Preparing SIM cards
SIM cards provide Freedom Fone with access to the mobile network, allowing callers to reach your platform in the same way that they are used to reaching each other.
This chapter will explain how to choose your carrier(s) (Mobile Network Operator), how to prepare your SIMs for use within the GSM device, and how to install the SIMs.
Choosing a Carrier & Procurement
Choosing a carrier is a very important step in providing callers with access to your Freedom Fone service. There are a number of obvious items you may consider as well as some that are not immediately apparent.
Confirm that DTMF works on your Carrier
The most important first step is to confirm that Freedom Fone works with your carrier.
DTMF is a high pitched sound that a phone makes when a key is pressed. The Voice menu function of Freedom Fone depends on these DTMF tones for a caller to make a selection inside a Voice menu e.g. To hear market prices, press two.
Unfortunately some mobile phone operators do not support the use of DTMF and the Freedom Fone hardware cannot hear when a user presses a button to make a selection. To quickly check if a carrier support DTMF, try making a call between two phones on this network and in the middle of the call try pressing some buttons 1 2 3 etc. If you can hear the beeps and tones of the keypresses, the network supports DTMF. If you dont hear any tones - there are several things you can do.
We have had cases where it is simply a matter of trying a different SIM card from the same mobile carrier - try a few different SIMs. If that still does not work, you can test further by calling the default Cholera menu after you have installed the Freedom Fone software.
If you are still unable to get the Freedom Fone service to respond to keypresses you could try speaking to the technical support people at the carrier - otherwise you may need to consider using a different carrier. Note: All is not lost - you may still use functions that do not require caller key press selections such as the Leave-a-message function or create a single informational Voice menu that a caller can listen to.
Cost from your perspective
Which carriers are the cheapest to receive calls? In some countries, inbound calls are billable.
Which carriers offer the best SMS rates? This may include bundles that can be bolted on to your service plan to offer discounted volume rates.
Cost from the caller's perspective
Which carriers are your callers on? Cross network calls are often more expensive than same network communication.
Discounted call times or promotions? Are there any discounts or promotions that you can take advantage of from a mobile carrier?
Sometimes, offering a choice for callers to access your service through multiple carriers will increase the likelihood that they will call. Remember to advertise all your numbers and carriers to help callers make the appropriate choice.
Network Reception at Freedom Fone Service Location
Check to see which carriers offer the best reception at the physical location of your Freedom Fone service. The better the signal, the higher the quality of call.
Network Reception at Caller's Location
If targeting a specific audience based on geography, ensure that the carrier of choice also has reception in that location.
Selecting MSISDN (Mobile Number)
If purchasing multiple SIM cards, try to get telephone numbers that are consecutive or highly memorable.Many mobile phone operators will let you choose these numbers.
Never forget that carriers maintain call data records. In some sensitive environments, security issues and the trust you have in the carrier might guide your choice.
SIM Card Preparation
Before installing a SIM card into the GSM device you plan to use, ensure that you follow these simple steps:
- Insert SIM into a mobile phone
- Verify the following:
All PIN requests on the SIM have been removed: this is usually found in a "Security" option within "Settings" on most handsets
- There is good carrier coverage
- The SIM is active and has been registered: test by calling the SIM, and sending and receiving an SMS
- It is topped up with airtime and it meets the pay-as-you-go operational requirements specific to your country
- Delete all SMSs that exist on the SIM. This will ensure that the SIM is not full and therefore unable to receive new messages. This is usually an option within the SMS/Messaging application on most handsets.
SIM Card Installation
It's now time to place the SIM(s) into the GSM device that you have chosen to use. Please follow the instructions of that specific device; to understand how to do this, see chapters the Connecting OfficeRoute or Connecting MobiGater depending on your hardware.