for the UK (+44) number they allocate to your phone. When you are in any of a relatively large number of countries, you don't pay to receive a call when someone calls your "Global Number".

The reason they can do this because the number they allocate you is a UK "non-geographic" number, which charge a premium to the caller, and GoSim receive a percentage of that premium - basically the caller is subsidizing the call so that you can receive it for free. Some other similar companies work on the same principle but instead use numbers from the Isle of Man or Estonia. (GoSim used to use Estonia +372 numbers, but changed a year or so ago).

GoSim also give the option of a US number, which may be more convenient and frequently cheaper for the caller depending on what country they they are calling from, however you will be charged to receive the call whenever someone calls you on that number. This charge is because the caller is no longer paying extra to call the premium UK number.

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So, there is a surcharge in addition to international call rates? –  Casebash Mar 24 '12 at 6:00
    
Depends on the provider, but normally you'll pay about the same as the UK mobile rates. eg, for calls to the UK my VOIP provider charges (all per minute) 1 cent for landlines, ~15 cents for mobiles, and 15-18 cents for non-geographic numbers (0845 and 0870) –  Doc Mar 24 '12 at 7:18
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Based on what I am reading on their page the global number is the number they assign you from the UK. There is no "call world" prefix.

They could also talk about numbers like +1-212-555-1212 which can be dialed from your cell phone as long as it works from any country in the world and will go to New York's directory assistance.

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