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madducks (Offline)
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Default Austria 3 Sim - Can you purchase online and have mailed to US - 19-11-2012, 07:59

We are going to Austria to ski in Solden at the end of January. We will also spend a week in Italy.

I have an unlocked GSM smart phone that I've previously used in France with no problems- orange prepaid sim.

It looks like 3 will work in Italy as well as Austria.

I will primarily be using it for Austria and/or Italian calls and internet access. I will not be using it call to the U.S. or to receive calls from the U.S.

Is it possible to somehow purchase a prepaid sim prior to leaving so I don't have to see if the village of Solden has a place that sells them?

Or, since we will be flying into Munich, is it possible to purchase one in the airport?

I've been using google translate to try and figure out drei/3.....

Many many thanks.
   
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VladS (Offline)
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Default 19-11-2012, 14:00

Can't speak for the Solden area in particular, but native Drei coverage in the Tirol ski resorts is not the best.

Of all the Austrian operators I've tried in the area, A1 has the best 2G/3G coverage. Their sub-brand, Bob (ex Champion) offers, in my opinion, the best bang for the buck in the Austrian market.

This being said, since you can only get from Munich to Solden by car or train, and both go through Innsbruck, here are some shops:

3Shop Innsbruck 1: Museumstraße 3 (this is no more than 10 minutes walk from the train station)
3Shop Innsbruck 2: Amraser-See-Straße 56a (off the highway, inside the DEZ shopping center)

Post Innsbruck: Südtiroler Platz 10-12 (right across from the train station)


VladS
Mobile phones: iPhone 5, Blackberry 9900, Nexus S, Samsung S3322 duos
Mobile data cards: Huawei E587u-5, Huawei E583c, Huawei E160
Postpaid SIMs: CA: Fido, Wind; INTL: Telna
Prepaid SIMs: DE: Fonic, Lidl; AT: yesss!, bob; UK: O2; US: AT&T; RO: Orange, Vodafone; FR: b&you, Lycamobile; NL: Lycamobile; BE: Lycamobile, Jim Mobile; CL: Entel; MX: Telcel; INTL: eKit Blue, eKit Yellow
Dead SIMs: too many to list
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 19-11-2012, 15:54

I've found that Drei and Yesss! have relatively poor coverage in the mountains, including Ötztal (Sölden) and Zillertal. I get great coverage in the mountains using A1 B.free. At 1.5GB for up to 1yr for €20 it's a bit more expensive but IMO worth it.

Coverage in the mountains really depends on how far off the beaten path you go. If you stay on or near ski runs and built up areas, then coverage, even with Drei, may be good enough. If you go hiking or ski touring far from "civilization" then the carrier matters a lot.

Incidentally most of the cable car stations in Sölden now offer free WiFi.

As for buying SIMs, there's an A1 store a few minutes from the main Innsbruck train station. The main advantage in buying a SIM package from a phone shop is that the staff will usually help you configure your phone and activate the account.

As Vlad said SIMs, are also available at post offices. There's one in Sölden in the center of the village.

If coverage into Italy is a concern, you might want to contact the hotel where you'll be staying in Sölden and ask them. Or contact the tourist office soelden@oetztal.com

P.S. If you have an Android smartphone you may find these apps useful:
iÖtztal
iSölden
Smart Ride


Phones: OnePlus 5 • Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo • AT A1-B.free
R.I.P.: UM • UM+

Last edited by bylo; 19-11-2012 at 16:05..
   
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willydat (Offline)
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Default 20-11-2012, 23:11

i could buy the sim for you and ship to the us.
postage to be added.
paypal is probably the best way to pay, their fee goes on top (sorry).
well the choice of provider is yours, no personal experience in sölden.

Austrian sim-cards will NOT be available at the munich airport.
note: receiving calls is always free in the home network (NOT on roaming).

greetings from
Salzburg, Austria


sims: T-mobile AT (postpaid; former max.mobil), simyo (DE)
giffgaff (UK), Tmo-US, Hits (ES)
no longer active sims: orange (IL), At&T (US), airtel (IN)
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 20-11-2012, 23:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by willydat View Post
i could buy the sim for you
Incidentally the A1 Shop nearest to Innsbruck's main train station, on Wilhelm-Greil-Straße, is next to the Stieglbräu restaurant. Great food and beer. Highly recommended if you visit Innsbruck.


Phones: OnePlus 5 • Nexus 5
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madducks (Offline)
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Default 28-11-2012, 19:39

Thanks for all the replies. So maybe it seems that I should look at A1 or Bob for Austria and possibly something different for Italy. As we will be skiing and are expert skiers, we will be off the beaten trails some. Safety, in case someone is injured is one of the reasons to have a cell phone - especially since we are all older!

Since we will be on a bus, stopping in Innsbruck is not an option. Do the post office or other stores in Sölden sell A1 or Bob?

Thanks again!
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 28-11-2012, 20:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by madducks View Post
Do the post office or other stores in Sölden sell A1 or Bob?
AFAIK all Austrian post offices sell A1 and Bob products. I'm sure I saw an A1 display inside the Sölden post office the last time I was there (in September.)

Enjoy your ski holiday.


Phones: OnePlus 5 • Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo • AT A1-B.free
R.I.P.: UM • UM+
   
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madducks (Offline)
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Default 28-11-2012, 21:03

Great thanks! Post office I will go.

Does anyone know what the A1 does in Italy, in the Val Gardena area, or do I need to find another sim for Italy?

I've been trying my best to read German/Austrian...... but I can't figure it out yet!

Thanks again.
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 28-11-2012, 21:34

Quote:
Originally Posted by madducks View Post
Does anyone know what the A1 does in Italy, in the Val Gardena area, or do I need to find another sim for Italy?
I don't know for sure. I normally have my phone set to not roam because I don't want any billing shocks. When I've been near the Italian border, for example west of Vent, and scanned for available networks I've seen Italian ones like Tim and 3 on offer. But I've never actually tried to connect.

If your concern is to be able to summon help in case of emergency, you can place calls to 112 (same as 911 in NA) without the need for a SIM. There are also special numbers like alpine rescue (Bergrettung) 140, police 133 and ambulance 144. I don't know if they also work without a SIM. In any case if you call 112 and explain the nature of your emergency they will connect you to the proper first responder group.

Quote:
I've been trying my best to read German/Austrian...... but I can't figure it out yet!
Google's Chrome web browser for Windows has very good language translation built-in. You can set it up so that it will detect German (and Italian) language pages and automatically translate them into English. Unfortunately the version for Android lacks this feature.


Phones: OnePlus 5 • Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo • AT A1-B.free
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madducks (Offline)
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Default 28-11-2012, 23:13

Thanks for the emergency numbers. Does the 140, 133 and 144 work all over Austria? And does it work in Italy too? or the 112?

I'm not too worried about the data working, but is is nice to have in an app that I have that helps you find your friends you are skiing with and shows us all where we are. (Nice app, it tracks your skiing on a map and will locate where your friends are too. The tracking works without data, but not the friend location feature (obviously..)

On the phone/sim part though, it would be nice to not have to buy 2 sims, one for Austria and one for Italy.

I know that the 3 exists in both Austria and Italy. I was wondering if A1 might have some agreement with some provider in Italy, like Wind or something.

Thanks.
   
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