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-   -   Nano sim & Coverage (http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9510)

money69 05-01-2015 03:28

Nano sim & Coverage
 
Im looking for a little input, I have extensively read the prepaidwithdata wiki but my question is more of coverage and logistics of getting a nano sim.

My wife and I are on Tmobile here in the US and have the free international roaming however we will be in Germany (Munich) for a month the first part of this year and I would like to know what the easiest option is for obtaining a nano sim for her 6+ is. While we will stay in Munich it's important to note that we plan to traveling to many other parts of the country, some of which I am sure will take us through non metro areas and so I am not sure of the coverage of some operators. I should add that I don't care about LTE, adequate coverage of 3G is fine with me.

Aldi seems to be recommended by the Inquisitor alot but do they offer nano sims over the counter?

Anyone have any input?

dg7feq 05-01-2015 11:12

Most of the PAYG operators dont have nano SIM in the shops.
Usually you have to purchase a package first and then order a nano SIM via the customer service.

The biggest chance in my opinion is to go to a vodafone/t-mobile shop and get the SIM there. They usually have nano SIM on stock.
Get a "Callya Smartphone Basic" that will cost 10 Euro and gives you 250 MB of high speed data. Minutes to vodafone are free, other german numbers are 9ct/min, calls to USA are 4ct/min +15ct flagfall per call.

money69 06-01-2015 05:58

Thanks for the info, 250MB will not be enough for my wife however. Do you know what it costs to add additional high speed data to the vodafone plan??


Quote:

Originally Posted by dg7feq (Post 47354)
Most of the PAYG operators dont have nano SIM in the shops.
Usually you have to purchase a package first and then order a nano SIM via the customer service.

The biggest chance in my opinion is to go to a vodafone/t-mobile shop and get the SIM there. They usually have nano SIM on stock.
Get a "Callya Smartphone Basic" that will cost 10 Euro and gives you 250 MB of high speed data. Minutes to vodafone are free, other german numbers are 9ct/min, calls to USA are 4ct/min +15ct flagfall per call.


dg7feq 06-01-2015 09:22

Quote:

Originally Posted by money69 (Post 47356)
Thanks for the info, 250MB will not be enough for my wife however. Do you know what it costs to add additional high speed data to the vodafone plan??

250 MB = 5 Euro
500 MB = 10 Euro
1 GB = 15 Euro

The 500 MB and 1 GB options also include LTE usage, normally the cards are only 2G and 3G enabled.

you can book these options free of charge by calling 22044 (customer care) or on wap.vodafone.de (will be most propably in german only)

money69 07-01-2015 04:14

Thanks for the info, From what I can see Deutsche Telekom is the same price which would it at 25EUR or ~$30 for 1.5 of data, ultimately it doesn't seem worth it.

I guess another option could be to see if I can get a microsim cut down to nano but Im not sure I want to mess with that while enjoying Germany.


Quote:

Originally Posted by dg7feq (Post 47357)
250 MB = 5 Euro
500 MB = 10 Euro
1 GB = 15 Euro

The 500 MB and 1 GB options also include LTE usage, normally the cards are only 2G and 3G enabled.

you can book these options free of charge by calling 22044 (customer care) or on wap.vodafone.de (will be most propably in german only)


dg7feq 07-01-2015 10:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by money69 (Post 47359)
Thanks for the info, From what I can see Deutsche Telekom is the same price which would it at 25EUR or ~$30 for 1.5 of data, ultimately it doesn't seem worth it.

I guess another option could be to see if I can get a microsim cut down to nano but Im not sure I want to mess with that while enjoying Germany.

Yes, but on T-Mobile international calls are quite expensive.

If you buy a SIM card at these mobile phone shops in train stations where you can also call aborad and maybe get drugs under the table they usually cut the SIM to nano right away if you ask them ;-)

money69 07-01-2015 11:01

Quote:

Originally Posted by dg7feq (Post 47360)
Yes, but on T-Mobile international calls are quite expensive.

If you buy a SIM card at these mobile phone shops in train stations where you can also call aborad and maybe get drugs under the table they usually cut the SIM to nano right away if you ask them ;-)

Perfect(not the drugs hehe), I will have to look into that, thanks for your continued help!

lover08 08-01-2015 22:03

Germany SIM card
 
You can purchase lebara or Blau SIM cards
They give very competitive rates.

BLAU has now very good coverage 4G and 3G
1GB bundle costs 9.90 3GB costs 14.90 5GB 19.80
They have some deal calls to USA landlines cost 0.09 minute a
and 0.29 mobiles in USA

lebara has also good 3G coverage and perfect plans available
13 1GB bundle 15 3GB bundle. There is also plan
29.99 available with 1000 minutes to USA or within Germany plus 1GB Internet
fonic SIM card is also good it gives unlimited Internet 2 calendar day
While after 10 days within one calendar month you will not pay more
So 20 max charge in one callendar month (5GB auick speed. And than slow)
You can also purchase these SIM cards in advance on ebay and some sellers can
Activate it for you and make it nano size and prepare all plan that you will need
Alex

inquisitor 12-01-2015 15:38

Nano SIM card cutters are available for $6.28 from US based sellers including domestic shipping and are an essential tool for travelling iPhone owners:
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...rt=nc&LH_BIN=1

In order to make an informed decision you might want to review all four German operators' coverage maps:

Telekom (including Lebara sans LTE)

Vodafone (including Lycamobile sans LTE)

eplus GSM/UMTS
eplus LTE (including AldiTalk, blau, simyo)

o2 (including Lidl, Fonic, sans LTE)

Keep in mind that among German operators only eplus allows prepaid subscribers onto their LTE network regardless of their tariff plan while Vodafone offers explicitly LTE-enabled bundles starting from € 10 for 500MB/month.
Given that eplus has started its LTE rollout only last year using a comparably high frequency band (1800MHz/LTE band 3) their LTE coverage is still very limited and concentrated on the large agglomerations. In contrast Vodafone has pretty far-reaching LTE coverage especially in rural regions thanks to the low frequency band used (800MHz/LTE band 20).

Following the acquisition of eplus by O2 both networks will undergo an integration process which will involve decommisioning of many redundant cell sites and probably opening both networks for biliteral national roaming. Actually o2 has recently started a closed beta test in a rural area where o2 selected customers can now roam on the eplus network. In the end of this integration coverage should significantly improve for subscribers of both former networks.

The iPhone 6 (+) supports all German GSM, UMTS and LTE frequencies, regardless of its version (A1522, A1524, A1549, A1586), so there's no hardware limitation for you.

dg7feq 12-01-2015 17:42

Well written summary. I just suggested Vodafone because it is most likely to get a staff activating your card and booking the right package if you go in the shops of the big guys. Some online activation or german speaking phone hotline is a big hazzle in our country in my opinion.

inquisitor 12-01-2015 18:10

An additional neutral and more up-to-date indication for network coverage is http://en.netmeterproject.com/ - after selecting Germany in the upper left corner you can view coverage maps of all four German networks gathered by end user devices. Hence you can only see trails of where users have moved along but not any covered surface areas. As this data comes from real life phones you can often see new LTE deployments sooner than official coverage maps show but it does not represent coverage areas, rather a collection of spots from which you can estimate network availabiliy.

money69 18-01-2015 04:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by inquisitor (Post 47390)
An additional neutral and more up-to-date indication for network coverage is http://en.netmeterproject.com/ - after selecting Germany in the upper left corner you can view coverage maps of all four German networks gathered by end user devices. Hence you can only see trails of where users have moved along but not any covered surface areas. As this data comes from real life phones you can often see new LTE deployments sooner than official coverage maps show but it does not represent coverage areas, rather a collection of spots from which you can estimate network availabiliy.

Excellent information, thanks for the all the help.

wco81 11-03-2015 09:57

So has the OP actually been able to use one of these prepaid products in Germany yet?

inquisitor 11-03-2015 22:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by inquisitor (Post 47387)
Following the acquisition of eplus by O2 both networks will undergo an integration process which will involve decommisioning of many redundant cell sites and probably opening both networks for biliteral national roaming. Actually o2 has recently started a closed beta test in a rural area where o2 selected customers can now roam on the eplus network. In the end of this integration coverage should significantly improve for subscribers of both former networks.

By the way, what I mentioned before is about to become reality from April 15th: o2 and eplus will open up their 3G networks for mutual roaming. Apparently SIM cards are already receiving OTA updates changing the network aliases. In case of the MVNOs eplus and o2 now both appear with the identical network name (e.g. "simyo" and "simyo"). In contrast SIM cards directly issued by o2 and eplus will indicate the newly accssible network by a plus sign ("o2-de+" or in case of eplus which during the last years used the "base" brand "base.de+").
This only applies for their 3G networks. For 2G there will be no roaming as coverage of both networks is considered as being on par while for 4G there will be no roaming either - probably because of the complexity of implementation which does not pay off given the comparably small 4G footprint of eplus.

For furher details read http://www.teltarif.de/e-plus-o2-nat...ews/58878.html (German only)

wco81 13-03-2015 04:15

Prepaid Wikia indicates that Simyo SIMs are available at Aral and Shell petrol stations and the DM drugstore chain.

Do these places stock nano SIMs?

wolfbln 14-03-2015 02:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by wco81 (Post 47646)
Prepaid Wikia indicates that Simyo SIMs are available at Aral and Shell petrol stations and the DM drugstore chain.

Do these places stock nano SIMs?

Hi. I'm not very sure about this info. Generally, SIMYO is mostly an offline MVNO who sends the SIM cards by mail. This is true to many countries like Spain.

In Germany they tried to sell it in some stores at least some time ago. But they are rare in shops. The German Prepaid-Wiki says, they are online only.

To order it online, you need a German postal address or you order them from Ebay or Amazon unactivated to be sent to the US.

I'm going to check some Shell or Aral stations if they are still sold. If they are not sold offline anymore, I'd need to take SIMYO out of the prepaid data wiki. Because SIMYO has a lot of fans, I need to be sure first.

As SIMYO sells online only mini/micro OR nano cards, i'm pretty sceptical that you can find it at Shell or Aral anyway.

If it helps to you: Ortel Mobile (another MVNO on eplus) I bought recently at Shell. They sell hybrid mini/micro/nano cards.

wco81 14-03-2015 02:46

Are Shell petrol stations common in the center of Munich?

My hotel will be near Hauptbahnhof Platz.

Otherwise, I hear there are some Handy shops nearby one of which may sell Blau SIM cards and supposedly have helped tourists register them.

There are also Vodaphone shops too, though those seem more pricey if you add 1 GB or more data. But for good LTE, it may be worth it.

wolfbln 14-03-2015 03:12

Vodafone or other MNOs are over here more expensive than the MVNOs or resellers. You will get LTE on Eplus in downtown Munich too without a surcharge on its MVNOs. But it might not so easy to find a nano SIM right away at the first shop.
When you leave central station towards Karlsplatz (Stachus) just check a few of the phone kiosks displaying the logos of the companies. Some operators now sell triple hybrid cards, at big network operators you'll find a nano for sure. In this area you have plenty of choices, but not so many gas stations.
Be aware, that LTE is on Eplus on 1800 MHz or Vodafone on 800 and 2600 MHz - other frequencies used here than in the US.

The small "Handy" shops may help you with registration. This is now done online and you need internet like a WIFI for doing this. So you might do it at your hotel. Just look for a valid German street address with ZIP code like your hotel address as you need to give a German address. Activation can take an hour or two.

wco81 14-03-2015 03:35

I may do some day trips, 2 hours on a train each way.

So maybe better odds of getting an LTE signal on Vodaphone?

My iPad mini2 supports bands 3, 7 and 20.

dg7feq 16-03-2015 10:55

Vodafone has a widespread coverage of LTE on 800MHz band, which makes it the better choice for travelling than eplus with patchy 1800 MHz LTE coverage.

inquisitor 16-03-2015 15:54

The in-train repeaters in IC and ICE trains do only support the 900 and 1800 MHz band with few refurbished cars also covering the 2100 MHz band. That and given the strong attenuation caused by the metal frame of the cars as well as the metallized windows, you should not expect reliable coverage through LTE800 inside a rolling train.
We also have a separate thread about in-train cellular service in Germany: http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6938

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/showthread.php?t=6938

aliceay 18-03-2015 15:21

One more option that nobody mentioned before. MTX Connect data SIM card. It has about 30 countries in a coverage zone, and it's a 3-in-1 SIM card with nano-.
It seems to be more expensive than others: 0,1 EURO per 1 MB or 10 EURO per 1 day unlimited data, but it's free to get and easy, you just need to fill the form at their website.
So you should compare carriers and decide what's better for you.


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