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Prepaid SIM - France

Prepaid SIM - France

Old Nov 25, 2013, 8:21 am
  #61  
 
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Ummm I would have thought 200MB might not get you very far when used for google maps. That lasted me hardly any time at all when not doing anything too complicated on googlemaps in the US. For maps my experience is that it's best to think in GB not mb. You could save data usage while you're in France by pre-loading Googlemaps for the area you need though.

If Lycamobile allows tethering or you plan to use just on phone, the deal mentioned by other poster above looks good. I believe Orange has similar deals but possibly only for plans so you might need a French bank account to acccess.
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Old Dec 7, 2013, 11:02 am
  #62  
 
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good european sim card

I had a very good experience with this one
http://www.telestial.com/
I don't think it is the cheapest, but I
1) wanted to be able to try it out before I went
2) have decent customer service

They give you an european number and a USA number
SIM card worked great with my unlocked GSM Iphone
Had decent reception (worked on orange network)
Could order online and get it by mail
Customer service was very fast and helpful (me being an idiot, not anything wrong with them)
Texts and phone calls worked pretty well- very mountainous region and I did not have any dropped calls or missed txts - once lost reception but nobody else had mobile reception there either

Very glad I did not try to buy one in Monte Carlo - very easy to buy diamonds and expensive meals, not so easy to find anything normal like sim cards or chapstick. Phone works here also, though not cheaply, so in pinch it is quite handy.
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Old Feb 10, 2014, 6:58 pm
  #63  
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Orange has a product separate from their regular Mobicarte.

It's called Let's Go and the SIM costs 8 Euro and you can top up with 1 GB for 7 days for 10 Euro or 2 GB over 30 days for 20 Euro.

Heard though that it doesn't activate for 24 hours and while it allows tethering, it prevents VOIP apps and P2P data.
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Old Feb 11, 2014, 11:34 am
  #64  
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From what I can tell on their website, Let's Go is a postpaid plan that involves a contract.
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Old Feb 11, 2014, 1:26 pm
  #65  
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It's not a contract from other reports I've heard:

http://oneeyeddog.wordpress.com/2011...arte-payg-sim/

http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/France

Problem for Americans is that you can't use your credit card to top up online and the Lets Go SIM and top up vouchers are not as widely available in some shops (including tabacs and other stores) as the Mobicarte products.
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Old Feb 12, 2014, 3:31 am
  #66  
 
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That was one of the bigger problems I had when I was there. I couldn't top up online, and while a lot of ATMs can top up your card directly, it would always give an error with US credit/debit cards. I usually ended up paying cash for all my recharges at tabacs, and the people running the tabacs weren't always familiar with the plans (which I can't blame them, they change all the time), so it also took a little bit of explaining which recharge I wanted exactly.
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Old Apr 5, 2014, 5:36 pm
  #67  
 
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orange Mobicarte SIM

I read a lot of “you have to wait 48 hours!” and “you have to provide your passport” warnings, so I thought it might be useful to document my experience, which was reasonably straightforward and not too pricey.

At a Paris train station, I purchased an orange SIM card branded by “Mobicarte” for 10 euros cash. The cashier asked “iPhone 4 or 5” which is shorthand for “micro SIM” or “nano SIM”. Anyway, the SIM was hanging behind the counter and is sold in a sealed 5” X 3” plastic pack. You need a knife or scissors to open the package. The SIM includes 5 euros phone credit.

The SIM seemed to work immediately, but It took about 15 minutes for an SMS that told me I was ready to go. For data, I went back to the store and purchased “Les recharges internet mobile” for 10 euros cash. This was good for 500MB of data. What you’re actually purchasing is a cash register receipt with a unique 14 digit code near the top.

To enter the recharge code:
One the phone, dial #123#
Then select “recharger” (3)
Then “Par ticket mobicarte” (1)
Then “continuer” (1)
Then enter the 14 digit code on the reciept.

I used the card for a week and it was fine. However:
- Tethering is disabled
- The card will only work for 30 days without being registered. Registration requires ID, going to a store, etc.
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Old Apr 5, 2014, 5:48 pm
  #68  
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You didn't seek out the Lets Go SIM?
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Old Apr 5, 2014, 6:08 pm
  #69  
 
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Let's Go would have been a better fit for my needs / length of stay. But with all of the discussion above (contract? 24 hour wait?) I thought I'd go with Mobicarte instead.
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Old Apr 5, 2014, 9:24 pm
  #70  
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No contract but the 20 Euro top up would have gotten you 2 GB of data over 30 days.

But the SIM apparently isn't that widely sold, while the recharges are at all the tabacs and so forth.
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Old Apr 14, 2014, 1:44 am
  #71  
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Well I did end up getting a Lets Go SIM in Ajaccio, Corsica, from one of the few Orange shops on the island.

Activation was instant including the 20€ top off, giving me 2 GB over 30 days.

Speeds and coverage in the main towns are good. Some deserted roads between towns, up in the mountains, didn't have coverage but that didn't affect navigation with Google Maps on the iPhone. Kind of took a chance and didn't pack my Garmin, even though I wasn't sure I'd be able to get the data bundle, which is better than anything else in France to use a lot of mobile data.

It's not as generous as TIM, which would get you 5 or 10 GB for about the same money but it's okay for France.

Maybe when they end roaming charges within the EU after 2015 as proposed, I could just use my TIM package.

Two GB is more than enough for GPS use but I also used it in some hotels, where wifi download speeds are under 1 Mbps.
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 10:49 am
  #72  
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There aren't any prepaid products offering LTE access. However, it may be possible to sign onto a rolling contract for a month and cancel:

4G LTEEdit
Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Free Mobile have mostly rolled out their 4G LTE networks and they have mostly nationwide coverage. Orange and SFR do not allow access to their new 4G LTE networks to prepaid customers, however they all offer rolling contracts which can be cancelled at free will. They all use standard European LTE bands (800 MHz and 2600 MHz) however Bouygues was recently granted permission to "refarm" it's 1800 MHz 2G network into a 4G LTE network. This frequency enables iPhone 5 and iPad mini/iPad 4 owners access to the 4G network since the iPhone 5 only contains 1800 MHz European LTE bands.
http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/France

So I see these plans "sans engagement" offered by Orange. Not clear if tethering is allowed or not.

http://sites.orange.fr/shop/forfaits...o_tablette.php

Anyone look into LTE bundles/plans at all?
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 11:06 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by wco81
There aren't any prepaid products offering LTE access. However, it may be possible to sign onto a rolling contract for a month and cancel:
A French bank account is usually required to sign up for these contracts. "Sans engagement" merely means you're not locked into a long-term contract. The payments are normally withdrawn automatically from your French bank account, and you need to resign the contract formally via registered letter, etc.

"Prepaid" is what most short-term visitors should look for as it does not require a French bank account and all you need to do at the end is simply let it expire.

Last edited by iff; Aug 5, 2014 at 11:13 am
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Old Aug 5, 2014, 1:21 pm
  #74  
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I suspected as much:

This is another option though, but kind of steep for the amount of data you get:

As of Dec 2013, Bouygues offers a prepaid package called Formule 24/24. For €35, you get 2GB of 4G, unlimited calls and texts, and 10€ of included credit which can be used for international calling. Available at Bouygues stores, no French bank account or RIB required. US credit card works fine. On my iPhone 5S, the 4G was faster than the wifi at my apartment or workplace.
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Old Aug 11, 2014, 1:44 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by NYTA
Whatever you do, don't use SFR. Total disaster - bad service - agents in store who don't know anything - phone agents who know less. Data "service" doesn't include email on iphone.
+ 1 SFR

I'd beware of Orange too if just visiting. I spent a fortune trying to get through to Orange customer service for help last year. Orange sent a product with a SIM card that was connected to a number that was already allocated to somebody else. So the product was incorrectly sent and worse - all the reloads of money I put onto the product were rapidly spent by the other person.

I even traveled a long distance to visit an Orange shop to try to get help. The Orange shop didn't really want to bother as the product was bought from the Orange online shop. I explained how much I had spent trying to solve the problem and they then tried to help. They could work out what the problem was, for which I was grateful, but they could not fix it either. After months of trying and probably $100 in calls I had to just give up and lose all the money I had loaded onto the SIM, all the costs of many calls to Orange trying to make the product work, and the travel costs for a 50 mile round trip to the Orange shop. Oh, and the cost I had paid for the product was lost.

If just visiting I'd stick with the lebaras and lycamobiles as advised by the other poster above.

Last edited by h15t0r1an; Aug 11, 2014 at 2:12 pm
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