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Cheap Ways to Call and Text Abroad Via Your Mobile
Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Captain's Log Stardate -315956.55

My cousin's recent Globe Telecom roaming bill reached P11,147.80. You read it right, ELEVEN THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED FORTY SEVEN AND EIGHTY CENTAVOS! Almost the same price of the much hyped LG Cookie phone.

Her G-Plan is only G-Text 500 with a monthly credit limit of P5,000. Instead of bearing the costs of international calls and texts by calling my cousin's Verizon mobile, her moron and leech boyfriend kept on calling her roaming Globe SIM despite the fact that my cousin will be charged P60+ per minute for all incoming international calls. Why waste $0.40 per minute with Verizon when you can call her for only P6.50 per minute or P0.10 per second? Wise guy huh?

I also don't know why Globe allowed this. Why impose a credit limit of P5,000 when you cannot implement it? The P11,147.80 accumulated for days and there's no way their system couldn't have detected it even their claim of some delay. Of course they had a lot of alibis to my Aunt when I accompanied her last October. My aunt is one of the first 40 subscribers of Globe, one consolation they would have atleast gave her was to refund half of that P11K bill.

My cousin's line has been terminated and both my uncle and aunt are thinking of transferring to Smart. Anyway, to prevent this from happening again, I have compiled some tips to help them and my readers to save on international calls and texts.



As far as I know, TextWise is the first prepaid card that offered cheap international SMS and can be used by either postpaid or prepaid subscribers. The TextWise card comes only in P100 denomination and lets you send up to 20 international SMS or P5 per SMS plus P1 local text rate. That's about 75% savings from the current rates of Smart and Globe.

It works by sending your SMS to a predefined local gateway number and this gateway will then forward your message to the recipient. Not as secured as you think, but the 75% savings is worth it.

TextWise is from Philippine Wireless Inc., the same guys who operated PocketBell in the 1990s.


To those who don't know what Chikka is, better grab a rock and knock your head. Chikka is the first and only messaging client for computers that allows everyone to send free SMS to anyone in the Philippines. Today, they have expanded the countries you can send free SMS to 10. Countries beside the Philippines include Hong Kong, Guam, Spain, United Kingdom, Saipan, India, Indonesia and the United States.

Unfortunately for many, the only way they know to send free SMS is while in front of a computer. But I'll let you know a little secret. You can actually send an SMS to 9 other countries for P2.50 (P2.00 for Sun Cellular). How you ask?

First, register your mobile number at Chikka's new website. Now, add your friend or relative's mobile number to your Chikka Buddy list. You can read more on how to Add your buddies at the Chikka's Beginners Guide.

Once added, you can now send free SMS to them using your computer or P2.50 per message via your mobile phone. To send a message via mobile, you need to know the Chikka access number of your operator and add it to the mobile number you're texting.

Example, you're texting someone from the United States and the mobile number is +12131234567. The access number should be added infront of the number, ex. (ACCESS NUMBER)12131234567. Here's the list of access codes of the different local mobile providers.

Globe Handyphone / Touch Mobile - 2371
  • 2371+(country code)+(area code)+(mobile number)
  • ex. 237112131234567

Smart Buddy / Talk and Text - 277
  • 277+(country code)+(area code)+(mobile number)
  • ex. 27712131234567

Sun Cellular - 2009
  • 2009+(country code)+(area code)+(mobile number)
  • ex. 200912131234567

So for example, you're using Globe and and you'll be texting your brother in the USA with a mobile number of +12131234567, the correct Chikka format should be 237112131234567.

Prepaid subscribers of Globe Handyphone, Touch Mobile, Smart, and Talk & Text will be charged P2.50 while Sun Cellular subscribers will be charged P2.00 per 160 characters of SMS.

But always remember, this will only work on the 9 countries listed above. Sending an SMS via Chikka will give you about 87.5% savings over regular rates.

Chikka also offers Chikka Text Plus, a paid service that allows you to text virtually any country for US$0.10 per message. I haven't tried it yet though. You may check out Chikka Text Plus here.


Globe and Touch Mobile subscribers can send international SMS to SingTel users in Singapore for only P1.00 per SMS. As far as I know, this is the only international text offer from Globe.


Smart Communications currently has a special text package for all its Smart Buddy subscribers that lets them send SMS to the USA and UK for as low as P0.70 per SMS. All Smart Buddy subscribers, send ITEXT [package type]{space}[your number] to 4090. Following packages are as follows:
  • Package A - P20 Good for 1 day with 20 texts or P1.00/text
  • Package B - P55 Good for 3 days with 60 texts or P0.90/text
  • Package C - P90 Good for 5 days with 110 texts or P0.80/text
  • Package D - P125 Good for 7 days with 170 texts or P0.70/text



Globe tipIDD card is the new prepaid IDD card product from Globe Telecom that allows consumers to call abroad using their Globe cellphones (whether Globe Postpaid, Globe Prepaid, or TM) for as low as P2.50 per minute. Globe tipIDD card has 3 denominations: P100, P25 and P50. The P50 denomination however is a special commemoration card of SM's 50th anniversary and is only available in SM malls. Currently, there are no plans to re-produce the P50 cards once the stocks have run out.

Rates of the Globe TipIDD card are as follows:
  • P2.50 / min to US, Canada and Hong Kong
  • P5.00 / min to Singapore, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea
  • P8.00 / min to Italy, UK, Australia, Thailand and Japan
  • P10.00/ min to Saudi Arabia and UAE
  • $0.40 / min to all other countries


Besides the Globe TipIDD Card, there are currently 3 other IDD call offers from Globe. The P7.50 per minute call (2 variants) and the P0.15 per second IDD Sakto Calls.

IDD Sakto Calls is available to Australia, Canada, China, Hawaii. Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K., U.S. and Equatorial Guinea. Each call can be made anytime of the day for only P0.15 per second. To call, just dial 12800 (country code) (area code) (phone number). (Ex. 12800xxxxxxxxxx)

P7.50 per minute call is available to Singtel Singapore, Hong Kong CSL Mobile, Maxis Malaysia Mobile, Taiwan Mobile, Optus Australia and SK Telecom (South Korea) only. Each call can be made anytime of the day for only P7.50 per minute. To call, just dial Dial 12801 (country code) (area code) (phone no.) (Ex. 12801xxxxxxxxxx)

Another variation of the P7.50 per minute IDD call is also available to USA and Canada. Calls must be made from 10:00pm - 5:59am Manila time. To call, just dial Dial 12801 (country code) (area code) (phone no.) (Ex. 12808xxxxxxxxxx)


This is a permanent service to all Sun Cellular subscribers, whether postpaid or prepaid. Sun IDD Top 10 offers US$ 0.10 per minute IDD rate for every call made only to the US Mainland, China, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Guam, and Macau. IDD calls made to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands are not included though.
  • For Postpaid, enroll to IDD Top 10 by calling Hotline 200 or visiting any Sun Shop.
  • For Prepaid, load IDD Top 10 E_PIN credits by purchasing a call card, accessing The Mall on a Sun mobile phone, or via electronic loading through Sun Xpress Load


The new Sun Cellular Call and Text International SIM is capable of sending P1.00 SMS to 20 countries without signing up for a promo. The 20 countries in which you could send Php 1.00 per international text includes USA, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, UAE, Singapore, Bahamas, Brunei, Cayman Island, Cyprus, Guam, Hawaii, HK, Jamaica, Macau, Oman, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Saipan, and Turkey.

Also included in the new Call and Text International SIM card is a free 5 min call every month for 6 months to Sun’s Top 10 IDD destinations and 5 free international texts. You will get the free credits as long as you load at least P50 every month.

You also don't have to purchase Sun IDD Top 10 credits as the rate is permanently included with the new Sun International Call and Text SIM Card. Enjoy $0.10 per minute calls to 10 countries that include the US Mainland, China, Hong Kong, Canada, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, Guam, and Macau.

IDD calls to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Japan, Australia, India and 15 other countries are also very affordable at only $0.20 per minute. This special rate is initially available for Sun Call & Text International SIM subscribers. Sun's regular IDD rate to call over 100 countries is $0.30 per minute.

VOIP (Fring + Skype)

If you happen to have a phone that is powered by Symbian or Windows, you can download and install fring. Fring enables you use your phone's data connectivity to make Skype calls.

Data rates of Smart, Globe and Sun are currently priced at P10 per 30 minutes or about P0.33/minute. Calls from a Skype account to a United States number is priced at US$0.02 per minute. That's about P1.29 per minute using the fring + Skype combo on your mobile network. All you need is a PayPal account to purchase Skype credits. To know more about Skype and it's call rates, visit their official website.


I'll show you more ways to save next time like Magic Jack, IM, Email to SMS, etc. But until then, you better start calling and texting your love ones abroad. It's only 9 days till Christmas :)

Happy Holidays guys :)

Disclosure: Blog owner is a forum administrator of myGlobe, a website of Globe Telecom.

*Computer end log*


Posted by Jepoy @ 12/16/2008 02:24:00 AM
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Posted by Blogger Reesie on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:39:00 AM GMT+8:  
WOW, this is really helpful. I've been paying like 100 bucks per month for international calls to the Philippines. And my mom's been using her regular phone to text me..and that's about Php 30/text I guess. Thanks Jepz.

Check out also magicjack (www.magicjack.com). I've been thinking of using sending one to the philippines and never get a chance.

Posted by Anonymous reyna elena on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:34:00 PM GMT+8:  
leche naman hahaha what kind of calling she did?! hahaha! this is good info! you have no idea how many calls... well... too much info... basta .... i will fave this entry hahaha

Posted by Blogger Jepoy on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 1:36:00 AM GMT+8:  
@Reesie - $100 per month? Why not send them magic jacks or buy them Skype Credits? :P

@reyna elena - hahaha telebabad with her leech bf. :))

Posted by Blogger Boy Kuripot (stingy) on Monday, February 16, 2009 at 9:40:00 PM GMT+8:  
I believe there is also a Globe Kabayan sim for HK. It's available in Peoples network I think (or the other network, there are just 2 known networks anyway). I remember I used it to call back home at a whopping P1 per min. Text rates is much more expensive 3-5 peso I think. For anyone going to HK, look for that Globe Kabayan sim. Makakatipid ka for sure.

Posted by Anonymous kent on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 10:47:00 AM GMT+8:  
Sir ask ko lang, im in the us and i have a smart roaming sim, them i followed the steps on chikka as mentioned above, pero bkt ang charge per txt ko eh 20 p din and not 2.50?

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