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rickgans (Offline)
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Talking Prepaid data/voice SIM for France - 01-07-2008, 18:05

I am traveling to France for 3 weeks and I have been trying to figure out if there is such thing as cellular service there, like I have here in the US. Specifically, I use a Samsung i760 on the Verizon network in the US with unlimited data and a regular voice plan. I use Exchange and my calendar and contacts synch perfectly as does my Exchange email. I also use 4 POP accounts and they work perfectly on my Samsung.

I am looking to buy an unlocked HTC TyTyn II because I want to load language translation software on it and use Word with a full-sized bluetooth keyboard to keep a diary of my trip. I say this because Verizon would lend me a GSM Blackberry 8830 but I could not load the translation software, nor could I hook up the full sized bluetooth keyboard, so I don't want that. So I am hoping to find a prepaid SIM card from some carrier (any carrier) that will give me voice and data. I calculated I should use between 12 and 20 mb of data while I am there, based on my average usage. I would like to be able to do voice at a cheap rate, but that is not imperative. I will be calling the US every few days and will be calling the couple we are traveling with while in France (when we separate).

I have spent hours searching for a solution and have found nothing. I can't be the only one who has ever traveled to France and wanted to keep in touch, so I am apparently not looking in the right places. One other thing, I am the kind who needs things set before I go. So the idea of going with the phone and then buying a prepaid SIM card once I get there is a little scary for me. I don't speak any French and I am not comfortable trying to set up a new phone in a foreign country. I would rather have things set before go.
Rick
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 01-07-2008, 19:28

Unfortunately, France prepaids are not cheap. Getting one with data is another story. Hopefully, the members based in Europe/France have some answers for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgans View Post
I have spent hours searching for a solution and have found nothing. I can't be the only one who has ever traveled to France and wanted to keep in touch, so I am apparently not looking in the right places. One other thing, I am the kind who needs things set before I go. So the idea of going with the phone and then buying a prepaid SIM card once I get there is a little scary for me. I don't speak any French and I am not comfortable trying to set up a new phone in a foreign country. I would rather have things set before go.
Rick


Phones: ASUS zenfone 3, Nexus 4, Lumia 650 dual sim
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default ?s - 01-07-2008, 19:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgans View Post
...
I say this because Verizon would lend me a GSM Blackberry 8830 but I could not load the translation software, nor could I hook up the full sized bluetooth keyboard, so I don't want that............
Rick,

I would be amazed if Verizon will be "lending" you a free GSM Blackberry.

ONLY GSM service is available in France. Please look at the NATIONAL OPERATORS page for France. Since you are staying in one country only, that is probably your best bet. INBOUND calls to your French SIM will be free for you but probably quite expensive for people trying to reach you (20 cents per minute or more).

Also, you might want to look at the sticky about Americans traveling to Europe. That does not address data needs, however. I recommend either a calling card or VOIP account. Then use a landline from the hotel or wherever you are staying. Also you can give out your landline or hotel number via SMS and your family, business associates or friends will be able to call you more economically (usually 6 cents per minute or less).

I cannot say much about France, but in Germany wireless internet is usually NOT FREELY provided in hotels. And it is not cheap. I usually am content to visit internet cafes every other day or so to "keep in touch." That is fairly inexpensive. I am told TOLL FREE 800 numbers in France are not free from cell phones.

Depending on how much lead time you have, you might check Ebay or even Ebay.fr for French SIM cards once you decide on a French national carrier.

Bon voyage.

Stan

PS. Recommend you try to pick up some French. I think you will enjoy your travels more. And the French will appreciate your efforts.


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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rickgans (Offline)
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Default 02-07-2008, 15:17

UPDATE-

Based on my research, which I must say has been more difficult than I would have imagined for this subject, I have decided to go with the following:

I have purchased an unlocked HTC TyTyn II. I am going to use the SIM from a T-Mobile phone that my company has and rarely uses. I will get voice calls for $.99/minute and data for $.015/kb. My guess is in 3 weeks I will spend about $300-$400 for airtime for both. T-Mobile suggested I check in my airport of departure to France (Boston) for European cell carriers selling prepaid SIM cards and buy one of those for local calls while in France. That was nice of them. They even said to call once I get my HTC phone and they will help me make sure their SIM card works in it. I am pretty impressed with their help and services compared to AT&T, whom I had called with similar questions.

And for Snaimon, yes, Verizon does lend a Blackberry 8830 to its customers at no charge. It may be that I am a 21 year customer or that I have 11 lines of service with them, but that is the deal. They do require a credit card for a deposit and they make money on the airtime. I am guessing this is their way of competing with AT&T and T-Mobile for their customers who travel overseas. Two years ago I got a phone from them for my daughter to use and it was pretty much the same deal, except at that time, they charged $3/day for rental of the phone. Guess they re-thought that policy as that probably cost them customers who travel overseas.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 03-07-2008, 02:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgans View Post
UPDATE-
.......
My guess is in 3 weeks I will spend about $300-$400 for airtime for both. T-Mobile suggested I check in my airport of departure to France (Boston) for European cell carriers selling prepaid SIM cards and buy one of those for local ....
I think you can do better than $300 - $400 with a French SIM. Bouygues Telecom offers Wap GPRS, EDGE: € 2.00/MB (1 KB increments) i-mode® GPRS, EDGE: € 5.00/MB (1 KB increments) all e-mails received (less than 300KB) are free of charge.

If you use 12 MB that is max (12 * 5) = 60 euros or ~ $95 for data.

See http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/francia/bt.html

Use that for data and your T-MO card for calls. Don't forget a calling card and use that if and when you can.

Know any German? Try this:

http://www.teltarif.de/arch/2008/kw2...87.html?page=3

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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rickgans (Offline)
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Default 03-07-2008, 17:21

Quote:
Originally Posted by snaimon View Post
Bouygues Telecom offers Wap GPRS, EDGE: € 2.00/MB (1 KB increments) i-mode® GPRS, EDGE: € 5.00/MB (1 KB increments) all e-mails received (less than 300KB) are free of charge.
What is the difference between the two types of email/data services? What is Wap versus i-mode? Also would I expect to be able to buy a SIM card for this company in a US airport in the international departures area or in the Paris airport when I land there? Thanks for all of your help.
   
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snaimon (Offline)
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Default 03-07-2008, 17:32

Sorry, I cannot answer your questions. Not many French members looking or answering.

I have never LOOKED for SIMs in US ariports, since I am already fixed up. At Dulles (IAD) I recall seeing shops where you could RENT phones presumably with SIM cards.

SIM cards should be available all over France.

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 03-07-2008, 22:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickgans View Post
What is the difference between the two types of email/data services? What is Wap versus i-mode? Also would I expect to be able to buy a SIM card for this company in a US airport in the international departures area or in the Paris airport when I land there? Thanks for all of your help.
Imode ONLY works with supported phones and is limited to the providers content.
WAP means there is a proxy but it will eventually pass trough more or less services besides mobile websites (very much provider depentant).

In a US airport i am very much sure you will not find it. Also on the airport in paris chances are odd. Usually you can buy the cards in shops of the mobile operators or electronic stores. Sometimes also in supermarkets (mostly only their own brands). The refills though are widely available in many shops.


Germany: smartmobil, simquadrat, Vodafone (data)
Thailand: truemove (phone+sms+wifi), TOT 3G (data)
International: xxSim+372, toggle +44/+49/+41/+31
Phones: Huawei Mate7, Zopo ZP700
   
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 04-07-2008, 12:26

Having checked French prepaid data tariffs, I came to the conclusion Vodafone Germany's WebSessions (€ 14.95 for 24h internet access, capped by 50 MB) is the best choice for real internet and a French Orange SIM with "Internet Max" option (€ 9/month for handset-based access only!, capped by 500 MB, http://prepaid-wireless-internet-acc...+Orange?t=anon) is the cheapest option, if you access the web from your handset only.
Quite surprising, that there's no really attractive offer for mobile internet in a touristic country like France.
French Orange prepaid SIMs (called "mobicarte") are sold for approx. € 15 at www.ebay.fr and German Vodafone prepaid SIMs (called "Call'ya") starting from € 1 at eBay.de


terminals: Samsung: Galaxy S5 DuoS (G900FD); BLU: Win HD LTE; Nokia: 1200; Asus: Fonepad 7 ME372CG; Huawei data: E3372, Vodafone R201, K3765, E1762;
postpaid: O2 on Business XL; prepaid: DE: Aldi Talk, Lidl; UK: 3; BG: MTel, vivacom; RU: MTS; RS: MTS; UAE: du Tourist SIM; INT'L: toggle mobile
VoIP: sipgate.de (German DID); sipgate.co.uk (British DID); ukddi.com (British DID); sipcall.ch (Swiss DID); megafon.bg (Bulgarian DID); InterVoip.com
   
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bukzin (Offline)
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Default Internet Max - 25-02-2010, 17:23

Seems this service/product is no longer available.


Have any of the providers come out with anything
along those lines?

Still looking for data service for an un-locked Blackberry
while in France.


Thanks!
   
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