Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Europe > France and Monaco
Reload this Page >

Sim card France, Italy, Switzerland help

Sim card France, Italy, Switzerland help

Old May 7, 17, 8:55 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 45
Sim card France, Italy, Switzerland help

Ok, I have spent hours researching this including flyertalk research. It is really clear as mud to me. Here are what I think are my options. I have an unlocked US Verizon Iphone 6. I am spending 2 weeks in France starting in Paris, 1 week in Italy and 1 week in Switzerland starting June 7th 2017.

1. Buy the international plan from Verizon, $40/month, because my month starts the 17th of the month it would cost $80. Downside is almost no data.

2. Orange mobile tourist package sim card 39euros for 2 weeks. I would need 4 weeks so 78 euros. Decent data package.

3. ? French mobile company called "Free Mobile". (not free). They have a french only website. They have the best rates but I am not sure if I need a french bank card/ address to sign up and I do not know if it will work in Italy/Switzerland. They do have a store near my first hotel in Paris Opera district.

Thanks for any advice in advance.
wormtail is offline  
Old May 7, 17, 9:38 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Paris, France
Programs: United, TAP Victoria, AVIOS
Posts: 458
I assume your Verizon iPhone accepts a GSM SIM as Verizon itself uses the CDMA protocol.

1. Usually the US company plans are fine in Europe for light use but $80 is, in my opinion, outrageously expensive.

2. Orange has a number of different plans depending upon your needs which you have not really expressed. Are you trying to keep in touch or are you planning to use a serious amount of data?

3. I have FREE service but unless you are referring to a pre paid plan, you will indeed need a French bank account and possibly a 12 month commitment.

Once you purchase a GSM SIM for your phone, it will work anywhere in the world. The problem will be recharging your SIM or adding credit to your account once you leave the country from which the SIM was purchased. You generally can recharge your SIM on line as long as the service provider accepts your credit card and therein lies the problem. French companies are very reluctant to accept foreign credit cards for on line payments.

You could also check at an Orange or Bouygue boutique upon you arrival in France (SFR service is very spotting outside of big cities.)
Tamino is offline  
Old May 7, 17, 11:50 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 45
Thanks for the response. I have an IPhone 6 CDMA/Verizon/A1549 which is unlocked. I am new at this and do not know if it accepts a GSM Sim card.

According to my phone call with Verizon if my above phone is unlocked it will accept a GSM Sim card.

I agree that the Verizon international plan is expensive and I would like at least 1 GB of data. Verizon offers 0.1 GB.

I'm looking for a 1 month prepaid voice, text, and 1 GB of data.

So far it looks like going to Orange or Bouygue Boutique when I get there is my best option.
wormtail is offline  
Old May 7, 17, 11:18 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 3,654
While I haven't gone back to research this again, here are my thoughts based on the several times I did in the past.

1. As suggested upthread, figure out your needs. Do you want a lot of data to use Google maps to get around? Are you just looking for a way to make calls, plus use data from time-to-time?

2. For $10 a day, Verizon let's you have data basically on the same basis as your plan in US. Problems are: Calls aren't free, data is pretty slow, $10 a day.

3. Orange is pretty good, and they now have English phone help and web pages. Lots of shops in Paris but lines are often painfully long, and it may well turn out they speak little or no English.

If it were me, I'd figure out what you need, then hit the Orange website to see what they have that fits your bill. Then continue with Orange site or call to see how/if they'll give you a SIM card if you walk into a Paris Orange shop. If that's all a go, write down the specific product of theirs you want to buy (preferably in French and English), then at the shop show them your list.

Another alternative is to go to T-Mobile in the US and sign-up for a plan of theirs. They basically give you most of the $10 a day plan for nothing extra. If you could find a plan that lets you cancel after you get back, you'd be set. Check that T-Mobile SIM works in an unlocked Verizon phone.

Update: This may have some promise if the SIM works in your phone and if you have or can get what they require to sell it to you:

https://boutique.orange.fr/mobile/ca...ge-holiday-eng

Last edited by Mountain Trader; May 8, 17 at 12:09 am
Mountain Trader is offline  
Old May 8, 17, 1:22 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,228
Originally Posted by Mountain Trader View Post
This offer IMO targets French customers. At 40€ it is surprisingly expensive. For usage in France, I recommend a mobicarte (prepaid) and charging it adequately if you want to use Orange.

You can get unlimited calls and texts and 400MB for 10 days for 10€ (+the sim card ~5€). If you want 2GB, you'll have to pay 20€. Data only is available too. 500MB for 5€ and 1GB for 10€.

The overview of the different mobicarte offers is here: https://boutique.orange.fr/mobile/recharges-mobicarte
WorldLux is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 1:01 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 3,654
See post that follows.
Mountain Trader is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 1:02 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 3,654
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
This offer IMO targets French customers. At 40€ it is surprisingly expensive. For usage in France, I recommend a mobicarte (prepaid) and charging it adequately if you want to use Orange.

You can get unlimited calls and texts and 400MB for 10 days for 10€ (+the sim card ~5€). If you want 2GB, you'll have to pay 20€. Data only is available too. 500MB for 5€ and 1GB for 10€.

The overview of the different mobicarte offers is here: https://boutique.orange.fr/mobile/recharges-mobicarte
Looks like to have calls in Italy and Switzerland as OP seeks, you have to get the Holiday card. Maybe not, but OP can sort through various cards to get a match to his/her needs.
Mountain Trader is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 10:21 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,228
Originally Posted by Mountain Trader View Post
Looks like to have calls in Italy and Switzerland as OP seeks, you have to get the Holiday card. Maybe not, but OP can sort through various cards to get a match to his/her needs.
True. But at 40/2 weeks, he's probably better off getting separate SIM cards in each country. I presume that OP will need data + a tiny amount of coms and in that case the Orange Holiday pack is IMO inadequate.

It seems to have a much greater value to French residents traveling in Europe for 2 weeks. That said, most French residents have coms and data within Europe in their postpaid offers anyway.
WorldLux is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 1:55 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: FRA
Programs: AF/KLM FB Silver, AccorHotels Gold
Posts: 339
For what its worth, mobile roaming is pretty much banished as of this year. So if you have a SIM card from a carrier in one EU country, using it in another EU country will be just as if you were at home.

Example: I have a prepaid Vodafone.de SIM card/phone number. When I travel to Italy or France, I utilise the minutes/data as if I were in DE with no roaming charges.
mlin32 is online now  
Old May 9, 17, 2:04 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Programs: LH SEN; BA Gold
Posts: 8,228
Originally Posted by mlin32 View Post
Example: I have a prepaid Vodafone.de SIM card/phone number. When I travel to Italy or France, I utilise the minutes/data as if I were in DE with no roaming charges.
Careful with that statement. My provider informed me that most offers can be used in the rest of the EU as well, but warned that the basic offer will remain blocked to a country.

My second provider hasn't released any information yet.
WorldLux is offline  
Old May 9, 17, 2:20 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: FRA
Programs: AF/KLM FB Silver, AccorHotels Gold
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
Careful with that statement. My provider informed me that most offers can be used in the rest of the EU as well, but warned that the basic offer will remain blocked to a country.

My second provider hasn't released any information yet.
There are still some caveats, but I know that the prepaid Vodafone.de I used worked fine without roaming charges........at least the 500 Mo data plan I bought. I made a call as well but that was deducted from my balance at the domestic standard rate so no roaming there either.
mlin32 is online now  
Old May 9, 17, 4:52 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Denver CO
Posts: 3,654
Originally Posted by WorldLux View Post
True. But at 40€/2 weeks, he's probably better off getting separate SIM cards in each country. I presume that OP will need data + a tiny amount of coms and in that case the Orange Holiday pack is IMO inadequate.

It seems to have a much greater value to French residents traveling in Europe for 2 weeks. That said, most French residents have coms and data within Europe in their postpaid offers anyway.
To save the most money, maybe. Going around and wasting time buying SIM cards in two other countries to save-what $15?

People spend thousands in one currency or another to take a trip to Europe. Why waste an hour or two of precious vacation time for buttons.
Mountain Trader is offline  
Old May 10, 17, 6:03 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 45
OP here

OP here. Thanks for all the helpful advice. The Orange holiday sim card is 2 weeks, 1GB, lots of calls and texts for 39 euro. Of course I need 4 weeks. However one can get a second 2 weeks for 20 euro but only 0.5 GB. This will cover my 3 countries so for $65 I am covered.

This is much better than the Verizon international plan, $40 a month, I would need 2 months, $80, with almost no data, 0.1 GB
wormtail is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread