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toofrequentflyer (Offline)
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Default Questions about 3 (Drei) in Austria - 24-03-2012, 03:23

Hello,

I live in the U.S. and in April 2012 I will visit Vienna for about a week with my phone and iPad. It looks like "3" may be a good fit for my needs. I have been looking through their web page but my high school German was 30 years ago so I am not confident that I have understood everything! It appears there are several different cards and I am not sure which one would be best. So if anyone can help with a few things I would be grateful.

For phone, my main use will be calls to the U.S. and a small amount of data for Assisted GPS (A-GPS) location. It seems like the "ReLoad Extreme" card will allow calls to the U.S. for 0.025 Euro per minute after paying a 4.00 Euro fee, and 100 MB of data for a 3.00 Euro fee. However there is also a "3SuperSim" which comes with 1 GB or more of data (depending on the level chosen) but unfortunately I cannot find information on charges for calls to the U.S. with that one. So I am a little confused.

For the iPad, I would need maybe 1 GB of data. There is a "3SuperSim Data" card which gives 1 GB for EUR 4.00. But I do not know the up-front cost for the sim.

A specific reason for choosing "3" is their "3LikeHome" feature which allows no cost roaming in several countries including Italy. I will be visiting Italy in May so apparently I can use the same 3 sim I buy in Vienna. This will avoid having to buy another sim in Italy and possible issues with Codice Fiscale etc. Also I will probably be back in Vienna in early 2013 and my understanding is the "3" sim has a validity of 12 months, so I can use it when I return.

A final question is where to find "3" sims. Are they sold only in special "3" shops or are they also available in supermarkets and other places like some other sims? If anyone knows the location of a "3" shop in Vienna I would be grateful. (I have been to Vienna several times and know how to get around fairly well.)

Any comments or corrections would be most welcome! Also if people have suggestions for a different provider that is cheaper, more stable or whatever that would be welcome too. Thanks!
   
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9eor9 (Offline)
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Default 24-03-2012, 12:34

....I'm also confused

In general, 3 SIMs are not as easy to get as other brands. Easiest to get are A1 and bob (also in Post offices), and Yesss! (Hofer/Aldi). Bob you also get in Libro shops or in LIDL supermarkets. 3 is sold in 3 shops and sales points which you find in shopping malls, in Media Markets, a.s.o..

For your purposes a 3 Reload Extreme would be suitable with the added Pakete MoreMB ans MoreInternational. The options are continued automatically after 30 days if the balance is sufficient. To discontinue you'll have to call the 3 Serviceline 2 days before the end of the 30 days period.

For data it is more complicated. I do not recommend you to call with data SIM, even it is possible, but usually expensive. Super SIMs can be used as Wertkarte (Prepaid) or with a contract.

With A1, T-Mobile (expensive), Yesss you don't have any trouble. Buy-insert-set APN-surf.

Bob and 3 somehow have to be activated / registered on their website for easy administration. This is not difficult, but it's in german.

Why don't you use a VoIP account like Dialnow.com or Rynga.com and call local access numbers or trigger a callback by sending some data?

In this case you could use a bob Vielwertkarte main_contentpage login and book a Datenpaket Wertkarte for 4€/1GB/30days.

Regarding 3 like home you must consider that, if you call an italian number while in Italy, this will be an international call. Your SIM is still in Austria......
I avoid this by calling an austrian VoIP access number from Italy and then I enter the italian number. Only this way is really roaming free.

In the SCS Shopping City Süd you'll find all major phone shops like 3, Telering, A1, T-Mobile.
In this 3 shop I got my 3 Data SIM "Reload" without a modem. In other places it was completely impossible (20€/1GB/1 year which I bought for Italy).

Last edited by 9eor9; 24-03-2012 at 12:43..
   
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norbi (Offline)
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Default 24-03-2012, 19:29

Hello, i think 3 is the best and ceapest prepaid data sim in austria ... i use 2 supersim prepaid / 10GB and 1GB for the notebook its easy to top up with cc or ATM...

Startpaket 9,9€ by Libro store or Niedermeyer...

www.drei.at - Tarife - 3SuperSIM Data
   
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toofrequentflyer (Offline)
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Default 28-03-2012, 14:42

Thanks for your helpful responses. I do like the idea of 3 because it would be usable in Italy. The issue of calls to Italy being counted as overseas is not a major concern as I would likely be making few if any calls to Italian numbers. There is a Niedermeyer shop a couple of stops away on the U-bahn so it would not be a problem to go there.

However the fact that the add-on packets have to be canceled by phone is a slight complication given my poor German (and it seems like a strange way to do business in this age of the internet).

Thus I may go with Yesss instead. It would be easy to buy as there is a Hofer about a 10 minute walk from my hotel. The procedure for buying add-on international plan seems slightly complicated (reserve the packet first by SMS, then make a top-up afterwards). I would then have the adventure of buying a prepaid SIM in Italy.

Anyway it looks like there are several good options. One nice thing is that it seems almost all Austrian prepaid cards now have a validity of 12 months. This is convenient because I go to Vienna every spring for a regular conference.

Again, thanks for your help.
   
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toofrequentflyer (Offline)
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Default 29-03-2012, 04:11

Following up with slightly more information, it seems roaming within the EU is not horribly expensive with Yesss. The cost is €0.42/minute for outgoing calls ("active roaming") and €0.132/minute for incoming calls ("passive roaming").

Costs for outgoing international calls end up quite high since the international calling rate is added onto the roaming rate. For example to call the USA from one of the EU roaming countries works out to €0.49/minute (international call) plus €0.42/minute (roaming) for a total of €0.91/minute. Obviously one would not want to have a long conversation at such costs but it's acceptable for a quick call to say "my flight is delayed" or similar. For routine calls I can use Skype from my hotel or conference venue.

It appears SMS while roaming in the EU is only €0.132 which is not bad at all. Unfortunately my experience is that outgoing SMS from EU to US CDMA networks (namely Verizon) rarely works.
   
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Default 29-03-2012, 09:12

Quote:
Originally Posted by toofrequentflyer View Post
Following up with slightly more information, it seems roaming within the EU is not horribly expensive with Yesss. The cost is €0.42/minute for outgoing calls ("active roaming") and €0.132/minute for incoming calls ("passive roaming").
These rates apply for *any* SIM you purchase in *any* European country as these are the maximum allowed rates for EU roaming


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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9eor9 (Offline)
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Default Top up - 12-04-2012, 11:45

There are many ways to top up austrian SIMs
One of them is www.onlineaufladen.at
   
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