Home - , , - Truphone Price Cut - 9¢ Per Minute, SMS or MB in the US and Abroad

Truphone Price Cut - 9¢ Per Minute, SMS or MB in the US and Abroad

Global SIM provider Truphone has announced that it's lowered the rate per minute, text or megabyte of data from 17 to 9 cents in the "Truphone Countries" which are the UK, US, Australia, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and Spain). Incoming calls and texts are free in all the Truphone countries, including the US. The 9¢ rate applies to calls and texts within the Truphone countries as well as between two Truphone countries.

A Truphone SIM works in 66 countries in all. Rates are higher outside of the Truphone countries but are still lower than most operator's international roaming rates.

SIMs cost $29.99 which seems steep but they do come with $15 in call credit. There's no requirement to top up regularly, pay as you go credit never expires as long as you make a call, send a text or use some data at least every 90 days.

In the US Truphone defaults to the T-Mobile network but will use AT&T as well as some regional operators if T-Mobile service isn't available or you manually select a different operator in your phone's network settings. 3G data is available on T-Mobile but on AT&T data is limited to 2G.

In the past, Truphone would round up each data session to 100 KB. Smartphones make frequent connections to keep email, calendar, contacts, IM and social networks current. These connections are typically only a few KB's each but the rounding caused them to be charged as 100 KB or 1.7¢ each resulting in much higher than expected charges. However, according to Truphone and confirmed by a PrepaidPhoneNews reader and Truphone user, this isn't the case anymore. Truphone is now rounding sessions to 1KB (or about 0.09¢) and accumulating small sessions until they add up to a full penny.

The new pricing makes Truphone a good choice for international travelers who don't want to waste time finding a local SIM in every county they visit. In Truphone countries, 9¢ per minute, text or MB can even be less than what local operators charge, particularly for calls back to the US or another Truphone country. Truphone also looks like a good deal for light use strictly within the US, particularly if you want coverage just about everywhere using a combination of T-Mobile, AT&T and local operators.

71 comments:

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  1. Truphone's current rate of 17c/minute or mb includes tax (15c/min without tax). The new 9c rate does not include tax, so expect to pay 10c/minute or mb, rounded. With free incoming calls added, the voice and text rate should average around 5c/minute with tax, though.
    I agree it's good deal for light use, especially with AT&T voice and data roaming included.

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    1. Sorry, but your info is incorrect or outdated. The 9c rate does include all taxes.

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    2. Truphone changed the website rate checker when the 9c rate was introduced. It used to show 15c/minute, but Tru added 2c tax to the rate billed, shown only in the account. There was no announcement, so no one knew that 9c included tax until they saw the rate they were actually billed.

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  2. $30 for a SIM is ridiculous. I would be willing to try out a company I never heard of if the risk was small. Truphone should give away the SIM to get people to try their service

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    1. You get $15 call credit so really just $14.99. A bit steep but not ridiculous.

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    2. The initial cost of the SIM is what kept a lot of people from switching.

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    3. Truphone's target market is business travelers, not the mass market, so $30 up front makes a lot of sense. They don't waste as much money paying for lots of lines that are rarely used.

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    4. I ordered the sim for a backup phone and number. Since time never expires, I'll have it from now on. Family member is getting one for ten year-old son to take with him on school trips, overnight stays, etc. It will be rarely used but the non-expiring airtime provision makes it well worth it. Phone still has to be unlocked even though they are ATT only now.

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  3. Toggle Mobile much cheaper. 3p(UKP) ~ 5.2 c(USD) /min. Good quality, is a sister of Lycamobile. SIM only cost $6 on eBay, ship from US. But a problem, just like all Roaming SIMs, when someone call you, after they hit call button, the first ring not start after 10-15 seconds. For me this is not a big deal, for someone use google voice to forward to those SIMs, you loose 2 rings. In anycases, they all use VOIP at their end server, including Lycamobie in US, reason why Lyca has no MMS.

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    1. Toggle sms costs 12c plus tax and their data costs 26c plus tax. Not cheaper.

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    2. Toggle data will not work in another country unless you register for a local number there. Then you have to text or call them if data does not work. More of a hassle than Tru, where data just works with a low rate in all Tru countries.

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  4. I researched Truphone before buying. Read lots of reviews and endorsements and was impressed. They are successful and growing. Have used them for 2 years with no service problems at all. Excellent CS that answered all my questions. You do get the $15 service credit with the SIM purchase. This is not a regular SIM. You can have multiple phone numbers on one SIM, and people call your local (to them) country number the phone rings almost anywhere in the world. It is pretty slick, and very nice to pay the same low rate rate in Tru countries when you travel. They also sent me 2 free SIM upgrades over the past 2 years. The new lower rates make it cost-effective for US-only light use, so I am going to consolidate two other prepaid accounts (Tmo and AT&T networks) and use Tru instead. Having AT&T data for hotspot feature has been very convenient for me when I travel to places T-Mobile does not cover. I can lock my phone on AT&T if I get a stronger signal in a particular spot. You do need an unlocked phone because of the roaming.

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  5. Does Truphone ever have any discounts or promotions?

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    1. They had one about a year ago. 25% off monthly business plans. I have never seen a promo on personal sims or service, but they added 5 extra Truphone countries over the past 2 years. They also provide Blackberry BIS support.

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  6. Good article about Truphone in Forbes. They have tripled their staff to 750 in 2 years, and sales doubled in Q4 2013 and maintained the growth in Jan-March. Major financial institutions and Harley Davidson are customers. They are creating a virtual network of 66 countries, way beyond 8.

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  7. Truphone brochure that explains their business model and advantages:
    http://www.truphone.com/Global/Brochures/EnBr/US_8PP_BROCHURE_LORES.pdf
    Forbes article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/trevorclawson/2014/05/21/truphone-seeks-to-disrupt-mobile-telecoms-with-66-nation-virtual-network/

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    1. Here are the business plans, which start at $50/month.
      The minutes, texts and mb can be used in 66 countries now.

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    2. http://www.truphone.com/us/business/Price-Plans/

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    3. The Truphone individual (vs. their shared group plans) business plan minutes, texts and mb can only be used in the Truphone zone, 8 countries. They also offer US-only plans, but I do not see them on the website.

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    4. Correction: The World Plans can be used in 66 countries. I do not see these on the website. All the shared and individual plans shown at the link above are good for use in the Truphone zone, 8 countries.

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    5. Roaming rates in non-Truphone countries are on the Website here (PDF).

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    6. The brochure refers to World Plans that can be used in 66 countries.
      I think this may another set of business plans with allocations of minutes, texts and mb, as opposed to roaming rates.

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  8. Truphone rates changed right on schedule to 9c/min, 9c/sms, and 9c/mb. Tax is now included, and they round to the nearest 1kb. Incoming calls and texts are free, which significantly lowers the average rates. Your balance never expires. Pay something every 90 days and there are no extra charges. Truphone used to charge 17c-12c-17c, including 2c tax, so this is a large price decrease. http://www.truphone.com/us/consumer/Rate-checker/

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    1. You don't even have to pay something every 90 days; you just simply need to make a call, send a text, or use some data at least once every 90 days.

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  9. Not sure why this article makes it sounds like Tru is only something to consider for international travel. The rates are competitive with domestic plans in the USA, especially when you consider the free incoming calls and texts. Plus there's the huge advantage of the money on the account never expiring (assuming one call every 3 months). Tru also has significantly better support. For low usage users in the USA this should be one of the top contenders.

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    1. I should have read the last sentence :)
      "Truphone also looks like a good deal for light use strictly within the US, particularly if you want coverage just about everywhere using a combination of T-Mobile, AT&T and local operators."

      But I still feel that Tru deserves more attention on this site.

      For example, Tru isn't even mentioned on the massive "The Best US Prepaid Plans For Voice and Data Users" page:

      http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011/02/best-prepaid-data-carriers-and-plans.html

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  10. Does anybody know if Truphone roams on regional networks (as T-Mobile postpaid does)?

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    1. Truphone has roaming agreements in the US with T-Mobile and AT&T. The phone will default to T-Mobile if it is available. If my T-Mobile signal is weak at a location, I can lock my phone to AT&T. This makes Truphone coverage more useful than T-Mobile prepaid, which will not roam to AT&T or a regional carrier if there is T-Mobile coverage at a location. Also, Truphone has 2G roaming on AT&T, unlike T-Mobile prepaid. This coverage is not limited, as it is on T-Mobile postpaid.

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    2. Correction to my reply: T-Mobile now offers 10mb of 2G data roaming on their $50 prepaid monthly plan, and 50mb data roaming on their $60 and up prepaid. monthly plans.

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  11. Anybody can confirm the data speed of Truphone? I've been looking around and having a hard time finding the hard numbers for this. I understand you're probably not going to get LTE-type speed, but how about the 3G? Is it capped at a certain Mbps? Does it get HSPA? Thanks for anyone who can answer.

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    1. Truphone data speed: I get HSPA on T-Mobile where available, and EDGE speed on AT&T. Not capped, as far as I can tell. With the new, lower rates I plan to use up my T-Mobile prepaid balance and use Truphone for my personal phone.

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    2. Thank you for the explanation!

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  12. With Toggle, incoming call has to wait 10-15 seconds after touch "CALL" button. How about Truephone? How long?

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    1. I do not notice any extra delay with Truphone calls.

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  13. Does Truphone support MMS? Also, does it work with google voice?

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    1. Truphone doesn't support MMS. I haven't heard of any problems with having Google Voice forward calls to a Truphone number or using the the Google Voice app to make calls using Truphone.

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    2. Thanks for the info.

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  14. Dennis,

    Do you know how long Truphone has had this incoming voice & text free? And no expiration? Just don't want to commit to another provider like Lycamobile who changed these major component with weeks of my joining them.

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    1. Truphone has always had free incoming calls and texts. In Europe where Truphone is based and where most of its customers are incoming mobile calls and texts are free on all operators. That means it doesn't cost Truphone anything to provide free incoming. The cost is covered by all operators charging everyone substantially extra to call a mobile phone.

      I have doubts whether free incoming is sustainable in the US where Truphone undoubtedly has to pay T-Mobile and AT&T something for each incoming call. As long as there's a normal 50/50 mix of incoming and outgoing calls Truphone can compensate for free incoming with their relatively high 9¢/min for outgoing calls. But if many people game the system by using a call back app to make every call an incoming one Truphone will need to eliminate or set limits on free incoming calls.

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    2. Thanks. I do forget that Europe has incoming calls/text free and caller pays. It is probably similar to unlimited voice/text here with all the pros/cons.

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    3. Truphone has always had prepaid balance that does not expire. Pay for something every 60 days to avoid an inactivity fee.

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    4. On Truphone's website, there is no mention of free incoming call, expiration or inactivity fee. The risk is much higher for Truphone because the SIM costs a lot more. Lyca and Tmobile used to be good but not anymore because minutes will be expiring. In the US, H20 and Pageplus have better plans on the market right now. Both have better networks. Truphone has good potential but the SIM costs more. So more risky if we don't like the call quality or if they change plan later.

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  15. Searched in the forum but cannot find what the phone requirements are, whether locked AT&T or T-mobile would work.

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    1. Phones need to be unlocked to work on Truphone.

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  16. Was told that only unlocked GSM but can not find reference on their forum.

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  17. Dennis,

    Are there other truphone like companies? Free incoming voice / text and no expiration at a decent outgoing & data rate? I searched and found some but wondering if you had compiled something already.

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    1. There are other travel SIM companies but Truphone is the only one I know of with competitive pricing for US domestic use.

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  18. Thank you for the info! Could you please let me know if it is free to use the Truphone app to text non-Truphone users?

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    1. Sorry but I don't know, I've only looked at the Truphone wireless service not the app.

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  19. Dennis,

    Do you know if Truphone's Consumer account has features such as call waiting? Thanks.

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    1. I don't know if Truphone supports call waiting but I suspect it does. I've never used a GSM network that didn't but I've never used Truphone.

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  20. It only shows t-mobile and truphone as available now instead of AT&T as an option. Their CS says they partnered with AT&T so it is behind the truphone label.

    LTE is also coming according to them.

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    1. I can still lock my truphone SIM to AT&T if I want.

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    2. Maybe it has not rolled out completely. My first guess was that they went all t-mobile. Is there anyway to see if it is AT&T?

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    3. From MO?
      From the Tru Coverage Checker:
      United States of America
      T-Mobile USA
      AT&T USA - select 'GoPhone Service' button

      https://support.truphone.com/s/article/Coverage-Checker

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  21. Under the phone status, besides showing Truphone, it says EDGE, so that is AT&T brand for 2g.

    When the phone is switched to t-mobile, it still says EDGE. Now, that does not add up.

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    1. EDGE is a technical standard for enhanced 2G, not an AT&T brand. T-Mobile and AT&T support EDGE.

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    2. When my Truphone SIM is on T-Mobile, my GSM iPhone 5C shows '3G.'

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  22. Apparently, Truphone assigns you a "VOIP" number, with an "underlying"/hidden (T-mobile?) number. Apparently, Republic Wireless does the same. However, Republic will tell you the "underlying"/hidden number if asked. I asked Truphone, and they pleaded "ignorance". ;-)
    Because I use some bank verification systems which will NOT text to a voip number, I need the underlying (Tmobile?) number from my SIM. Anyone know a way to get it?

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    1. Truphone calls use cellular voice, not VOIP for the connection between the phone and the tower. On Android you can see your cellular number by going to Settings > About phone > Status > My phone number. It should be the same as your Truphone number.

      Truphone is a global roaming SIM with it's own unique mobile network code so the numbers are Truphone numbers not T-Mobile ones. Truphone may source numbers from a company like Bandwith that also operates VOIP networks. The bank systems are probably misidentifying Truphone numbers as VOIP but they technically aren't.

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    2. Thanks. BTW, just discovered this site and LOVING it and telling all my associates.

      So, you are saying (I need education!) that they use no "intermediate voip". The number, when called (or phone dialed) connects directly to Tmobiles network without any voip in between ?. Same as a "normal" cell phone? If so, how do they "add" additional International Numbers to the same SIM. Or, are only those additional numbers routed through a VOIP intermediary?

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    3. For voice calls the phone connects directly to a cell phone tower, either T-Mobile, AT&T or one of Truphone's partner networks in another country using traditional cellular voice telephony. You can prove this by turning off data on the phone (required for VOIP calls) and verifying that you can still make calls Once the call reaches the cellular network it may or may not be transmitted using VOIP, that's up to the mobile operator(s) involved.

      I'm not an expert on mobile telephony but I do know that phone numbers aren't stored on the SIM, only a unique serial number (ICCID) along with a mobile country code (MCC), a mobile network code (MNC) and some other information unrelated to call routing. I believe that when a Truphone device registers on a mobile network, the network sees Truphone's MCC/MNC, recognizes it as belonging to Truphone, an authorized roaming partner, and passes the ICCID to Truphone which looks up the phone number associated with the ICCID in its subscriber database. The number gets sent back to the phone which stores it primarily for the user's convenience.

      For an account with multiple numbers I don't know the technical details of how Truphone determines which number is used but I am certain that the number is assigned to the ICCID at the network level not the SIM level. I'm guessing that for multiple number accounts, the user has to type in a code to tell Truphone which number to use outgoing calls.

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    4. OP is probably confusing Tru SIM with Tru App, which uses VOIP.
      There is some tech and background information on the truphone.com website about their SIM and multiple phone numbers. You can have up to 8 phone numbers from the 8 Truphone Zone countries with one of their SIMs.

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  23. No, not confusing! :-) Tru SIM allows up to 2 additional International DIDs (in addition to the US one) on a single SIM.

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    1. SIMs do not use VOIP. Multiple IMSI, not DIDs. Up to 3 on consumer, 8 on business lines. See their website for details. Here is a summary of their tech approach, which is no longer on the website AFAIK:
      http://web.archive.org/web/20110213051902/http://www.truphone.com/Products/Tru-for-Business/Behind-the-scenes/

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  24. I just ported my main cellphone line to Truphone; it went through with no issues. I am pleased to see that Truphone now activates iMessage, which it did not do in 2013-14. Hotspot with WiFi, USB or Bluetooth also works, although you have to be careful at 9c/mb.

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  25. When you use Truphone in the UK, outgoing calls are not a flat 9c/minute or fraction of a minute. The cost of the call is prorated based on the number of seconds you talk, and can cost 5c-9c during the first minute. Talking more than a minute but less than two is also prorated during the second minute (etc). It does not matter whether you are calling a UK or US number.

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  26. They were supposedly working on giving people a choice to turn voicemail off. A forum link on this topic is old. I wonder if that project is dead. Too bad because it would have been useful.

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  27. From the Truphone coverage checker page:

    "United States of America

    AT&T USA - select 'GoPhone Service' button

    Previously Truphone customers were able to make use of the T-Mobile Network in the US. As of 27th June 2016, Truphone's US provider will be solely AT&T. Customers have been contacted in regards to this change.
    As a result of this change some customers with legacy BlackBerry handsets may experience some issues. If you experience any issues please contact us.

    "

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  28. Can the tru phone SIM be set up to be talk and text only? I am running a phone with a AT&T sim for talk and text, and use wifi for all data and VOIP. I am thinking about getting the truphone sim for my son since he will be a low call user. I don't want him running data on the sim. Thanks!

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    1. Most every Android should be able to turn off cellular data and leave WiFi on. That won't stop your son from turning it back on, but it's how I have my truphone phone setup and it works well for me.

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