SIM cards for Europe

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Drummo, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Hi there,
    I'm off to Europe next month and wondered if anyone had a recommendation of cost and usage for a prepaid sim whilst I'm travelling in Europe for 5 wks?
    Thnxsvm in anticipation.
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    It depends which countries you'll be visiting. There's no real pan-European SIM card; all the operators are, more or less, bound by national boundaries and you'll be charged roaming if you move from country A to country B with a country A SIM card. In some countries, getting a pre-paid card is exceptionally easy - most Members have found the UK is by far the easiest, walk in to any mobile phone shop, choose a card, pay - cash or credit - walk out, you're good to go.

    Other countries, France for example, need all sorts of ID, addresses, telephone numbers, passports....in the UK all they want is your money, they don't care about anything else!!

    So, if you let us know the countries you'll be visiting, we'll try and help.

    Tim
  3. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Hi Tim,
    Understood. Going to Austria, Italy, Spain & the Greek Isles.
    cheers
  4. southy
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    southy iPF Noob

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    Hi,

    As already mentioned, the different countries in Europe have different, seperate operators just as the US and canada have different operators.

    However...

    > Going to Austria, Italy, Spain & the Greek Isles.

    ...there is good news:
    You can use the same SIM for Austria & Italy:
    There is an operator called "3" present in both (and more) countries (drei.at / tre.it). Although the networks are independent, they do not charge roaming.
    That means: Get yourself a 3 card in any of their countrys and use it in all 3-countries without additional costs. Bonus: they come pretty cheap.

    If you buy it in Austria, 2 plans might be of interest for you:

    "ReLoad Extreme":
    is a prepaid plan for telephony and data
    no frills / no activation fees or anything, activate and buy the "MoreMB"-pack: 100MB for 3,- EUR /month

    this is the easiest way because you will really get this SIM in any 3 shop.

    If you need a _LOT_ data, then watch out for the following alternatives:


    "Internet2go": pay 49,- EUR for a surfstick with 2GB included and 0,02 EUR/MB after that.
    The 2 GB / any other traffic you buy later will be valid for 1 year.
    Problem: You probably don't need the stick but have to pay for it.
    Check out ebay for SIM only.


    "Apple ipad-Tarif":
    - no activation fee
    100MB free upfront.
    then 6,- EUR for 2GB or larger plans avilable, but: traffic always only valid for 1 month.
    Problem: officially this is only avilable when buying an ipad :) What a pity :)
    Check out ebay for SIM only.



    Please note that 3 is a rather young company and only has 3G (no 2G) coverage. Thus, the coverage can not keep up with the "old players".
    But I am using it regularily when travelling to Italy, Sweden and Austria
    I got mine in Austria, use it very often in Italy, Austria and Sweden and pay 0,02 EUR/MB and and I find the coverage good in cities and sufficient outside.


    As I said, the advantage for you is that you will have to buy only one SIM for 2 countries. Apart from that you can of course also use any other operator's SIM.

    In general, Austria is a pretty cheap GSM market.
    Italy is above average pricy (from 20,- EUR up for a 3G data flat)
    And I don't know much about spain and greece.
    Coverage-wise in general the situation in Europe is _much_ better than in the US, you will hardly find any spot even outside the cities without at least 2G coverage (if you stick to the larger operators unlike 3)

    Hope that helped a little and welcome to Europe!

    southy
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
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  5. Drummo
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    Drummo iPF Novice

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    Hi southy,
    I won't need a lot of data, just some emails and Google Maps. I would have thought 100 MB per week.
    Who would you go with, in Austria & Italy, is 3 ok?
  6. southy
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    southy iPF Noob

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    Hi,

    I would go with 3 - as you'll only have to buy 1x SIM.
    Especially when you're in urban areas (coverage).
  7. Soupdragon
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    Soupdragon iPF Noob

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    iPad SIM for Europe

    Hi folks I live in the UK but travel almost every week to various European countries including Germany, France and Belgium.

    I have just purchased a MAXROAM IPad SIM for my 3G IPad 2. According to their website the data rate should work out at 49 Euro cents (43p uk£) per MB. it is a prepay SIM so at least I can keep a track on my spend. Free WIFI is not always available and I like to have some connectivity on the road.

    That is cheaper than the £1-28/MB that my 3 SIM costs for data roaming outside UK but still seems pretty extortionate. Has anyone else found a good way to get 3G coverage when traveling in Europe.

    I will be visiting all three countries next week and will post back how I get on.


    Andrew
  8. Mavlar81
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    Mavlar81 iPF Novice

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    Hi Andrew, you may be better off just getting a prepay data SIM from the countries you are visiting, that's what I did when I took my iPad 2 to Mallorca with me, you will certainly save money because Roaming charges are just ridiculous.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  9. wapanstore
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    wapanstore iPF Noob

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    Definitely! Facetime is completely different from any contract, rates, or whatever! It's completely free! It uses Wi-Fi, which is basically free !
  10. Buzzfriend
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    Buzzfriend iPF Novice

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    Hey Southy. We travelled to Engalnd two years ago...and once we left the villages and found a city..purchasing a per paid micro sim was easy. I THINk I have a UK 3 card (and I have kept it somewhere). We are now travelling to France abs Spain and was interested in your comments. From what I can see , buying a prepaid SIM in France is a nightmare. It seems most of our accomodation will have WIFI but sometimes when travelling the iPad is useful. I've found an English speaking company that will ship them to you so younhave it before you arrive which would be awesome...to be able to iMessage our B&B owners when we arrive in the country would be awesome! But the data is hugely expensive...250m for 20€. I paid 20£ for 3Gig in the UK. It seems Orange does a ore pay SIM but you have to jump through hoops and I won't be able to just 'pick it up at the airport'. Any ideas?
  11. jdub71
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    jdub71 iPF Noob

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    I used holidayphonedotcom when heading to London a few weeks ago. They shipped me a 3 prepaid sim that was loaded with 3gb of data.
  12. ahobbs
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    ahobbs iPF Noob

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    Hey, when me and my friend were traveling around Sourthen Europe we were using Travelsim, it's international roaming sim-card which was working in every country we visted (Spain, Italy and Greece). It might be best solution for you too ;)

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