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Travel sims in Italy and France

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Bgerbich, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Bgerbich
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    Bgerbich iPF Noob

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    We are traveling to Italy and France in May and June and hoping to use our iPad there. Do I need to purchase a separate sim for each country, or will one do the job? Is it as difficult as it sounds to purchase these and get them set up? I only use mine on wifi and broadband at home so don't want too much hassle trying to get connected. I believe wifi is hard to find in Venice, but if someone can tell me otherwise I will be happy.

    Thanks for any help
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    There is a city-wide WiFi network in Venice, so you should have no problem - though it's advisable to book on line and in advance.

    Have a look here

    Venice Wi-Fi Network - Venice for Visitors

    You'd be better getting a SIM for each country if you want to use 3G or you'll get roaming charges. But WiFi is so widespread in Europe that I think that, unless you're in a remote area, you won't find a big problem. All the malls, franchises, hotels, airports, railway stations, coffee shops, fast food outlets etc have them.

    Tim
  3. addiosamigo
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    addiosamigo iPad Junkie

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    I was about to ask the same question, I'm going to italy in september, I know the 3 network is pretty big over there, I had a look on their website but couldn't find any information.

    so can you just go into the shop and ask for a payg ipad sim? any idea how much they would cost??

    thanks
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    You can see the current operators and their coverage maps here

    GSM Coverage Maps | Italy

    The cost will depend on the service provider but you find information on the links in the above document.

    Tim
  5. addiosamigo
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    addiosamigo iPad Junkie

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    excellent, thanks tim!
  6. Bgerbich
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    Bgerbich iPF Noob

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    Thanks for that Tim. Do you know what Burgundy would be like? We are doing a canal barge from Briare to Dompierre. There seems to be lots of towns/villages along the way.

    If I didn't want to risk wifi during this part of my trip can you recommend a provider? Thanks for your help
  7. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    If you want to go 3G then here are the service providers and links to the coverage maps

    GSM Coverage Maps | France

    Several members have reported difficulties in getting microSIM cards in France; it appears that there's a lot of bureaucratic hassle there - they want an address in France, telephone number, French-issued credit card etc. Not at all sure why! In the UK you can walk into any mobile phone shop, hand over your cash or credit card and, in 20 seconds, you're away. Obviously, if you're cruising on a barge (it sounds absolutely lovely by the way!) you'll not get continuous WiFi coverage but most French villages will have some WiFi hotspots, so I don't think the situation will be too bad. However, many of those hotspots you have to pay to use.

    I hope you enjoy your vacation.

    I am envious!!

    Tim
  8. Robert Troles
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    Robert Troles iPF Noob

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    Unlock sim card to my Ipad

    I am traveling to France in May. I have been told I can purchase a SIM card with Orange network.
    I understand that the sim card is locked to the ATT carrier.
    At the Apple store I was told AT&T would do it.
    AT&T told me they can't do it. They do not support such operation.
    When in the process of purchasing the Ipad, the sales person explained to me if I wanted to used in Europe all I would have to do is buy a micro sim card from a network over there.
    What am I to do, to be able use my Ipad in France.
  9. Yptcn
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    If you get the SFR sim card you can also use the SFR hotspots and there are much more of those than Orange ! I have a MiFi with a SFR card that I can just use when needed, no need to have a monthly plan. I guess they might have micro sims also . Have a look at their website for more information.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  10. Confetti
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    Confetti iPF Noob

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    Italy iPad sims answer

    I am now in my room in Florence on my iPad. First off those saying wifi is everywhere are just not informed. Yes wifi is everywhere, but like home also locked. My hotel offer for a price, but so what. I want went I am out and about. I heard of tre.it that offers a sim for 5euro for 3 gig. But before we found the shop we found a TIM shop. To date, I have not seen a tre.it shop, but have stumble upon at least 8 Tim shops. A few vodaphones. Anyway, the Tim shops offer 5 gigs for 19 euro, and 1 gig for 9 euro. I got the 9 euro. Charged me 10 euro for the sim. Just popped the sim in, entered the unlocked sim pw and we have been surfing everywhere. Well so far all over Rome, Florence and on the train ride up. This iPad is a travelers delight. Maps, Skype, Internet, just an amazing device.
  11. jipe
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    jipe iPF Noob

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    TIM was perfect... now back home, I want to cancel...

    Hi, I agree that with TIM, all went very well and covergae was adequate almost everywhere, even on highways, in the middle of nowhere. A bit more difficult on the Amalfi coast.

    TIM even had a promotion where the first month was free with the purchase of the uSIM card.

    However, now that I am home, I can't find how to cancell my subscription for the 1gb, 9euros... I can't even find an email on their website... can anyone help?
  12. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    I'm not sure where you are but, in most countries, if you've paid by credit card, you are OK. Contact your credit card company and indicate that no further debits should be allowed from the service provider that you were using. Even if they've debited an amount that you didn't use, your credit card company should refund the amount in question.

    Tim
  13. Leeton
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    Leeton iPF Noob

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    ipad 2 and europe micro sims

    We are also going to Europe spain, Italy and France and want to use our ipad 2, instead of lugging books and maps around.
    We want to use the tripadvisor app ( with our pre researched info save in it), this uses google maps also. I reckon we will need about 1gb if using on a 3g network when not near wI Fi.
    1. If I buy 3 seperate cards ( each country) my worry is that the ipad will need to be restored ( and therefore lose all my apps etc. We are not taking a laptop) .
    anyone had any experience with this?
    2. with wi fi, do you have to connect individually each wi fi you are near ?
  14. Duckfeet
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    Duckfeet iPF Novice

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    I am curious why you think you will have to restore between countries? I too am leaving for Europe this summer and I will buying sims as well (with no computer to restore). Unless a serious bug (heaven forbid) is introduced into your iPad I don't think this should be an issue.

    As the original poster requested, I defer to anyone with experience.
  15. Hefevice
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    Hefevice iPF Noob

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    1. This should not be a problem. I have done this now in Italy, Malaysia and Australia without the need to restore. In Italy suggest you buy a prepaid microSIM from one of the major local carriers. In my case I used WIND which cost me €10 for the SIM (including €5 of credit) and €3 per week for unlimited Internet. Recharge vouchers are available everywhere and can be activated by phone or internet. France and Spain should be similar.
    2. In Italy you shouldn't need wifi unless you want to use FaceTime. Most hotels have free wifi anyway.
  16. jennygulb
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    jennygulb iPF Noob

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    My apologies in advance if this is too basic a question (or already has been answered), but is changing the sim card for international use as easy as popping the original one out and putting in the new one I buy in Europe (in this case, Italy)? Or do I have to disable something, enter a passcode somewhere, etc.?

    I am on an ipad2 with AT&T domestic service activated, and based on the rather exorbitant rates for AT&T international data service, I am thinking I will try the new sim card thing for our upcoming vacation. Thanks in advance for any guidance.
  17. thewitt
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    thewitt iPad Ninja

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    Yes it's that easy. Prepaid SIM cards are available in most countries now that will work fine.

    -t
  18. jennygulb
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    Thanks so much. Now if I can just get this thing to connect to my hotel wifi...
  19. SaberOne
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    Interesting.. I travel to Italy often but never with an iPad (just ordered). I will be in the north area near Verona next month and the main provider is Wind and Vodafone. Are you normally a State side resident with ATT? I wasn't aware the iPad2 was open to using a Euro SIM of any kind, so this is good news. ATT international plans are horribly expensive!!! Thanks for the information.

    BTW: I'm really liking this forum a lot! :D
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  20. Melscott
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    Melscott iPF Noob

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    Is it as easy as you make out? Do you just pop out sim which we don't even use in uk and buy any old sim in France and where exactly do you buy them? Our sim is for 02! Does that make a difference!? This whole sim/ roaming thing and abroad is not explained well on apple site.

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