PrePaidGSM.net Forum
Travelsim
PrePaidGSM Home National Operators International Cards Contacts Links



Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old
  (#11)
AdmiralAK (Offline)
Senior Member
Prepaid Fan
 
AdmiralAK's Avatar
 
Posts: 190
Join Date: 19 Jul 2004
Location: Who knows?!

Country:
Default 11-11-2005, 17:34

Quick Facts
Country: Greece
Network Name: Q-Telecom
Website: http://www.qtelecom.gr
Product Name: Q-Card 1
Owned by/Major partners: Q-Telecom
Operational Frequency: GSM 1800 and GSM 900 through roaming
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): 19 Euro
Prepaid Package Validity: 18 months from activation of SIM
CSD access: No
GPRS access: No
EDGE access: No
SIM applications: Yes (Named "MyQ")
Manual included: Yes (Greek)
Refill amounts: 5, 10, 20 euro
Availability: Authorized Q-Telecom resellers in Greece
Competitors: Vodafone, TIM, Cosmote

More In-Depth Information

Buying:
The Good:
There are quite a few other authorized dealers that have sprung up since Q initially started business and it it easy to locate them on Q's website, their english website version seems good enough (at least to me). You might notice that resellers outside of Athens might include a lot of "ACS" stores. This is a UPS and FedEx like company in Greece (I think they partner with UPS for international). When you buy the package, you can choose your own number, how's that for customizability?

The Bad:
Initially, the only authorized Q-telecom dealers in Greece are located in Athens and Thesalloniki. Since you most likely be arriving by plane, this will most likely not be a problem. The problem has been addressed since. Even though they sell nationwide, it is still easier to find and purchase a Vodafone, TIM or Cosmote package than Q.


Usage:
The Good:
In major cities like Athens and Thessaloniki Q has their own network and it is pretty good in terms of coverage (side note: it runs on GSM 1800 - coverage based on what their website says - not personal usage). Prices are quite good! In comparison, it seems to have some very decent international rates and pretty low national rates. This is a cheap service, but it doesn't skimp on the extras. You get voicemail included with prepaid and you have the ability to switch the language (good for non Greek speakers). The SIM application, called "MyQ" have sections on the Stock Market, Entertainment, News, Weather, Sports, Horoscope, Ship schedules, Lotto, ringtones, images and Greek Holidays (just in case you are wondering why Athens is so empty on August 25th lol). In terms of validity of time, your card is valid for 18 months from the time of activation. When you top-off it seems like the you expand your validity period (by how much I do not know).

The Bad:
Q is somewhat new to the game and does not have any global roaming partners yet, so if you wish to use up all your credit, do it in Greece because you will not be able to do it elsewhere. Coverage in Greece in non-major cities is the same as Vodafone's coverage (side note: runs on GSM 900), so it runs more like a virtual network rather than an actual network. The SIM cart is reported to be using "java Technology" and to have "large capacity" however you still only store up to 30 SMS and 200 numbers (so this is similar to all other SIMs these days - nothing new). The main thing that would prevent me from using Q as my service provider is the fact that they do not yet provide CSD and/or GPRS access. I suppose if you have your own service provider you can dial-up, but Q does not offer it natively, a price to pay for lower calling prices I guess - hopefully things will be better once Q further develops their own network.

TIPS:
1) If you wish to buy a Q-telecom package know where you are going to buy it prior to leaving your place of origin!
2) Consider whether or not you want GPRS access prior to buying into Q

FINAL THOUGHTS:
Q-Telecom seems to have a great package if what you want is voice communication. For "seasoned" users that can't bear to be offline Q is not the optimal package.

NOTE: Q-Telecom has been bought by the owners of TIM Greece. While they are still in operation as of Nov 11 2005, We do not know if their operations will continue separate of TIM, or if they will merge


Club Admiralty - website with stuff about me
Current Prepaid: None
Older Prepaid: AT&T wireless; TracFone; Telestet; Vodafone GR; Fido; SFR; T-mobile US; Tuyo, Cosmote
Postpaid: at&t
   
Reply With Quote
Old
  (#12)
Triband81 (Offline)
Senior Member
Prepaid Pioneer
 
Triband81's Avatar
 
Posts: 529
Join Date: 01 Dec 2004
Location: Köln

Country:
Default 11-11-2005, 23:25

Here's my take on E-Plus:

Quick Facts

Country: Germany
Network Name: E-Plus Deutschland
Website: http://www.e-plus.de
Owned by/Major partner: KPN Telecom Mobile (77.49%) and Royal KPN (22.51%)
Operational Frequency: 1800 GSM, 2100 MHz WCDMA (UMTS)
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): 40 Euro with 15 Euros of credit, valid for 12 months
Prepaid Package Validity:
15,00 (6 months)
30,00 (12 months)
60,00 (24 months)
>60,00 (24 months)

Grace Period before complete number deactivation: 2 months

CSD access: Yes
GPRS access: Yes
SIM applications: Yes (64k sim card)
Manual included: Yes
Refill amounts: ?15, ?30 & ?60 (Credit card and bank transfers only)
Availability: E-Plus shops, Multibrand phone dealers, German electronics giants: Saturn, Mediamarkt and Pro Markt, tobacconists (for top-up scratch cards)
Competitors: T-Mobile Germany (D1), Vodafone Germany (D2), O2 Germany (E2).

More In-Depth Information

Buying:
The Good:
Readily available at any E-Plus shop, Saturn, Pro Markt and Mediamarkt location as well as any major electronics store.
E-Plus shops are located in all large German cities as well as some small towns. When no E-Plus shop is located in a town, you can get the refill cards at any newsstand, most supermarkets (Rewe, Kontra and others - look for the E-Plus Free & Easy sticker in the windows, if not, just ask ). If you plan to roam with the Free & Easy SIM, be sure to take enough Free & Easy Cash cards with you to refill abroad or register your CC with E-Plus to refill abroad. The service number 1155 is free from abroad but you only have the option of refilling the SIM with a CC outside of Germany.

E-Plus also has a large array of partner stores so look for these as well. You can locate the E-Plus Shop near you here:
http://www.eplus.de/meta/shopsuche/....asp?d=eplus.de (Enter the ZIP Code or the city name, i.e. K?ln for Cologne).

No registration or proof of German residency is required. All you need is your national ID card or passport.

The Bad:
None.

Usage:
The Good:
GSM coverage is usually good everywhere. No problems in the subways in cities like K?ln and Bonn due to extensive microcell coverage, major cities and urban areas/small towns are also covered quite well.
SIM cards are preactivated, once you go out of the shop you are ready to go. GPRS and MMS are available, you need to call 1155 (Free & Easy Service number, free from anywhere within Germany). Select Option 6 and then press 1 to have GPRS/MMS activated, it can take a few minutes or up to 24 hours to have this made available. GPRS is active once you see the applicable GPRS indicator on your screen.

UMTS was launched in August 2004 but there is currently no prepaid UMTS option for E-Plus.

SMS works very well, I have no problems sending and receiving SMS from the US from Cingular users in California. SMS works quite well when roaming as well, E-Plus is expanding their roaming selection bit by bit. Right now, it's possible to roam/dial directly in 28 countries with Free & Easy prepaid SIM cards and also to be reached in 110 countries.

Useful SMS tells you if you have voice mail as well as when the caller hung up with their number (if available) without leaving a message, SMS is also sent to confirm a successful SMS submission to the SMSC. Very cool, SMS is sent right after refilling to confirm successful top up. International roaming is preactivated, and it works by dialing directly in 28 countries, in other countries one has tio Direct roaming is available with some operators.

The Bad:
GPRS is useful but a bit costly if you do a lot of GPRS surfing.

Roaming expenses for prepaid are quite high so don't get caught unaware (http://www.eplus.de/tarife/2/2_5/2_5.asp). GSM coverage is available nearly everywhere (shaky when traveling by train (the ICE trains are equipped with repeaters to keep a stable signal) but good coverage in most German cities with subways (own personal experience is that coverage is flawless in K?ln and Bonn U-Bahn. UMTS coverage is unconfirmed at this time, E-Plus gained sites and 3G licenses in 2002 from the failed 3G provider Quam so this should add coverage but is untested by regular uses as of yet.

TIPS:
1) Check for latest SIM card prices and special Free & Easy price plans: http://www.eplus.de/tarife/2/2_0/2_0.asp, http://www.eplus.de/tarife/2/2_2/2_2.asp

2)Choose the Free & Easy plans carefully (there are different options, the best one depending on what your calling habits are: Free & Easy Weekend: Cheap Weekend calls, Free & Easy Weekday: Cheap Weekday & Night calls). All calls made are charged per second, but a fixed connection rate may apply (depending from the plan).

3)To know the available credit and the last charge, call 1155 (free of charge within Germany, not available when roaming!!) or enter *100# to check your balance while both in Germany or abroad. Your balance is then displayed on your phone's screen.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
E-Plus is great for occasional cell phone users and those who wish to be reachable. For heavy volume callers, I suggest that a visit to each of the 4 German providers be made so you can be advised in person on what the best rates/plans are for your own needs.

I have been using E-Plus since October 2000 and they are quite great, also a big plus for students, they have a monthly contract rate plan for those studying in Germany: (Time & More Student plans - 20/60/120 Minutes plus 30 inclusive SMS/month): http://www.eplus.de/tarife/1/1_4/1_4.asp (Scroll to "F?r Studenten).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some additional thoughts:

E-Plus also has several special prepaid offers, check the German Operators page here on PPGSM.net.

A number of Germany's MVNO's also operate on E-Plus' network so if you think you'll get a better deal with them, then look at Simyo, blau.de, Schwarzfunk, uboot or at base which is a postpaid offer.
  Send a message via MSN to Triband81  
Reply With Quote
Old
  (#13)
Effendi (Offline)
The great Dictator!
Prepaid Prophet
 
Effendi's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,486
Join Date: 13 Jan 2004
Location: Trieste/Trst

Country:
Default 21-11-2005, 21:06

Quick Facts

Country: Poland
Network Name: Heyah (MVNO on Era)
Prepaid Card Name: Heyah
Frequency and Technology: GSM 900/1800
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): PLN 20, including PLN 15 of credit
Documents Needed: none
Prepaid Package Validity: 1 month, plus 1 month to recharge
CSD access: Yes
GPRS/EDGE access: Yes, GPRS (must activate through Heyah's web site)
UMTS access: No
SIM applications: don't remember
Manual included: really brief instructions, in Polish only
Refill amounts: PLN 20 and 50
Availability: almost everywhere, most kiosks, look for the red hand logo
Competitors: SimPlus, Era Tak Tak, Orange, Sami Swoi, Pop

More In-Depth Information

Buying:

The Good:
It's really easy to buy a prepaid card by Heyah, just go to the first kiosk with the red hand logo and pay PLN 20, the simcard is ready to go.

The Bad:
Really no problems, if you don't speak Polish just use hands gestures!

Usage:

The Good:
When I went to Poland Heyah had just started the revolution of prepaid tariffs and was the best option, along with Nowy Pop. Now it's probably not the cheapest solution for national calls in Poland, but surely it still is great for direct international calls (but Sami Swoi plus some international prepaid card can be cheaper). If you have a friend with Heyah too it's great also for messaging and in net calls.
Now Heyah also offers full data capability and national MMS. Voicemail is free of charge and international roaming is preactivated.

The Bad:
I really had no big problems with Heyah, the only hassle could be that everything is in Polish, so I understood nothing about the little manual or the SMS I could receive. But here on PrepaidGSM you can find everything about Heyah and all Polish offers thanks to Przemolog, so it's really not a problem.

TIPS:
No particular tips

FINAL THOUGHTS:
I really enjoyed using my Heyah card, along with an international prepaid card, calling and messaging with Italy and Polish friends every day was really cheap, I really spent little compared to my Italian roaming fees. Heyah is not the cheapest offer anymore now, but surely it's still very reliable and easy to use so I can suggest it without any doubt.


Working Prepaids: IT: Wind, Vodafone IT, UNO Mobile; SM: Prima; UK: 3, Virgin; INT: TravelSIM, Truphone.
Deceased Prepaids: CZ: Oskar, Eurotel; SK: Orange; DE: E-Plus, Aldi, Simyo; GE: Geocell; AM: Armentel; PL: Heyah, Plus; LT: Tele2; LV: Amigo; EE: Elisa; UA: Kyivstar; NZ: Vodafone; INT: UM, UM+, ICQSim.
GSM/3G Phones: Nokia Lumia 630 dual sim
   
Reply With Quote
Old
  (#14)
Andytel (Offline)
Junior Member
Amateur Member
 
Posts: 22
Join Date: 14 Dec 2005
Location: Milano

Country:
Default 14-12-2005, 10:49

Quick Facts

Country: Italy
Network Name: Vodafone IT
Prepaid Card Name: Vodafone SIM
Frequency and Technology: GSM 900/1800, W-CDMA 2100
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): ? 10.00, including ? 5.00 of credit
Documents Needed: ID card/Passport and Italian Fiscal Code
Prepaid Package Validity: 11 months, plus 1 month to recharge
CSD access: Yes
GPRS/EDGE access: Yes, GPRS only, EDGE not implemented
UMTS access: Yes
SIM applications: Yes, you can configure your 128k sim-card from Internet, and add/remove applications from it, as well as phonebook
Manual included: Yes in most cases, it is just a quick guide in Italian only
Refill amounts: ?3/2, ?10/8, ?25/20, ?50/45, ?100/95, ?150/145 (cost/credit)
Availability: Vodafone shops, big department stores
Competitors: TIM, Wind, 3 ITA

More In-Depth Information

Buying:

The Good:
Very easy to buy a prepaid card.
Vodafone shops can be found in most towns, even smaller ones.
The prepaid kit is cheap and the card is usually active in a couple of hours (but sometimes you can wait also up to 24 hours).
It's very easy to top-up, nearly any "tabacchi" and "lotto" shop can recharge your account,as well as any newsstand. You can top-up from abroad using scratch-cards from other European Vodafone or Partner networks.

The Bad:
The usual big problems with Italian Fiscal Code; you need one otherwise you cannot buy any Italian prepaid card. You don't need to be born in Italy to have one: if the shop assistant is smart enough, he can calculate it for you.
Sometimes, especially on weekends or in August (=holidays), you have to wait quite a lot for the card to be activated.

Usage:

The Good:
GSM coverage is usually good everywhere, even if -in remote areas of southern Italy- TIM is sometimes better.
3G-UMTS coverage is limited to urban and touristic areas.
SIM cards are activated at the shop, once you go out of the shop you just have to wait a couple of hours for activation. GPRS is enabled, while you need to enable MMS (just by sending one from your phone) if you want to be able to receive them. Prepaid customers can access to the 3G network without any special configuration; videocall service is active by default
Credit check is simple and updated in real-time: just dial 404 or 414; you can check through internet (with much more information) and set-up all options at www.190.it.
You can set English as your preferred speaking language for IVR and messages.
Useful SMS tells you which calls you missed while your phone was turned off or off-network, and when a turned-off phone you tried to call is again available ("Recall").
SMS work well, while to access all the sections of the WAP-portal you need to have a Vodafone Live! compatible phone.
UMTS data connection works fine, but you need to activate some promotional bundle to make it affordable! (there's a wonderful UMTS/GPRS pc connect card available, in case you need).
International roaming is preactivated, and it works by dialing *123*phonenumber# . Direct roaming is available with some operators.

The Bad:
Vodafone is not the cheapest solution for GSM in Italy, although one of the most reliable. The preactivated plan is not good for short calls (per minute biling). You can switch to another plan for free (only the first time). Easy Day is the best plan for short calls (no set-up fee, per second billing). Vodafone People is the cheapest towards other Vodafone IT customers.
International SMS cost two times the national ones.
Videocalls to non-Vodafone customers and to abroad are very expensive.
Leisure and additional services accessed via Vodafone Live! are also quite expensive.

TIPS:
In some periods you can find sim for ?5.00, including ?5.00 of credit.
As an alternative, sim for ?25.00, including ?26.00 of credit are also usually available.
Ask at the shop to activate also promotions for international traffic ("My Country" cards), and Vodafone Passport, if you need them.
There are some promotional fares for voice and SMS, during Summer and Christmas which can be very useful and cheap for longer journey in Italy with other Vodafone and italian customers; if you plan to stay in Italy for a long time consider to activate some offers you see listed on Vodafone page here on PrepaidGSM.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
This is an updated version of the review I posted on HoFo some time ago.
I still think Vodafone and TIM are the two best italian operators and are quite similar in terms of price for value, Wind is cheaper but less reliable (especially in terms of coverage), while to use 3 ITA u-sim card you need an UMTS phone (usually sold sim-locked), otherwise it just won't work.
   
Reply With Quote
Old
  (#15)
Marc (Offline)
Junior Member
Amateur Member
 
Posts: 20
Join Date: 17 Dec 2005
Location: Ypsilanti, Michigan

Country:
Default 13-01-2006, 00:31

Quick Facts

Country: France
Network Name: Bouygues Telecom; www.futur-client.bouyguestelecom.fr/
Prepaid Card Name: Carte Nomad
Frequency and Technology: GSM 900/1800
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): ?15, includes ?5 calling credit
Documents needed: Passport--other ID might be accepted, too
Prepaid Package Validity: Normally (see Usage below) 1 month credit (for ?15), 8 months phone number
CSD access: Yes
GPRS/EDGE access: Yes, if phone configured properly (advice at: http://www.bouyguestelecom.fr/client/nomad.htm)
UMTS access: No
SIM applications: Yes
Manual included: Yes, but French only
Refill amounts: ?10, ?15, ?25, ?35, ?50, ?75
Availability: Club Bouygues stores, other phone stores (some, not all), tabacs (not all); certain bank ATMs
Competitors: Orange, SFR

More In-Depth Information

Buying:

The Good:
Card worked immediately in an unlocked US T-Mobile Nokia, and signal strength was good throughout Paris, including all but the deepest Metro tunnels. Length of credit validity varies with the denomination of the card, but all denominations ?15 and up have a line validity of 8 months (and a recharge extends that a further 8 months). When buying the start-up kit, I was asked for ID and an address. As others have also reported, a hotel address will work fine, and, though I provided my passport, other ID may have been acceptable, too.

The Bad:
Fewer outlets seemed to carry the Bouygues start-up kit and recharge cards/tickets than those of its competitors. Still, finding either start-up or recharge was relatively simple.

Usage:

The Good:
The standard Carte Nomade ("Classic") has a single price structure for calls to anywhere in metropolitan France--0,50? per minute--24/7 (SMS are 0,12? each), whether to mobiles or fixed lines. The good news is that charges are calculated by the second from the first second, except to certain specialized numbers. Normal features, including picking up messages and checking the amount of credit left, are free. Incoming calls are free. Bouygues also offers three variations (called "Advantages") to Carte Nomade Classic, which you can choose at the moment you recharge the card: (1) Advantage Flash, which cuts the per minute (or SMS message) charge in half, but which also cuts the credit validity in half (so a ?15 recharge is effectively worth ?30 worth of calls, but is only valid for 15 days instead of a month); (2) Advantage Soir & Weekend, which has a slightly higher daytime rate (0,60?), but reduces that to 0,25? for calls made after 9 p.m. and on Sat. and Sun.; and (3) Advantage Spot, which can effectively cut per minute calls in half by your agreeing to listen to an advertising spot before the call is put through to the recipient (you can choose to use this option on a call-by-call basis).

The Bad:
All service operations, including recharges, are conducted by phone, and with menu instructions in French only. (On the other hand, the voices speak a very clear and slow French, so, with only a moderate amount of French, it's relatively easy to follow the instructions.)

TIPS:
(1) Buying bigger denomination recharges gets you extra call credit. (2) Watch out: while recharges of ?15 and up extend the validity of your phone line and number 8 months, recharges of only ?10 do not extend the validity of your line. (3) I used Advantage Flash because I was only going to be in France 2 weeks anyway and thus got a lot of bang for my bucks. (Good thing, too. I used the phone a lot.)

FINAL THOUGHTS:
This is the only pre-paid card I ever used in France, so I have no grounds for comparison. Nor did I need to use customer service, so I can't comment on how helpful that might have been. But the card worked flawlessly and message retrieval and recharging were straightforward, even with French menus, so I'd have no hesitation recommending this card.
   
Reply With Quote
Old
  (#16)
tha_bulldog (Offline)
Junior Member
Newbie
 
Posts: 1
Join Date: 26 Nov 2007

Country:
Default 26-11-2007, 22:38

Quick Facts

Country: The Netherlands
Network Name: Vodafone NL
Prepaid Card Name: Vodafone iZi, Vodafone Prepaid
Frequency and Technology: GSM 900
Prepaid Package Cost (Just SIM): € 10.00, including € 5.00 of credit
Documents Needed: None!!!
Prepaid Package Validity: 11 months, plus 1 month to recharge
CSD access: Yes
GPRS/EDGE access: Yes, GPRS/UMTS/HSDPA(1,8MBit/sec)
UMTS access: Yes
SIM applications: Yes, you can configure your 64k simcard from Internet, and add/remove applications from it
Manual included: Yes, in Dutch only
Refill amounts: € 20, 30, 40
Availability: Vodafone City points, big department stores, phone shops
Competitors: KPN, T-Mobile, Telfort, Orange



Usage:

The Good:

Vodafone NL (formerly known as Libertel or Libertel-Vodafone) is one of the major brands in The Netherlands. It uses the GSM900 network which is best for long range signals. The signal of Vodafone NL is great in NL, you have a coverage of 99,2%.

The UMTS data offer called Zorgeloos Online, which means Get online without any care, is really great. When available, the speed on HSDPA is 1,8MBit/sec and on UMTS/GPRS it's full speed. The price: 9,50 per month, also on a prepaid card.
The Bad:
Data limit is around 250 MB. But you don't get charged if you get over, Vodafone will instead contact you and ask to minimize your data usage.

TIPS:
Usually in Summer and during main holidays you can find special promotions for new prepaid sim-only kits; if you plan to stay in The Netherlands for a longer period try google and see if you can get any promotional material.
FINAL THOUGHTS:
For UMTS or HSDPA internet, Vodafone Netherlands is the way to go. The coverage is really great and it's big value for money!
   
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Skin developed by: vBStyles.com
© 2002- ad libitum PrePaidGSM.net