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How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid

Ever since the JA$8.99 Flat Rate Calling Plan hit Prime Time, interest in my article Digicel Introduces One Rate Calling for $8.99 in Jamaica has shot through the roof. Of particular interest to readers is the reasoning behind the non-inclusion of the Gimme 5 International Calling, where you make a five (5) minute call and get the next twenty five (25) Minutes free.

The rational is rather obvious: Digicel is trying to phase out Free International Calling via Gimme 5. This as giving subscribers the option to make a free twenty five (25) minute call represents a considerable amount of lost revenue, which the Flat Rate Calling Plan, if successfully accepted by the majority of Jamaicans, would fix.

Digicel is also set to lose considerable revenue from Cross Network Calls, based on the handy chart shown below if the majority of Jamaicans accept JA$8.99 Flat Rate Calling Plan. Add to that the fact that Digicel has already been losing revenue on On-Net Voice Calling since 2010AD

LIME has learned from the mistakes of Digicel and in rolling out their LIME XL Value Campaign on Friday April 20th 2012AD, they have made sure not to include any service offer which allows customer to make five minute international Calls and get the next 25 minutes free, as Digicel has done.

This is a problem affecting Digicel due to the increasing popularity of Mobile Data,thanks ironically to CLARO Jamaica’s introduction of 3G to Jamaica; people are opting to make fewer calls, especially International Calls, which accounts for the lion share of revenue from Switched Voice Calling, due to the use of Free Calling offers.

By rolling out JA$8.99 Flat Rate Calling Plan for Prepaid and the Anywhere Calling Plans for Postpaid as explained in Digicel intros the Anywhere Plan for Postpaid, it is hoped that as people sign up to these Flat Rate Calling Plans which match LIME’s Flat Rate Plans for Prepaid and Postpaid, they will be able to wean customers off Gimme 5 International Calling and grandfather them into using a Prepaid International Calling Plan.

Simple.

Calls Peak (JA$) Off-Peak (JA$) One-Rate Plan (JA$)
Digicel – Digicel 10.00 8.00 8.99
Digicel – Digicel Fixed Mobile 9.00 9.00 8.99
Digicel – LIME Fixed Landline 12.00 10.00 8.99
Digicel – LIME Mobile 14.20 13.80 8.99
Digicel – National Toll Free 10.00 8.00 8.99
Digicel – FLOW Landline 17.70 15.80 8.99

Thus adopting one of Digicel’s International Calling Plans is a must, as the current cost to make International Calls is quite high. Again another handy chart that applies equally to both Digicel and LIME:

Calls Peak (JA$) Off-Peak (JA$)
Digicel – International 17.75 17.75
Digicel – Haiti 23.00 23.00
Digicel – Cuba 90.00 90.00

At this point please take the following things into consideration:

  • Peak is from 7:00am to 6:59pm the following day Monday to Friday
  • Off Peak being 7:00pm to 6:59am the following day, Monday to Friday
  • The weekends which is regarded as Off-Peak on Digicel and LIME’s Network starts on Friday at 7:00pm and ending on the following Monday at 6:59am.
  • Haiti’s Calling Rates are due to a JA$5.50 cess that is collected by Digicel Haiti on behalf of the Haitian Government to help in their rebuilding efforts
  • Cuba’s Calling Rates are due to calls not being terminated directly in Cuba due to the US Embargo. They have to be routed through a European Telecom Operator and then through another US Telecom Operator to finally terminate in Cuba

Not to be outdone, LIME also has Prepaid International Calling Plans as well. Like Digicel, LIME also promotes the usage of International Calling Plans as the cost to call abroad is pretty intimidating. With that said, if you need to make International Calls, you’re going to be in need of an International Calling Plan from either Digicel of LIME!

What International Calling Plans are on the Menu?

Digicel offers two (2) International Calling Plans for both Prepaid (DigiFlex) and Postpaid (DigiSelect) Customers, each lasting thirty (30) days:

  • International 1000 – subscribers get 1000 Minutes rated at JA$1.00 per minute
  • International 1250 – subscribers get 1250 Minutes rated at JA$1.00 per minute

If your math is strong, that means that International 1000 costs JA$1000 and International 1250 costs JA$1250. Simple enough! LIME comes out of its corner throwing a 1-2-3 punch combo for both Prepaid and Postpaid Customers, but with varying airtimes of seven (7) and thirty (30) days respectively:

  • WorldPak 200 – subscriber gets 120 Minutes or 2 hours of Calling with seven (7) days of airtime
  • WorldPak 900 – subscriber gets 900 Minutes of Calling at a rate of A$1.00 per minute with seven (30) days of airtime
  • WorldPak 1200 – subscriber gets 1200 Minutes of Calling at a rate of A$1.00 per minute with seven (30) days of airtime

Their Prepaid International Calling Plans are clearly geared at offering a wider choice and convenience, as not everyone wants the same amount of Minutes. Both of these International Calling Plans for either Digicel or LIME apply specifically to:

  • USA – Landline and Mobile phones
  • Canada – Landline and Mobile phones
  • China – Landline and Mobile phones
  • India – Landline and Mobile phones
  • UK – Landlines only
  • Spain – Landlines only

These International Calling Plans, which ironically, are lower than the rate Jamaicans pay for Local Calling, are possible thanks to Reverse Termination Agreements negotiated between LIME and Digicel separately and the Telecom Providers in other countries i.e. lower cost to call from Jamaica to their territories in exchange for calls to Jamaica from these territories being much higher to make up for the lost revenue. Thus, both Digicel and LIME has to keep people making International Calls in order to maintain their end of the Reverse Termination Agreements and thus creating a reason for loved ones abroad to make calls.

International Calling is the main revenue turner for Telecom Providers the world over and will remain so for the foreseeable future.

How do you activate on Prepaid and Postpaid?

As usually, some USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data)Codes are involved. In the case of Digicel:

  1. *134# – initialize the Plan on your mobile phone

a)      *134*1000# – Code to activate International 1000

b)      *134*1250# – Code to activate International 1250

  1. *134*1# – to confirm activation. At This point money is taken from the Customer’s Account
  2. *134*9# – to decline activation

In the case of LIME:

  1. *133*120# – To activate the WorldPak 120
  2. *133*900# – To activate the WorldPak 900
  3. *133*1200# – To activate the WorldPak 1200

Once you’ve begun the process, you’ve thirty (30) Minutes to confirm or decline activation. Make sure that you’ve the amount of Prepaid Credit on your LIME or Digicel Account in order to activate the respective Calling Plan.

Upon Activation, you get thirty (30) days worth or service and you’ll be alerted two (2) days before the end of the International Calling Plan that you’ve to Renew.The same USSD Codes apply for Postpaid customers on either Digicel or LIME, with the money being taken from your Main Talk Balance Account.

Please note that these are the USSD Codes and the order in which they should be used. In real life application, the Ericsson Switch at Digicel’s MSC (Mobile Switching Center) will send you a detailed text as to what to do next. Thus you should wait for confirmation text for the receipt of each USSD Code after entering them on your mobile phone.

How do I check my International Calling Plan Balance?

You can check your International Plan Balance using the following USSD Code for Digicel:

  • *134*[Plan code]#

In the case of LIME, use the following code:

  • *120# – like checking regular credit

Note: “[Plan code]” here means either “1000” or “1250”

How do I change my International Calling Plan?

If you wish to change your International Calling Plan, this can only be done in the last two (2) days of the Plan. In the case of Digicel, this is done using the following USSD Code:

  • *134*2*[old Plan code]# – To initialize the change process
  • *134*2*[old Plan code]*[new Plan code] # – To change from the previous International Calling Plan to the New International Calling Plan. At this point Credit is taken off the Mobile phone.

In the case of LIME, the USSD Code is as follows:

  • *133*120# – To activate the WorldPak 120
  • *133*900# – To activate the WorldPak 900
  • *133*1200# – To activate the WorldPak 1200

Clearly LIME makes it a simple matter of merely renewing the service in order to change the plan, as you must have known what you wanted at the time you had activated a WorldPak Calling Plan.

How do I renew my Plan and get Rollover Minutes?

To renew your International Calling Plan is as simple as Pie. Interestingly enough, Digicel also offers Rollover for Unused International Calling Plan Minutes. These Minutes, called Rollover Minutes, can only be brought forward from the previous thirty (30) day period and used in renewed International Calling Plan only once. There are generally three (3) situations under which one can renew their International Calling Plan:

  • Less than two (2) days to the Plan’s end and you still have Minutes remaining
  • Less than two (2) days to the Plan’s end and you’ve no Minutes remaining
  • End Date for Plan has passed

The last two (2) conditions are effectively very similar, as in both cases, no Rollover Minutes are involved and is merely a re-activation of your International Calling Plan:

  • *134*5*[Plan code]#

The first condition, however, requires a different code in order for the Customer to convert the Unused International Calling Plan Minutes to Rollover Minutes:

  • *134*1*[Plan code]#

LIME, always about convenience, automatically rolls over any unused Minutes from the previous WorldPak Plan at the time of re-activation.

That’s it folks!

Any problem you’re having with your International Calling Plan that you can’t figure out you can call the helpful Customer Service Agents at 100 from either your Digicel of LIME Mobile phone and they would be very happy to assist.

Thank you for calling Digicel and LIME Customer Care! Do have a pleasant day!

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 How to set up an International Calling Plan for Digicel or LIME Prepaid and Postpaid
Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.
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