Travel Technology - iPad data access in Germany and France?
Nov 6, 11, 3:58 pm
Does anyone have any experience with buying an iPad 3G in the US and using local data access for Germany or France, either a short-term plan like the US one-month deals or a pay-as-you-go deal?
I have time, an address, and the ability to negotiate this in France, but less access (and no German) in Germany. Oh, and the iPad is still just an object of desire at this point. But I will need internet next summer in an area of Germany where access is slow and expensive.
There's some info here (http://ipadsimcards.com/) and here (http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1925677) but I'm still a bit confused--it sounds as though many phone sales people are confused, too.
Nov 6, 11, 4:25 pm
An area where internet access is slow and expensive? Where would that be? And in those areas you choose to rather rely on mobile phone service?
Ah well: prepaid cards are available from all the providers. Telekom, Vodafone or O2 are working well, I'm with Telekom and their customer service is reliable. Stay away from Eplus or any of the small carriers that supermarkets sell. Eplus for one is reliable in the city only, from what you're saying that won't be the case. The larger providers have information available in English on their website.
Is that helping any? IM me if you need more info.
Nov 7, 11, 10:53 am
Thanks for answering, PS, I'll be at Bayreuth. For phone service I assume my old French phone (on Orange) will work there. But I'm asking about the iPad because I'll need to write, hotels reportedly have slow and expensive WiFi, and I hope not to haul a laptop everywhere.
So my question is specific to iPad, not mobile phone -- don't think Eplus and its ilk would even have iPad micro Sims. In the US one can pay for a month of 3G service at a time; has anyone here done this in France or Germany with an iPad bought in the US?
Nov 7, 11, 1:53 pm
So my question is specific to iPad, not mobile phone -- don't think Eplus and its ilk would even have iPad micro Sims.
1) Get a regular SIM
2) Get a SIM cutter
3) Cut SIM
4) Insert what is now a micro-SIM in ipad
Nov 7, 11, 2:12 pm
I have used a US purchased iPad in Germany with a prepaid micro sim from Fonic.
This link describes the tariff as a data flat rate (e2.50/day):
This link describes Fonic's max cost per month as e25. Basically if you use the daily flat for 10 days (in a calendar month) you're getting the rest of the month for free.
(sorry about the German...).
Keep in mind that you have to prepay the sim (and you can't do that from the iPad since you're not connected without money on the sim). I used another computer to access my account, load credit and was ready to go.
nfi in Fonic - another example is blau.de:
Hope this helps.
Nov 7, 11, 2:47 pm
Typing this from my iPad in Berlin. While in MUC, popped my head in a T-Mobile store and bought a microsim prepaid package, around €35 for a month of data (capped at 5GB I think). It's been super fast, even in remote locations on the train up to Berlin.
I know there are cheaper options (blau.de) but stopping in to T-mobile for the monthly prepaid package couldn't have been easier -- the salesman just needed my passport and about 5 minutes to activate, and I was good to go.
Nov 7, 11, 2:59 pm
SFR in France has iPad SIM sans engagement.
Google Translate version
I have previously used Vodafone paynow SIM in Germany that I cut down to iPad size but I went too long without using /recharging it so in October I tried something different and got an ALDItalk SIM at ALDI's in Stuttgart for my unlocked and rooted Android Phone and used it as a hotspot when I needed the iPad and there was no WiFi.
ALDItalk uses the e-plus network and can use e-plus topup vouchers. The instructions are all in German and require an online registration which is also in German. I used my Hotel's free WiFi in the lobby to register at:
and went and asked the front desk clerk when I got an error message that exceeded my language or google translate capabilities. Card was active within 1 hour of completing the registration. You have to choose a tariff on the phone ( pay per use, 1 day flatrate or 30 day flatrate), using either a menu or selecting a different APN ( for the 1.99 euro per day plan). I don't know how you would access the # menu from a cut down SIM on an iPad if you didn't have a phone to use for the menu It all worked but was semi-nerve wracking and it is much easier to go to a Vodafone, BASE (e-plus) or T-Mobile store and have them set everything up for you but is also more expensive. The upside was that I could use my phone there without buying 2 SIM cards, one for phone and one for iPad.
Are the iPad plans more or less than the other prepaid data plans?
Wonder if there's an app. to let you register and select the types of plans.
I've heard the Lidl stores have a good prepaid data package in Germany.
Also, I think there may be adapters for putting micro SIMs into full SIM slot, so you can use in any kind of device.
Nov 8, 11, 4:11 pm
Some very interesting info here, thank you all. Think I'll stop into a phone store when I'm in Germany next month and ask some questions.