Mobile phone quandary

3120At present I am theoretically meant to be carrying two phones with me wherever I go: My original ‘3‘ phone which has my original number on it, and my new Telstra GSM el-cheapo ‘work’ phone. This is a pain… not only are two phones twice as bulky and twice as heavy, they’re also twice as easy to lose, twice as hard to locate and answer when ringing z800iand twice as hard to keep maintained in terms of configuraiton battery charge and address-book data.

This comes at a time when PDA-phones are becoming so sophisticated that I am seriously contemplating replacing my beloved Palm Pilot with a phone.

Why do I want two separate phones?

  1. I want to keep the number-spaces separate: Work calls belong with this job I’m doing now. Private calls will continue to be directed to me for as long as I live, and I want to keep the same number for as long as possible. This is both in terms of what number people call in order to reach me, and in terms of what number I appear to be calling from.
  2. Call costs are separate: Work calls can be paid for by my employer. I don’t want to have to sift them out of my phone bill by hand and then lodge a dubious and slow-moving expense claim. Nor do I want to wind up being ear-bashed over the three hour call to a friend in Zambia I made last month on my work phone. I am happy to pay for my private calls, really.
  3. Phone plan features are separate entities: My Telstra plan has excellent reception. When the phone in question is an on-call phone, this is not so much handy as vital. My Three plan enables E (on a longish Three plan herself) to call me for free, so long as the calls are less than 10 minutes long. It’s also priced better than a Telstra plan, even with my staff discount.

The question is: how do I keep these things while cutting down to only one handset? As far as I’m aware, nobody makes phones which take multiple sim-cards. I’m not sure if it’s possible to put more thn one plan on a single sim-card, but I’ll bet it would (a) void the warranty and (b) only enable the use of one plan at a time.

Call diversion is not an adequate solution. I say ‘in theory’ above because I’m only carrying one handset right now: my z800i. This yields the worst of both worlds:

  • I pay for all calls, work or otherwise
  • My work contacts are confused, and can see my private number when I call them
  • I only get Three-syle bodgy coverage
  • My phone-books collide

There has to be a better way. If anyone knows of one, or can suggest a guru who might, please tell me!

4 thoughts on “Mobile phone quandary

  1. As far as I know, there is no way to have a phone with multiple SIMs, with both SIMs connected at the same time. There are, however, many 3rd party solutions for having two SIMs in a phone. EBay has quite a few examples.

    If you do plan on buying one, research it carefully. Many of them don’t support 3G SIMs.

  2. I heard a rumour that some phones (in Europe?) can take two SIMs at the same time to solve your too-many-devices clashing problem.

    I’m quite happy with my Palm Pilot / mobile phone combo. Not sure what your usage patterns are like, but I rarely use the phone and keep costs low by using a pre-paid account (Vodafone were cheapest for that sorta thing when I shopped around but I gather that other providers have better coverage).
    For reference, mine’s a Palm Treo 600. The 650 has been around for a year or two now and has some nice improvements. The 700w is bleeding-edge and has more refinements, but it got cobbled to the worst possible O/S for a palmtop device…that bone-headed business decision still makes me cringe. Fortunately, there’s the 700p (which is 3G), where ‘p’ stands for good ol’ PalmOS. 🙂 Unfortunately, it’s been “coming RSN” since the start of the year…
    And, as of a few days ago, there’s the shiny new half-a-step-backwards Treo680, which is slicker and a fair bit cheaper.

  3. You could try using a dual-sim phone, such as the ones at, but they seem moderately lame, and they’re certainly not an iPhone.

    p.s. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt and leaving your comment up, but there’s no fscking way you get to link a commercial ringtone site from it.

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