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3G/4G London/Paris network-compatible SIM Card rental?

3G/4G London/Paris network-compatible SIM Card rental?

Old Jul 22, 17, 9:48 pm
  #1  
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Question 3G/4G London/Paris network-compatible SIM Card rental?

After extensive searches, particularly on Virgin Mobile's websites and even calling T-Mobile, I haven't been able to figure out how to achieve a goal as it pertains to using me and my wife's Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphones in London and Paris. We'll have little to no use for texting and potentially some use for calling (mainly between phones in case we have to split up for whatever reason), but we'll mostly be relying on any available 4G or 3G wireless Internet data service in the two cities. This will primarily be for the purposes of navigation (I.e., Google Maps).

To that end, I'm trying to avoid paying too much for data (for example, 1-2gigs shared between the two cards for $20-$30 is my limit). I'm also trying to avoid having to change SIM cards once we're in Paris.

Ideally, we'd either:
  1. Have rental SIMs or actual smart phones mailed to our residence in Los Angeles
  2. Pick up rental SIMs or actual smart phones at LHR with the option to return them at CDG
  3. If just renting SIM cards, have the ability to drop them in a mailbox in their return if they have to go back to London (if that's where we got them from)

I'd prefer to rent rather than buy SIM cards, but it's okay if that's not an option. Since we're only in London for 7 days and Paris for 3, it seems pre-paid will make the most sense. SIM cards make more sense than International Roaming on our permanent carrier (Verizon) because we assume it's expensive, our US-based phones will likely require that we dial extra numbers to facilitate international calling in spite of the fact that we're actually in the country that we're calling and concerns of trying to use a US-based SIM card in France and the United Kingdom.

When we went to Japan last year, it was as simple as picking up the rental SIM cards at the airport and then dropping it them back in the mail when we were done. Installing them and booting up our phones on the NTT DoCoMo network proved trouble-free, so I'm looking to achieve the same sort of seamless experience while in Europe

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Last edited by dlombard; Jul 22, 17 at 10:38 pm
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Old Jul 23, 17, 4:19 am
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The first thing you should do is check with Verizon how much an international roaming add on would cost you rather than just assume it will be expensive.

It could be a lot cheaper - and more convenient - than you think. There are caps on roaming charges in the EU area though I'm not sure if it applies to non EU based plans.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by dlombard View Post

SIM cards make more sense than International Roaming on our permanent carrier (Verizon) because we assume it's expensive, our US-based phones will likely require that we dial extra numbers to facilitate international calling in spite of the fact that we're actually in the country that we're calling and concerns of trying to use a US-based SIM card in France and the United Kingdom.


Thank you!
You really making this much harder than it is or needs to be.
A modicum of basic research would inform - and not assume - that you can pay $10 per day with Verizon and use your currently monthly calling and data allowances while in France and UK.
Better value is to buy a pre-paid SIM ... myriad options. Renting one makes no sense.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-i...countries.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-i...m-card-uk.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/u-k-i...-heathrow.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/europ...paid-sims.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...i-country.html
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Old Jul 23, 17, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by UAPremExecflyer View Post
You really making this much harder than it is or needs to be.
A modicum of basic research would inform - and not assume - that you can pay $10 per day with Verizon and use your currently monthly calling and data allowances while in France and UK.
I believe Verizon still has a monthly deal for about $40 too, which is usually better than the $10 day. Still may be cheaper to buy a SIM though.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
I believe Verizon still has a monthly deal for about $40 too, which is usually better than the $10 day. Still may be cheaper to buy a SIM though.
True. Another option.
Buying a pre-paid SIM is going to be the best option in terms of pricing and data coverage and calling rates.
If the OP undertook the most basic research e.g. "buy UK SIM in USA" or "where to buy European SIM in USA" he/she would be ahead.
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Old Jul 23, 17, 7:44 pm
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I did that, and I wasn't impressed by the options. I was just wondering if there was anything anyone was doing already but if most people are just willing to eat whatever the International data roaming charges are from Verizon because the alternatives are so much more expensive, then I guess we'll just do that then.
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Old Jul 24, 17, 3:54 am
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There's a similar thread here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/europ...paid-sims.html
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Old Jul 24, 17, 4:22 am
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Originally Posted by farci View Post
I linked to that thread in post #3
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Old Jul 30, 17, 6:20 am
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Also of note that there are no roaming charges between EU countries. So if you get a plan in either France or UK it will work with no issues when crossing borders.

Also, don't worry about voice and just download Whatsapp like most of us in Europe (probably best to activate on your European number). If you happen to meet any new friends, it's the most common way to keep in touch here, too and is free across all borders.
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Old Aug 2, 17, 10:06 am
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So, for a ten day trip, Verizon will want $100 per phone, which is ridiculous, so I did so more digging and it looks like this is the cheapest option that doesn't seem shady:

https://www.amazon.com/OneSimCard-Da.../dp/B01HSH3A0E

Anyone use this card successfully for data in the UK/France?

Everything else is north of $40 per card unless you want to pay 15c/MB (which makes 2GB cost $300!) so unless this just doesn't work, that card will likely be the route I go. The alternative is services like Orange and a couple others I found on TripAdvisor that are, similarly, overpriced.
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Old Aug 2, 17, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by dlombard View Post
So, for a ten day trip, Verizon will want $100 per phone, which is ridiculous....
That's if you get the $10/day plan. If you get the International Travel 100 Talk, Text and Data plan you pay $40 per phone. You only get 100 MB per phone, but that can be plenty if you manage it carefully. It's more than enough for navigation; just make sure you turn off background syncing and any other data hogs and don't use Facebook or watch videos when you aren't connected to wifi.
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