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Prepaid SIM - France

Prepaid SIM - France

Old Aug 10, 2013, 4:16 pm
  #46  
iff
 
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Originally Posted by Landing Gear
Very interesting. What is the selling point of Bouygues over Orange and SFR? (You mentioned your personal issue with reception in your apartment.)

All my French friends have always warned me away from Bouygues.
Bouygues is actually supposed to have excellent customer service, though I've never had to use it. I think that along with their lower pricing makes them attractive to people on a budget.

Just curious--do your friends who warn you away from Bouygues have any experience with them or are they just doing so because they heard from someone somewhere that they should be avoided? What reason do they give for advising people to stay away?

I have nothing against Orange; however, they're the most expensive operator.

Getting back to the previous topic, for someone who's going to be in France for a while and have a local bank account, there are some attractive mobile plan options available for around 19.99/month or less; unfortunately, tourists generally aren't able to take advantage of them.

Originally Posted by BigFlyer
A quick look at their website shows that they have the same plan that Joe started and Virgin Mobile adopted - the unlimited calls (including US), SMS, MMS, and 3 GB of data. All for 20 EUR (or 19.99). It appears to be a trend.
Free started that trend last year when they shook up the French mobile market and other operators were pretty much forced to follow suit, to the great joy of local consumers.
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Old Aug 10, 2013, 7:14 pm
  #47  
 
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For those of you that can solve the French bank account or card problem, some English friends living in France advised you could take a look at the website sosh dot fr. Apparently it's a "low-cost package" arm of orange.

3 points particularly worthy of note

- unlimited voice starts at 5 euros. Obviously you'll have to check rates for where you dial internationally.
- the key point is that this plan can be cancelled at any time, with 10 days notice, even as soon as it started. Apparently people are taking these contracts if they have short term needs and cancelling quickly and it works.
- if you look at the small print, VOIP e.g. Skype, is OK to use if you take a larger data package. It's unusual for VOIP to be allowed with this type of plan. You could take 3GB data and use some for voice and save taking a voice connection as well if you don't need to make a lot of calls.

As an alternative if your usage mostly fits up to 60 minutes per month voice, free dot fr is apparently available at 2 euros per month for their smallest plan. Within the 1 hour total calls are included not just within France, but also to a number of other European countries and to the US. For a frequent visitor to France who can arrange a bank account for the 2 euros per month charge to land in, this works out to 24 euros per year. You can also do other types of calls or exceed the 60 minutes covered by the 2 euros per month. The SIM will continue to work. You will just be charged the extra that you actually use. This might suit someone who visits France a few times per year but overall is a low user. 24 euros per year would not be not much more than the 20 euro package for just one month many might take otherwise.

Last edited by h15t0r1an; Aug 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm
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Old Aug 11, 2013, 11:44 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by iff
Just curious--do your friends who warn you away from Bouygues have any experience with them or are they just doing so because they heard from someone somewhere that they should be avoided? What reason do they give for advising people to stay away?
Hard to say as the question hasn't come up in quite a while. It's always just been "Bouygues is bad" with a general agreement.

Originally Posted by iff
I have nothing against Orange; however, they're the most expensive operator.

That's why I say again:

Orange = Verizon
SFR = AT&T
Bouygues = T-Mobile

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Old Aug 12, 2013, 10:51 pm
  #49  
 
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I ended up picking Lebara (which is a Bouygues MVNO, not Bouygues itself). They have attractive rates, and they will send me a SIM to the U.S. for free. I had a colleague who used Lebara in where I will be, and she said it worked well. Plus, considering the price, I don't see myself losing much. If it doesn't work for me, I can always use up my credit and switch to Orange.
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 11:54 am
  #50  
 
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I just returned from France....ended up going lefrenchmobile thanks to the input in this thread. They sent me the card via mail prior to my departure. Again, just like with the Orange Mobicarte, I had to send them identification documents to validate the account. As I have an iPhone, I just had to download the APN settings from their website (using my phone) once I arrived in Paris. I used some of the 40 euro card value to get a data bundle in france (500 mb), which was plenty for checking email, google maps, and checking the web in Paris and Northern France. Worked well, in those areas of France. After 2 weeks of moderate use, I still had about 5 euros of voice and about 125 mb of data left. Overall, very pleased. The one caveat is that I would back up your iPhone settings prior to leaving so that it might be easier to restore the iPhone APN settings upon your return (else you might have trouble using cellular data upon your return to the US).
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Old Aug 30, 2013, 12:10 pm
  #51  
 
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How do you get them to send a SIM card to the US for free? Their website says they will send to French residential addresses only.



Originally Posted by char777
I ended up picking Lebara (which is a Bouygues MVNO, not Bouygues itself). They have attractive rates, and they will send me a SIM to the U.S. for free. I had a colleague who used Lebara in where I will be, and she said it worked well. Plus, considering the price, I don't see myself losing much. If it doesn't work for me, I can always use up my credit and switch to Orange.
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Old Aug 31, 2013, 12:59 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by BigFlyer
How do you get them to send a SIM card to the US for free? Their website says they will send to French residential addresses only.
I wrote "Denver, Colorado" in the "City" box. Some people also wrote "USA" in the "State" box from what I've read elsewhere, but I didn't. I think I just left it blank, and it finally submitted my order.

It came pretty quickly, and the envelope was a bit amusing. It said "Denver, Colorado, France" on it but with "France" scratched out with a ballpoint pen.
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Old Sep 3, 2013, 6:08 pm
  #53  
 
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Lycamobile Has New Unlimited Data Deal with Any Top-UP

Prepaid mobile data has always been expensive in France, especially for those without French bank accounts or credit cards from neighboring countries.

Lycamobile has a new offer that seems too good to be true - if you top up at least 5 per month, you get unlimited data. The fine print says that the first 3GB is at 3G speed, then it drops to 2G.

http://www.lycamobile.fr/en/Unlimite...to-Lyca-calls-
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 2:13 pm
  #54  
 
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Interesting info here:

http://www.ausbt.com.au/tech-guide-h...or-your-iphone

"My first piece of advice is this: don't even try.
Getting hold of a SIM that does anything other than simply make calls in France is a giant pain, it's irritatingly expensive, the process needs a passport, you're sometimes required to wait 48 hours for activation, and decent deals aren't available unless you have a French bank account...."
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 2:44 pm
  #55  
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Originally Posted by MareLuce
Interesting info here:

http://www.ausbt.com.au/tech-guide-h...or-your-iphone

"My first piece of advice is this: don't even try.
Getting hold of a SIM that does anything other than simply make calls in France is a giant pain, it's irritatingly expensive, the process needs a passport, you're sometimes required to wait 48 hours for activation, and decent deals aren't available unless you have a French bank account...."
This was not at all my experience. I just showed my passport (lots of countries make you do that) and had a 3G data SIM working in my iPhone 5 minutes later.
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Old Nov 14, 2013, 3:16 pm
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave
This was not at all my experience. I just showed my passport (lots of countries make you do that) and had a 3G data SIM working in my iPhone 5 minutes later.
That was an old report based, I think, on even older information.
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 11:49 am
  #57  
 
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Data SIMs and tethering

Do data SIMs from Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom all allow for tethering?
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 3:48 pm
  #58  
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Originally Posted by MareLuce
Do data SIMs from Orange, SFR, and Bouygues Telecom all allow for tethering?
This site resells an activated SFR SIM that apparently supports tethering:

http://www.holidayphone.com/products...category_id=36
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Old Nov 16, 2013, 4:17 pm
  #59  
 
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Thank you wco81 !
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Old Nov 21, 2013, 1:20 pm
  #60  
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Cheapest SIM card for 200MB of data? I don't care much about voice/text. Just enough to use google maps and some searching so I don't get lost! Most of these above have minutes, which I don't need.

Thanks!
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