iPad in France

Discussion in 'iPad Carriers' started by Bfreesun, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. Bfreesun

    Bfreesun iPF Novice

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    SFR offer prepaid in France but it ain't easy and it ain't easy to find out about.
    If you don't have a French credit card the 9 euro card would seem to be the only option. This gives you three days "unlimited" use.
    I have a Fench credit card so I opted for 1gb for 21 euros which lasts for one month. The process is somewhat painful requiring passport and proof of address in the form of an electricity bill or in our case car registration document. As these were only asked for as they came up on the computer it involved three trips to the car park. The very nice lady kept saying" this is France, it is difficult". She was right.
    3G seemed to work ok and I was delighted with my patience. Untill I tried to connect to one of the "three million wifi hotspots" SFR claim. No joy despite trying everything I could think of. and of course there are no instructions whatsoever included so I checked out the SFR site and couldnt find anything.
    Back to the very busy SFR shop in Cannes where it really is the luck of the draw with who get. Some are unfailingly helpful and knowledgeable and some are thick and ignorant, not to put too fine a point on it. Same everywhere in my experience.
    After about an hour of this idiot on the phone an messing about with my iPad, obviously not having a clue what he was doing he decided to ask the girl in after sales who told him immediately that I needed an app from the French iTunes site. I asked her were there any written instructions anywhere in either English or French and wouldn't it be a really good idea just to have a sheet of paper saying this and give instructions. A Gallic shrug and "I know how this works because I work here"
    So to iTunes. After a few blind alleys and checking it out on google I set up a new French iTunes account (my main account is UK) and downloaded the SFR apps for wifi tv and navigation to my MacBook, synced my iPad and bingo, there they were.
    An unnecessarily long and tedious process but I'm looking forward to using my iPad on our drive to London from the south of France next week. It's great for finding hotel and restaurant reviews on the road
     
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Wow - thanks for your very interesting story. Remind me not to move to France or try and buy a 3G iPad there. But your patience has finally been rewarded!!

    I hope you enjoy your trip to the UK. It's easy to buy a pre-paid microSIM here - in the UK all they're interested in is getting your money!!! So no need for anything else other than a credit card and, hey, we accept *any* good credit card, from any country - even French credit cards are OK :)!

    As I'm sure you already know there are hundreds of WiFi hotspots in the UK, many free, in malls, franchises (Starbucks, MacDonald's etc), hotels, airports, trains, some buses, public libraries - so you may be OK without incurring roaming charges or buying a new microSIM.

    Have a great time and don't forget to post how you get on with your iPad on your trip

    Tim
    Scotland
     
  3. MaggieL

    MaggieL iPF Noob

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    That's the French for you! Nothing's ever simple. I have a French bank account but have never needed a French credit card before. Can you tell me if Skype FaceTime work? I'll let you know how it goes.
    Maggie
     
  4. Bfreesun

    Bfreesun iPF Novice

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    At least I could get online in France and Italy, something which I failed to do in New York. No idea about Skype
    Face Time
     
  5. Bfreesun

    Bfreesun iPF Novice

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    The best and easiest setup I've found so far is Ireland. O2 charge 99 cents for each day of use but only on the days you access the net by 3G. I bought a 20 euro sim card on my last visit and top it up when needed. It seems to have about a two year expiry.
     
  6. MarBush

    MarBush iPF Novice

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    I am having trouble in Italy tryi g to FaceTime to united states. Any ideas what I can do?
     
  7. Bfreesun

    Bfreesun iPF Novice

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    Skype?
     
  8. mactibi

    mactibi iPF Noob

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    Hi there,
    I'm new in this forum, new iPad user, but old MacBook user.
    I'm in France right now, and I had the 3G internet issue. For my self SFR France was the solution. I find a store in Albertvile where an English speaking lady could help me with the micro sim (9€), with 3 days unlimited, and an other two prepaid coupons each 48 hours unlimited wit (9€). So for 27€ I could have Internet unlimited for my 7 days journey (skiing in the Alps:p). My big concern was how to recharge my prepay sim. From the bill containing the coupon's code I should recharge with a phone call. Doesn't liked the idea, and than in start looking in the settings of the iPad. At cellular data there is "sim application" than recharge code, than chose recharge text, there you imput the code of the coupon from the store and shortly you will get a confirmation from SFR the recharging was complet.
    I would like to mention that in the store I had to show my passport so they could issue a kind of contract, and I payed with my Romanian raiffeisen euro debit card, and I don't have even a France mobile phone subscription.
    It wasn't easy, but it's working.
    Hope I could help those who will trawel in France.
    One more thing, not very often free wifi services in the Alps ski resorts, you might pay a subscription, useless due to the pour carrier. So do not rely on wifi in all places, no Starbucks and no McDonald's in the Alps.
     
  9. wapanstore

    wapanstore iPF Noob

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    I just payed €22 for Internet connection, just to watch Doctor Who (yes, I am obsessed) and now I find out I can't connect to iplayer because I'm in France at the moment.
     
  10. Superteds34

    Superteds34 iPF Novice

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    Hi, I live in france and have no problem using BBC iplayer. Even the international version can get the dr who specials " featuring the darleks!" . The easiest way to confirm all is ok is to use free wi if connections, not very common here as usually they are a cheap trick to get you to sign up for some expensive contract. Safest route if you are near one is the apple store. Just sit outside and log in. The other reliable place is macdonalds - if you must you could sit down and eat as well? Take more precautions at macdonalds as its often full of geeks you have skipped school and will look over your shoulder given a chance! When our ISP goes down we head for macdonalds as they always seem to have a more robust connection or france telecoms listen to them when they moan.less reliable are the tourist centers which issue a temporary password code which is valid for one hour.
     
  11. Superteds34

    Superteds34 iPF Novice

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    Hi, I live in the south of france and can confirm that both Skype and FaceTime work ok - usual issues of high traffic at weekends, otherwise ok. Don't expect any telecoms company to be any different, that part of globalisation they have embraced fully! The ideas about customer service - not so much! On the upside is their life/work balance, something they cherish. Slavish obedience to the mindless work ethic of the northern hemisphere is still not universally popular. If you have a French bank account I advise you keep an eye on it, as you maybe accumulating charges from just sitting there! This the French bankers have turned into an art form. They make some of the others look honest! At least they did not gamble as much as the others in the casino part of the banks.
     
  12. Bfreesun

    Bfreesun iPF Novice

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    Free.fr includes pretty well unlimited calls to France and the rest of Europe and to mobiles in the US and 3gb of data for €19.99 per month with a one month contract. I t allows me to use my iPhone as a wifi hotspot so no need for a 3G iPad for me
     
  13. MaggieL

    MaggieL iPF Noob

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    After successfully using a neighbour's wifi for face timing I've had an Internet connection fitted in our holiday home, same provider, same exchange and only 50 yards apart. FaceTime works perfectly at the neighbour's but constantly freezes at ours. I've tried the signal strength at both houses and ours is slightly stronger. Orange France were no help at all with this issue and said it must be "high traffic" . How can the traffic be so different within the space of 50 yards? Can anybody help please? This is really frustrating!
     

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