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Bisbetica (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 02:38

Hi,

I am hoping I can get some help. I want to buy a SIM card for travel in Germany this summer but I'm not sure which one I should get.

Is O2 worth it? Is it expensive?

Is it a good idea to buy it on EBAY? Or should I wait until I get to Berlin and buy it there, I will be arriving during the world cup, so I don't want to be fleeced.

If it is better to buy it in Germany, what is the price range?

Please help!

Thank you soooooo much.

Helena
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 03:05

Helena:

Why are you fixated on an O2 card? The only advantage I see is that if your German friends all have O2, then you are better off as calls to them are cheaper for you and if they call you, for them.

It is my impression that the O2 and most T-Mobile DE cards offered on Ebay USA are very expensive. I think the starter packs you can buy in Germany usually run about 20 E and they usaully come with a 5 - 10 E balance. You can also check out Ebay.de for comparison if your German is decent. I think you will see prices THERE are lots lower than on Ebay.USA even with shipping. Some, but not many, will ship WELTWEIT. The world cup is over Jul 9; my guess is that you will be leaving soon so you can forget EBAY.

I have 2 D1 (t-mobile) cards and a SIMYO card. I purchased the D1 cards some years ago on Ebay.de. You could not find them on EBAY US at that time. The SIMYO card required a German address and I used the hotel where the family was staying.

Check out the German national operators here on this site for some choices. You will in general have better coverage on 900 MHZ (D1, D2 and O2?). The 1800 providers are supposedly weak in rural areas. If you are staying in cities, there should be little difference.

You might consider the relatively new ALDI-talk (1800) or PennyMobile (900). If I did not already have 3 SIMs, those would be my top choices.

Is it JUST Germany? Or are there other countries involved? What is your purpose for having the SIM? Do you know people THERE? Will you want to call the US? If that is you purpose -- calling US, you might really think again -- VERY EXPENSIVE from the cell phone. You might be able to use a US or local calling card or callback service. My sure you have the right kind of phone. IF you are planning to visit other countries, you might consider (GASP!) Vodafone; they have a travel promise which allows cheap incoming calls. As above, if you main purpose is to call out, then the travel promise is not so good as roaming and international calls from German (EU) cells is quite expensive.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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Bisbetica (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 03:25

Thanks for the feeback.


I'm not set on O2, but for some reason they are the only ones I could find on EBAY.

I thought to buy Vodafone, I needed to buy the phone from there too. So I can just buy vodafone SIM? How much would that be? Where can I get them?

How do I look for Vodafone SIM? Will they sell them in the airport, or should I buy them online?

Is Zengo Wireless good? I saw the ad on the site?

How does one find Penny Mobile? I googled it, but it kept coming up as braile.

thanks again
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 04:41

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/germany.html

gives you all the German operators, including PennyMobile. As I noted, most starter packs cost around 20 Es with varying starting balances. An O2 SIM on EbayUS would be $40 + $5 on the buy it now auction instead of ~$26 in Germany. Plus will it reach you in time for your departure if you buy it on Ebay? I think there are O2 and T-MO cards, also expensive ($22 + $12) for sale. I would NOT buy either of those.

You will need an unlocked dual or tri-band (900, 1800, (1900) ) phone. In Germany you should be able to pick up almost any PREPAID SIM card. Aldi and Penny are available only in their stores. Aldi stores are almost everywhere. PennyMarkets are not as frequent. SIMYO and BLAU are only available online. Most of the others are available in call shops or at dealers and large electronic stores. I would guess you could find some @ airports shops depending on size of city & airport. Your selection may be limited at the airport. You should be able to buy just the SIM, even Vodafone -- why do you think you need to buy the phone, too? If you don't have a suitable phone, you should be able to buy a starter pack with phone also - going to be more expensive, of course, than just the SIM with small starting balance. Unless you have German friends with a preponderance of one network, I don't think it will make much difference which brand you by. PERSONALLY, my choice would be Aldi or Penny, but as noted, you won't find those in the airports. Most or all stores will be closed on Sundays.

Our German friends may have other ideas and more details.

I do not know much about Zengo. If you don't need the # in advance to give out to your US friends and family, then I would definitely wait until I reached Germany for my purchase. It SEEMS your lead time is a bit tight.

Another word of caution..... it will be cheaper for your US friends and family to reach you on a land line rather than on the cell phone -- 5 cents for land line from US, probably around 25 or 30 cents on the cell. INBOUND calls to Germany cells while the receiving party is in Germany are FREE and do not deduct from minutes.

You did not say what kind of calling or messaging you would be doing. That may determine what card is best for you.

Don't forget the right charger (220 volts) for your phone and an adapter plug.

Stan


Phones: DASH V3 (3)
Service: US T-MO post paid (2) - US T-MO prepaid (2) - UM+ - TravelSIM DE SIMYO - DE SUNSIM T-Mobile DE
Calling Cards: Onesuite Enjoyprepaid AT&T MCI Mobivox
   
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dg7feq (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 10:23

Hello,
you can buy a SIM-card in lots of shops in germany.
The mobile carriers have shops all around (T-Mobile, Vodafone, eplus, o2). There you can buy a card for about 20 Euro including 5-10 Euro of calling balance.
The calling tariffs are quite high if calling abroad (expect about 2$ a minute to USA).
for cheaper calls dial 0180-5151051 first, and then the international number (will be <1$/min, starting at dialtone...)

If you dont have a phone for the european frequencies it can be a option to buy the card with a cellphone in a starter-kit. In our local store they had T-Mobile SIM-cards with a Motorola cellphone for 15 euro last week! - you should always get a phone+prepaid-sim below 50 euro (remind that the phone would be locked to this sim-card).

When purchasing a sim-card you need your passport to register the card.

If you want a cheaper card you can go to a "ALDI" supermarket as Snaimon already suggested. This card needs to get activated on a hotline - i dont know if they speak english though. There you have a lot cheaper tariffs for inside germany but the same high tariffs to call abroad.

Chris


Germany: o2 blue all-in L, simquadrat
Thailand: truemove (phone+sms+wifi)
International: xxSim+372, toggle +44/+49/+41/+31
Phones: Huawei Mate7, Huawei P9
   
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Default 27-06-2006, 10:27

Aldi is surely the best choice. Anyway, avoid the prepaid starting kits since I think they are all sim-locked phones, and surely not cheaper than sim-free phones you can get on eBay. The problem with eBay is that you don't have much time, but you can also buy a phone on eBay.de and then take it directly in Berlin (there are many sellers from the German capital).

Vodafone has no sense at all, unless you plan to visit other countries where they have their network, but if you plan to visit many countries there are other better solutions, IMHO.

I really think it's not a problem to get an Aldi card, or maybe a Tchibo (more expensive, but Tchibo stores are usually in the center of every German city, so very easy to find).


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.
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dg7feq (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 10:52

Quote:
Originally Posted by Effendi
Aldi is surely the best choice. Anyway, avoid the prepaid starting kits since I think they are all sim-locked phones, and surely not cheaper than sim-free phones you can get on eBay. The problem with eBay is that you don't have much time, but you can also buy a phone on eBay.de and then take it directly in Berlin (there are many sellers from the German capital).

Vodafone has no sense at all, unless you plan to visit other countries where they have their network, but if you plan to visit many countries there are other better solutions, IMHO.

I really think it's not a problem to get an Aldi card, or maybe a Tchibo (more expensive, but Tchibo stores are usually in the center of every German city, so very easy to find).
Well, you can buy the starter kits with locked phones for the same price as the pure SIM-card if you go for the special offers in the shop (as i already wrote before - in our local store "Kaufland" supermarket they always have one simple phone with card for below 20 Euro). So it can be an option too and later on throw the phone on ebay...

I dont know how easy it is for a non german speaking person to activate the ALDI sim on the hotline (they cant do it in the store). The Tchibo is more easy as they fill in the form together with you in the shop.


Germany: o2 blue all-in L, simquadrat
Thailand: truemove (phone+sms+wifi)
International: xxSim+372, toggle +44/+49/+41/+31
Phones: Huawei Mate7, Huawei P9
   
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andy (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 11:56

I've had a Vodafone SIM for nearly a couple of years. I got this because family in Germany are on it too, and I could get calling card access via free 0800 numbers checked before deciding to go ahead (some are blocked). But if I was starting now, I would probably go for Aldi, and try a Bizon calling card via ordinary area code numbers for 2c per minute more.

On locked vs unlocked phones, Nokias are the easiest to unlock (except recent more expensive ones), by using a calculated code you can get free from some websites such as www.trycktill.com
   
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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 27-06-2006, 19:48

All German mobiles cost about $2 per minute to call the US. If you want to place lots of international calls, get an international calling card or go to a calling center (a private company offering cheap phone calls from its own store; you'll find these in big cities or near stations).

There are plenty of SIMs available, so that should be no problem. Sometimes they are even cheaper with a phone (though the discounters such as Aldi never offer cheap phones).

Contrary to the above, Vodafone is not a bad choice if you plan to call occasionally and mostly just want to be reachable. The main operators' SIMs have similar (high) prices, but relatively long validity, so if you're coming back each year you might want to consider this (however, if you get Aldi Talk, and then add 15 euros to it, the account will be valid for 2 years). For the US, T-Mobile might be worth considering, because the company is present in both markets (though they offer little in the way of service for non-US customers).

The best offers with a phone can be sometimes found in department stores such as Karstadt or Kaufhof and electronics retailers such as Saturn and MediaMarkt.

Failing that, Vodafone has a special on during the World Cup at its official stores: a Motorola phone plus SIM for 33 euros with 5 EUR credit. You can often get this for less at the retailers mentioned above, but it might be a good fallback option. But you should be able to get a SIM for 10-20 EUR or one with a phone (sometimes even a triband model) for 20-30.


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff, Vodafone; US: T-Mobile; CA: 7-Eleven; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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dg7feq (Offline)
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Default 28-06-2006, 08:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motel75
There are plenty of SIMs available, so that should be no problem. Sometimes they are even cheaper with a phone (though the discounters such as Aldi never offer cheap phones).
Yep, just had a look at "Photopoint" yesterday where you can get the T-Mobile Xtra SIM-card with 10 Euro starting balance and a Sagem MY5 cellphone for 19,95 Euro



Germany: o2 blue all-in L, simquadrat
Thailand: truemove (phone+sms+wifi)
International: xxSim+372, toggle +44/+49/+41/+31
Phones: Huawei Mate7, Huawei P9
   
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