Join Date: 11 Jun 2011
I've just done this COSMOTE SIM-only deal, in Kavala, Greece.
It is quite a process, with your passport having to be photocopied and some forms filled in including your father's name, etc. Looking at the pile of these in the shop, somewhere is a little Greek man (or a woman) with the wonderful job of filing these away in some giant EU-funded warehouse
You pay 20 euros, of which 5 "disappears" (see below) and the other 15 appears as a credit which you can spend on bandwidth.
I put the SIM card into an E585 3G/wifi modem. Despite assurances from the shop that the card was ready for use, it asked for an unlock code. The E585 has no keypad... so I put it in my phone, and entered 12345 which amazingly worked. Using the phone's Security menu I disabled the asking for the unlock code. Then I put it back in the E585. Somewhat to my suprise, the auto-APN function worked fine and it found a network (Cosmote).
But it didn't work. Email (POP3) didn't do anything. I tried WWW and got redirected to a Greek Cosmote web page. This has an English version but it was non-obvious what one should do.
So I took it back, in the E585, and with a laptop, to the shop where they helped me to set it up.
The Cosmote website shows a 15 euro credit (as I mention above) and this gives you two options: a 1 day pack and a 10 day pack. There is also a 30 day pack but as this costs more than 15 euros it is grayed out.
So I clicked on the 10 day pack, which was what I wanted in the first place...
Then it worked OK. Excellent speed, and a good signal in the E585.
As far as anybody knew, the SIM remains "alive" for 6 months, during which you can top it up with a 15 euro scratch card, which I also bought at the same time as I will be back in Greece in 3 months' time.
The scratch card reveals a number which is entered into the Cosmote website. Unfortunately, the website URL no longer works, from the UK. I don't know if Cosmote block access to it from a non-Greek IP range, or if they block access to it from a non-Cosmote 3G IP range, or if the website has just died
I don't know why the companies make this so complicated. Why not just have a website where a credit card can be used for the topups? Perhaps they are trying to support the phone shops by forcing the sale of scratch cards.
Incidentally, FWIW, I tried using the SIM here in the UK but clearly it has roaming disabled because it won't connect to any network here. This is reasonable, although similar data packs bought in Croatia and S. Africa did work over here, for a while. The S. African one actually worked for about 6 months, at £0.02 per MB Clearly their billing software didn't anticipate that And you could top it up via a website.
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Join Date: 15 Jun 2011
Here are my needs:
I am going to Greece for a 15-20 days and I need a prepaid SIM card for: Every day internet usage with a smartphone, and international SMS and calls occasionally. I intend to use it mostly on Corfu, but also across the country.
I read all the forum topics and all the operator websites.
I decided to buy: Wind Prepaid SIM card - I guess it is F2G and activate Mobile Internet 100 Data plan that gives me 200 MB (it is enough for me) for 5 €.
Do you think that this is smart option for me, and are there any hidden catches?
Secondly, where do you advise me to buy the mentioned card. Perfect place to buy and activate it would be any gas station on a Highway near Thessaloniki. I wonder if any of Greek friend can call and confirm if I can make this purchase at Olympus Plaza gas station near Polykastro (GPS coordinates: 40°58'9"N 22°37'11"E or in other format: 40.969755,22.619323 ). If not, where should be the best place to buy it in a relation from Polykastro to Kozani via Egnatia Odos.
I wonder does Wind has good signal on Corfu? I do not have needs for 3G signal all the time, but...
Thanks in advance
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Join Date: 12 Oct 2010
Just an update on WIND PAYG data.
I have been using Wind "non stop surf" as Even explains in point#2 here.
The 500MB for €5 plan has sadly ended. If you text 500 to 1210 you receive a Greek text back explaining something to the effect of "plan no longer valid... etc..."
However, the only good news is that if you purchase 100MB for €5, WIND kindly give you 200MB instead.
I probably use around 400MB a month on my phone... so the 500MB package was ideal.
So will probably continue to use this plan until the 200MB bonus stops.
Tempting to try the 1G for €15 package.. but shame the only give you the 1G for 30 days... would probably have to start tethering etc to make the most of it.
Anyway, thats all my updates from WIND in Greece for now!
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Join Date: 12 Oct 2010
thanks for supplying all the GPS coords, etc
but i don't know those areas.
but yes, WIND 100M (200MB) should be fine for you.
you will need to show them your passport.
just goto any WIND store in a bigger town that you can find.
yes, the coverage for WIND is good in Corfu.
enjoy your time in Greece.
let us know how you get on!
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Join Date: 27 Jun 2011
Ive got just one question - what should I have with me in order to buy a starter kit - for example with WIND F2G? ID Card and passport will be enough? What informations, as forgein visitor should I provide?
What's more important, when I leave the country can I just throw the card to dumpster or do I have to sign out somehow (despite the fact its a prepaid) ?
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Join Date: 28 Jun 2011
This thread was very helpful so I wanted to thank everyone for all of the provided information. Also, I thought I would share my experience. I just returned from Greece yesterday. I went into the Cosmote store that was in walking distance of the Plaka area of Athens to purchase a data only sim. The sales person I spoke with tried to tell me the data only sim (20 €) would not work in phones and that I needed to buy the USB stick so it would work with a laptop. I ignored her and attempted to buy the SIM anyways but even after reading this thread before going to Greece I had left my passport in the hotel so it was a no go. Went back in the store later that day and the next guy I talked to did not hassle me at all. He just wanted to know if I wanted the small sim for iphone or the standard size. I got the standard size and they activated it right there in the store.
As mentioned in previous threads when you purchase the 20 € you get 20 € of credit that you can spend buying different combinations of data and duration. I went with the 10 days / 3GB combo; it gets 15 € off your credit and you still have 5 € so if you run out of data you can top it with the extra 5 € and you'll get 1 GB more.
Don't forget you need an unlocked phone. I was using a Samsung Captivate Android phone from AT&T so prior to going to Greece I had to root and unlock it which is a very simple process that can be found on the internet. It is also easy to undo.
I had no problems getting to the website and purchasing the 15 € plan from my phone. I book marked the page in my phone so I could check my data usage throughout the trip.
Once up and running I didn't have many issues. There were a couple of times where I would lose the data signal because of poor coverage (mostly on our way to smaller towns to visit family) but the data would not come back online once I was in a very good coverage area. I found I could correct this by turning off the data communication on my phone and then restarting it. This was rare and the coverage was very good throughout my trip.
My wife's phone was an iphone with the latest updates so the jailbreak/unlocking was not readily available for her phone so the data only sim for her phone was not an option.
The nice thing about the rooted/unlocked Android phone is I could then use the 3rd party "Wireless Tether" android app that allows my phone to look like a wifi router and tether multiple devices to it and all share the same data connection. During our trip we tethered my wife's iphone, our ipad and my laptop to my android phone over the same Data only Sim.
For voice we used Skype over the data connection. This worked great and we had no problems whatsoever. Of course you can then make Skype to Skype calls for free but we also loaded our Skype account up with $10 and made daily calls back to landline/Cellular lines in the US and to local Greece numbers for only $0.023 per minute. We ended up using $2.50 in Skype dollars and used less than 1 GB of data throughout the trip. We could have purchased an inbound number from skype so people could have called us but we just didn’t feel like it was necessary. We could call our cellphones numbers back at home and check messages pretty easily so it just wasn’t needed but it is an option. Having Data and being able to use Google Maps was huge help throughout our trip as well as keeping up with email and surfing the internet.
The one thing I failed to realize prior to my trip was that I would not be able to stream any of the copyrighted material from the US while in Greece. For example, I thought it would be nice to stream a Netflix movie for the kids during one of our layovers or driving trips but Netflix, Hulu, streaming sports (ESPN3, etc), and other copyrighted material will recognize from the DNS servers that you are not in the US and prohibit the content from streaming. Sometimes this can be worked around by using VPN connections so it appears as though it is coming from a domain in the US but since the data was all flowing through the Cosmote network there was no quick and easy way around this even when using my work VPN or some of the Free VPN solutions via my laptop. It is possible but it requires a level of hacking in the Android phone that I just wasn’t comfortable with. I sure would have liked to have watched the end of the US Open the first couple of nights we were in Greece when I couldn’t sleep. If you really need access to US copyrighted content while overseas you really need to go the route of sling box but we actually found none of us really needed the US content and it was nice having a break from TV.
Thanks again for everyone’s help in this thread.
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Join Date: 15 Jun 2011
Vodafone is maybe even better with cheaper international costs? - 30-06-2011, 17:58
After some revisions of mobile operators offers in Greece, I concluded that Vodafone would be better option for me for the needs I mentioned here.
Apropos Vodafone I do have a few questions:
I see that international calls are so much cheaper when Vodafone international prepay is chosen. I see the prices are even lower when some blank sms is sent: "Charges after sending a blank SMS to 1235". Can anyone explain that to me? How much will I be charged for sending that sms? Do I need to send that sms only once, or maybe before every call I wanna make? Maybe stupid question, but I haven't founded any related info.
According to internet offer I see Surf & Email 200 data plan. I just wonted to ask if this is available to activate on the Vodafone international prepay plan, and would you recommend this plan better than wind data plan mentioned in my previous post?
After all, would your advise be to use Wind or Vodafone prepay plan for my needs explained above.
Thanks in advance.
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Join Date: 12 Oct 2010
My experience with Cosmote and WIND - 06-12-2011, 23:15
Just a quick update to share what our experience with PAYG SIMs in Greece this year.
We had one phone with Cosmote and one phone with WIND.
Just a few key points:
- WIND was a better deal in terms of GB/€
- WIND always had reception, but on some of the more obscure islands I found I would only get Edge reception. On some of the more populated islands or bigger towns/cities, I would get 3G and speeds were good, etc.
- However, while Cosmote was not as good a deal in terms of GB/€, it would often get 3G reception, even in places where WIND was only getting Edge.
I am sorry I don't have more specifics as to exactly which islands. BUt thought it was worth sharing.
Basically, I suppose what I'm saying is that if you don't use alot of data, then Cosmote might be better as it seems it is almost always 3G.
But if you use alot of data, then maybe WIND might be better as it is cheaper... but just don't expect 3G unless you are in a major town, or more touristed island.
Or another perspective might be, if money is no objective and 3G connectivity is a priority, then probably Cosmote would be your best bet, as the 3G connectivity seemed to be pretty consistent, even in some of the more remote islands.
I had no experience using Vodaphone.
I had some experience using Q earlier in the year... but seems now that WIND bought the Q company... seems that WIND are leveraging their stuff and not really worth going with Q anymore.
Wish I had something more detailed to share.. but thought I would log in and share it in case it helps someone make a decision. Hope this helps.
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