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djbob (Offline)
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Default Mobile plans w/ data in Paris & Rome - 29-08-2009, 00:16

Hello everyone,

I am planning a two week trip to Europe with some of my friends. We are going to be staying in two cities: Paris and Rome. Since I work as a network administrator, I will be needing constant Internet access from my phone. The hostels we are staying at have Wi-Fi, but I need to be able to access some internet services from my phone. I have one of the earlier iPhone models, meaning I have EDGE and GPRS for data and quad-band for voice. A friend of mine has a newer iPhone, which supports tri-band HSDPA. All are unlocked or unlockable.

We plan to use the voice features primarily for calling each other. We anticipate around 5-10 minutes of usage daily on each phone. We don't expect international calling.

I'm looking for voice/data plans. It's looking like Italy has a lot of good deals - particularly, Wind has a great offer (Mega 1500) and TIM isn't bad either. However, France's deals are far worse. My questions are:

1) Does it make sense to purchase two separate SIM cards (one for France, and one for Italy), or should we look for a single SIM card that can be used in both countries?
a) If no, what are the roaming charges we'll incur for using an Italian SIM in Paris?
b) If yes, what are the best providers and the best plans for pay-as-you-go mobile data access in France?

Thanks,
djbob
   
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 29-08-2009, 15:18

Briefly, if you'll be using significant data in both places it will always be worth your while buying a SIM for each country. For just voice and SMS you can get away with roaming with a european SIM in another european country or buying an International SIM.
   
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Ties Brants (Offline)
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Default 29-08-2009, 17:35

apparently SFR has a special offer for Iphones. Not really sure how it works and how to get it. I used Orange this summer. worked perfectly. The only problem I have is that it will renew the internet add on every month. Haven't found out yet how to cancel it.

for more information:
France - Orange - Prepaid Wireless Internet Access
   
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 29-08-2009, 20:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ties Brants View Post
The only problem I have is that it will renew the internet add on every month. Haven't found out yet how to cancel it.
Can't you disable the "Internet Max" option through the USSD-menu? Just dial #123# and a menu should appear in your phone, where you can perhaps also disable options.


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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djbob (Offline)
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Default 30-08-2009, 00:45

Thanks for the replies guys!

This review seems to say that you can get an Orange Mobicarte with the Internet Max option. It looks pretty good (500 MB/month for €9), except the cost of a Mobicarte SIM card is a bit exorbitant (€30).

Does anybody know of any ways to get cheap SIMs?

Quote:
apparently SFR has a special offer for Iphones.
Any chance you know more details about that, or can link me somewhere that describes the offer?
   
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Ties Brants (Offline)
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Default 30-08-2009, 12:47

@ djbob: I think there was some discussion here about the SFR Iphone offer. But not really sure if there was someone who actually knew how it exactly worked.
edit: see this one: http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/euro...er-phones.html

note that the 500 mb option is now 12 euro's. But that the 500 mb is not really enforced. However smtp is not included in the bundle. I think you can only use 10 mb of smtp traffic before you start to pay for it. Not really sure about it, because I didn't use smtp.

The sim card is really expensive, not sure if you can get it cheaper, maybe on ebay. An other problem in France is that your credit expires really fast. So keeping the sim card alive for next year can be somewhat expensive.

@inquistor:

I tried the ussd menu and I have an account on Portail Orange, but I was unable to find a way to disable it. on Portail Orange it says that I have the internet max option, but it doesn't say until when. And I don't see the option to disable it.
It is not really too much of a problem, because when I use the card I want to have the internet max option active anyway.
   
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inquisitor (Offline)
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Default 30-08-2009, 13:26

Orange Mobicartes are sold at eBay.fr for less than € 20. Last year I got mine for € 9 or so, but you need to check, which sellers ship overseas and what they charge for postage: orange mobicarte, Téléphonie, Mobilité, Collections sur eBay - Achetez, vendez!

Regarding mail traffic, yes you'll be charged after exceeding 10MB of traffic over any mail protocol, which does not only include SMTP, but also POP3 and IMAP. So better use a webmailer if available!


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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djbob (Offline)
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Default 02-09-2009, 22:59

Thanks for the information, guys! I'm thinking eBay is probably not the best idea at this point, considering that I'm off to Europe in less than a week. Also, somebody reported trouble with an auctioned SIM in this thread.

So it's looking like:
  • Orange deal for standard phones. €12 for (unenforced) 500 MiB of traffic, plus €30 for a SIM card. Total is €42 without extra top-offs.
  • SFR deal for iPhones. €15 for a SIM card, plus €10 for a week of unlimited iPhone access. Total is €25 without extra top-offs.

I have two questions:
  1. SFR is looking like the better deal, but I have a concern. It looks like their deal only works for an iPhone 3G; mine is the "classic" model, without 3G. So: do I need to go through a person to prove that I have a 3G iPhone, and is there a way for the network to tell that I have a 3G iPhone?
  2. Is the €15 deal for an SFR SIM only valid online?
   
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Ties Brants (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2009, 12:56

Not really sure how it works with SFR, but the network can find out what kind of phone you have if they wanted using the imei number.
When I log in at Portail Orange they know that I have a HTC Kaiser. And the only way they can know that is if they use the imei number.

I think the Orange option will be a Little bit cheaper, because if I remember correctly you will get 5 euro's when you buy the sim card. So you only need to buy an other 10 euro's of credit. If not then it will be more expensive, because you can not buy 12 euro of credit. So then you need to get 15.
   
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maccoy (Offline)
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Default 03-09-2009, 14:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by djbob View Post
Is the €15 deal for an SFR SIM only valid online?
Yes, it is only valid online and when you will get the sim, you'll have to send them a copy of your documents back, unless you won't be able to activate any option on your sim.
And the registration of your documents by SFR may take several days...


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I: Vodafone, Wind, 3; F: Bouygues Telecom; M: Melita; INT: Travelsim, Zeromobile.
   
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