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NFH (Offline)
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Default Lycabobile.fr - best for frequent short visits to France? - 02-07-2012, 11:32

France is the country I visit most often, so I'm disappointed that most of the French networks have such poor prepaid deals with unfavourable data options and credit typically expiring after a matter of days.

The best deal I can find for my travel patterns is Lycamobile.fr, who have an expiry policy 3 months of non-usage (no top-ups required) and €0.09 per megabyte. They also send out free SIM cards to French addresses with €1 of free credit.

Although €0.09/MB is not particularly cheap, for typical iPhone usage it works out at less than the UK networks' daily data roaming bundles (£2-£3 for 25-30MB). For frequent visits to France of a day or two each time when I need data and free incoming calls, LycaMobile seems like a good option. Are there any better deals that I should be aware of?
   
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Default 02-07-2012, 13:37

Yes, German MedionMobile with the 60MB roaming pack for 4,99 euro and much better validity.


Mobile internet sim cards:
INT: abroadband, NL: Simyo, *bliep, BE: Colruyt Mobile, MEDIONmobile, LUX: Orange, PL: mBank Mobile,
DE: Congstar, MEDIONmobile, IE: Vodafone, CH: OK Mobil, SwissCom, SE: Telia, ES: MásMovil,
GR: Cosmote, IT: TIM, RO: Vodafone, RS: mt:s, BY: Privet, UA: Kievstar, MD: Moldcell

Feel free to consult me about sim cards in the Benelux and Poland.
   
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Default 02-07-2012, 13:45

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Originally Posted by kuba.g View Post
Yes, German MedionMobile with the 60MB roaming pack for 4,99 euro and much better validity.
Thanks, but €4.99 for 60MB works out at €0.083/MB, only slightly less than Lycamobile's charge of €0.09/MB, and assuming I don't use up all of the 60MB, it's likely to work out at much more than Lycamobile. I'd be better off paying only for what I use.
   
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Default 02-07-2012, 17:32

If the chance is considerable that you will use less than 55MB in one week, then you're best off with Lycamobile

Let us know how it works, I think nobody here tried it yet.


Mobile internet sim cards:
INT: abroadband, NL: Simyo, *bliep, BE: Colruyt Mobile, MEDIONmobile, LUX: Orange, PL: mBank Mobile,
DE: Congstar, MEDIONmobile, IE: Vodafone, CH: OK Mobil, SwissCom, SE: Telia, ES: MásMovil,
GR: Cosmote, IT: TIM, RO: Vodafone, RS: mt:s, BY: Privet, UA: Kievstar, MD: Moldcell

Feel free to consult me about sim cards in the Benelux and Poland.
   
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Default 02-07-2012, 17:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuba.g View Post
If the chance is considerable that you will use less than 55MB in one week, then you're best off with Lycamobile
I don't usually visit France for a week but for a day or two at a time.
   
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Default 31-07-2012, 13:13

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Let us know how it works, I think nobody here tried it yet.
I can try... I just need to know where to purchase it.
   
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Default 31-07-2012, 13:24

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Originally Posted by rasjrbr View Post
I can try... I just need to know where to purchase it.
According to images on Lycamobile's web site, you can get their SIM cards in the following places:

   
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Default 31-07-2012, 13:24

and
   
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Default 29-08-2012, 12:48

I managed to order a free Lycamobile France SIM card with €1 free credit to my UK address, even though the address fields on their web site are not friendly to a non-French address. The accompanying letter was dated 06/07/2012 (around the date I ordered it), postmarked 24/07/2012 and I received it in the UK on 16/08/2012. Expect similar delays if you try the same yourself.

I used it in Calais yesterday on a 9-hour beer-buying trip. I didn't use much data on the Lycamobile SIM as I was using a Vodafone UK prepaid SIM as a mi-fi server in another phone serving two iPhones (£2 for 25MB). The following may be of interest:
  • The SIM would not roam on UK networks when I received it in the UK, even after I activated it online. I couldn't find out my mobile number either, although my iPhone indicated that I had been allocated a temporary +33 1 (Paris fixed line) number.
  • When I arrived in France, I received a text message telling me to phone 323 to activate my SIM, even though I had already done this online.
  • I tried to point my Flextel UK 07010 number at my new Lycamobile number, but Flextel classes +33 7 5x as a barred destination. Although Flextel will fix this, I foresee other recognition problems by foreign networks when allocated a number in a new range. I therefore want to get a traditional 06 number instead and if necessary port it from another network to Lycamobile to get €5 free credit. See Liste des préfixes des opérateurs de téléphonie mobile en France - Wikipédia
  • Lycamobile's English-speaking customer services are absolutely useless. I initially couldn't get data to work so I phoned them to ask for the APN (which is data.lycamobile.fr user=lmfr password=plus). I understand that Lycamobile's call centres are organised by language rather than by the country of the SIM card. Therefore you can choose any supported language, no matter where the SIM card was issued. I stupidly chose English and got through to an Indian call centre several times, and there was a significant language barrier in that they don't understand simple questions and it's like speaking to a robot. When I asked for the APN, they told me where in the iPhone this is configured (which I kept telling them I already knew), but they didn't know the APN. As I also speak French, I instead tried the French call centre, who were fantastic and gave me the APN. I would therefore recommend choosing any language except English. Even if you can't speak another language very well, the chances are that you speak it better than than Lycamobile's "English-speaking" call centre speaks English!
  • My iPhone recorded that I sent 416KB and received 961KB of data, which at €0.09/MB, should have cost €0.124. However, Lycamobile's online call history showed 7 data sessions, charged between €0.01 and €0.08 each (but without bandwidth figures), totalling €0.17. Although it's a tiny difference in terms of money, it's 37% higher which might cause a more significant discrepancy with greater usage. I'm wondering whether they charge in 100KB increments, an unfair commercial practice that is banned by the EU when roaming but not domestically.
  • Coverage on Lycamobile via the Bouygues Telecom network didn't seem as good as SFR, the latter being favoured by my Vodafone UK SIM card which was roaming.
  • Roaming briefly in Belgium was no problem, but I experienced problems again after returning to the UK, where the Lycamobile SIM initially didn't want to roam on any UK network. I've since got it to roam on most of the UK networks, which will be necessary in order to incur a balance deduction every 80 days to keep the SIM active.
   
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Smile 10-09-2012, 21:05

[QUOTE=NFH;40532]I managed to order a free Lycamobile France SIM card with €1 free credit to my UK address, even though the address fields on their web site are not friendly to a non-French address. The accompanying letter was dated 06/07/2012 (around the date I ordered it), postmarked 24/07/2012 and I received it in the UK on 16/08/2012. Expect similar delays if you try the same yourself.

I ordered my sim card on Aug 30th, the letter and postmark was 31st and i received it (in austria) Sept 8th. i would say: not bad!
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