Day 64: Ulaanbaatar , Gear shopping: Phone & SIMs

A blue smartphone box.
Samsung Galaxy A3 (SM-A300F/DS).

After work I head out shopping, snapping some random pictures along the way.

I'm well aware that my well-being is largely dependent on the good functioning of my iPhone.

In the software world this makes my phone a SPOF, or Single Point of Failure.

Although I'm trying to minimise what I'm carrying, a second phone wouldn't add much in the way of bulk. It would also make my website device testing a lot easier.

So I'm head to Skytel, emerging with a Samsung Galaxy A3.

Specifically, it's a SM-A300F/DS. The last bit is important - DS stands for Dual SIM, which means I can easily switch between two networks without fiddling about with Micro SIM Cards in a dirty/dusty/sandy environment.

The phone costs just under 400 NZD which isn't cheap, but it's still cheaper than my secondhand iPhone SE.

I already have a Mobicom TEDY Prepaid SIM (GSM network) which I purchased the week I arrived in Mongolia.

But Mongolia is a big place and Mobicom doesn't provide 100% mobile coverage.

So I pick up two additional SIMs for use in my Dual SIM phone:

  1. A Unitel SIM (GSM network), I think this came with the phone
  2. A Skytel SIM (HSPA+ & CDMA networks)

In addition, I also still have my SIM from Russia (China wouldn't sell me a SIM) and my Spark SIM from NZ. The latter can be used with expensive roaming data and is necessary to receive 'Online Codes' from my ANZ banking app.

Phone and SIM costs
Item NZD
Mobicom TEDY Prepaid SIM, 20,000 Units (08/10) 10,000 $7.69
Mobicom TEDY 5GB Data (08/10) 20,000 $15.38
Mobicom TEDY 5GB Data 20,000 $15.38
Samsung SM-A300F/DS (Unlocked but "Central Asia & Mongolia SIM Card Only") 500,000 $384.50
Skytel SIM, NZ ₮ 770/minute 10,000 $7.69
Skytel 10,000 Units 10,000 $7.69
Skytel 5GB Data 20,000 $15.38
Spark SIM (from NZ) - -
Unitel SIM ?
Unitel 10,000 Units + 2GB Data 25,000 $19.23