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Prepaid SIM - France

Prepaid SIM - France

Old Aug 11, 2014, 7:42 pm
  #76  
iff
 
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Originally Posted by h15t0r1an
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.
Actually, the last Orange SIM I bought was registered to someone else, too. I had bought it in one of their stores and returned there the following day after I discovered the problem. Unfortunately, the manager was the only one who could process the exchange and she was out of the store until the end of the week. I wasn't happy with the inconvenience, but at least I lived in the neighborhood; if I'd been a tourist passing through, it would have been worse!

Your post is also a good reminder that many, if not most, calls to tech support or customer service in France have a per-minute charge that can add up very quickly, especially if you have to spend a long time on hold.
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Old Aug 12, 2014, 8:38 am
  #77  
 
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No two travelers are alike, but I can tell you my current opinion is that I would just use a Toggle Mobile SIM for France. The data pack is competitive, voice seems cheaper, and I don't have to screw with all of these issues when I get there.

As others have pointed out, Toggle is sometimes a difficult company to work with and you need to manually shut the plan off when you are done. Additionally, if you crosss the package limit you go to their regular rate and it appears that you might not get notice.

Conversely, if you wander over the border and correctly set your roaming profile up for that country, you can use use everything at the same rate in the UK, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 7:23 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by boberonicus
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.
I will add my experience from last month as well that the Mobicarte option was very smooth and pain-free for me as well. There was an Orange store within a five-minute walk of where we were staying in central Paris; aside from finding the store closed three times before realizing it had moved one block away, everything went fine in store.

I wrote down the French phrases upthread, but the young worker spoke English fine. He not only activated the SIM and made sure it was working, I also ordered the 500MB data package and he did the procedure just as above to activate that before I left the store as well. I did go at a busy time of day, but once called my transaction was done in less than 10 minutes.

Although my intent was to do this at the beginning of my trip, I didn't do it until the 2nd to last day, and really for my wife who lost her passport, phone and other travel documents, and had to stay back in Paris for another week before she could fly. It was a godsend to have both a local phone number, text messaging, and mobile data and maps with a backup iPhone I'd brought on the trip, so that we could be in immediate contact at all times while we were 5000 miles apart trying to get her back home.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 8:52 pm
  #79  
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So Orange offers these "sans engagement" bundles for tablets:

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

They supposedly include LTE and it appears they have LTE up in most of the bigger cities.

Of course you need a device with LTE bands for Europe, such as the iPad Air and iPad Mini Retina.

But it's not clear if the Lets Go plan includes tethering. No point in getting 12 GB of data for your iPad if you can't tether other devices to it.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 10:00 pm
  #80  
 
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Something I should point out that a lot of people probably don't recognize: Orange service also allows you to use any Orange WiFi hotspot in France on any device. They're not everywhere, but I found them in a lot of restaurants, hotels, public places, and even some apartments. You may not need tethering as much as you think you do, if you need it at all, with Orange WiFi. With the prepaid Mobicarte, the 500MB/10EUR/14 day data package, and Orange WiFi access included, I was very satisfied with their service for four months in France.
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Old Aug 19, 2014, 10:14 pm
  #81  
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Generally though, mobile data connections are more secure than public Wifi hotspots.

The mobicarte would be a good choice if you need voice and texting but for mainly data, Lets Go seem like a better option.
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Old Aug 20, 2014, 2:14 am
  #82  
iff
 
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Originally Posted by wco81
But it's not clear if the Lets Go plan includes tethering.
Yes, it does. "Usage modem" = tethering.
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Old Aug 20, 2014, 10:12 am
  #83  
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Hmm, didn't notice that before.

But what do they call the tethering or "Personal Hotspot" (iOS) feature in French?
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Old Aug 20, 2014, 10:26 am
  #84  
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Originally Posted by wco81
Hmm, didn't notice that before.

But what do they call the tethering or "Personal Hotspot" (iOS) feature in French?
I'm not familiar with iOS, but if I understand your question correctly, it's partage de connexion or partage internet.
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Old Aug 20, 2014, 10:35 am
  #85  
 
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Originally Posted by wco81
Hmm, didn't notice that before.

But what do they call the tethering or "Personal Hotspot" (iOS) feature in French?
My guess would be hotspot personnel or hotspot perso.
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Old Aug 21, 2014, 8:29 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by ajGoes
My guess would be hotspot personnel or hotspot perso.
A French internet friend has found answers on the SFR site:
Chez SFR, quand on a un smartphone, l'application "MultiSurf Modem" permet de faire du partage de connexion internet avec 5 appareils compatibles WiFi (ordinateur, tablettes, console de jeu...). Le smartphone servant de point d'accès WiFi.
The second bolded phrase, point d'accès WiFi, means "wifi hotspot". The first means "internet connection sharing".
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Old Aug 21, 2014, 8:32 pm
  #87  
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Thanks, makes sense.

Thought there would be like a name or something.

"Personal Hotspot" may be a trademarked name rather than a generic description of a feature.
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Old Aug 25, 2014, 3:04 pm
  #88  
 
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Tried to buy a nano sim at the Orange stores near Opera station. No luck as they said they no longer carry them. Each store said to try the other one :-(

Found a Bouygues Telecom store nearby and got setup on the Tourist plan. 19.99 EUR for unlimited france calling/SMS, 300MB data and 12 mins international calling (good for telling people you arrived safely). Additional 300MB plans are 10 EUR.

They also have a new 2 day sim card good for only 2 days but 2GB of data for 20 EUR.
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Old Aug 27, 2014, 2:43 pm
  #89  
 
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I am french, but live abroad and tethering on my iphone5s is a must for working from my laptop on the 2x monthly visits i have in the country. I tried Orange and SFR prepaid in 2013, but tethering was disabled and was told later that you can only unlock it with a monthly plan. In may 2014 i tried Lycamobile which apparently enables the personal hotspot function. But i was unable to get any data transferred with my laptop connected to the personal hotspot.
In 2 days i have to be again in france for a month and have to find a solution that works on prepaid.
Most wifi hotspots from orange or SFR are lowspeed, fine for e-mail but not for hires pictures upload and download that i need.
I have not tried the USB 3G modems found on the market, but read that they sometimes are not working on OSX.
If someone can enlighten me with a prepaid service that allows something like 10 kbs download and 2 kbs upload and tethering i want to know. This is more a less a standard here in SE Asia and i found lebara working fine in Denmark with specs like this.
But i am not sure lebara denmark is the same as lebara france, thinking about how Lycamobile worked for me in France regarding tethering.
It is a hassle to work in france on the www, some countries like cambodia give you a sim card for 1$ and a data plan for 1$ and it works and it is fast.
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Old Sep 1, 2014, 4:36 am
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by nicobkk
I am french, but live abroad and tethering on my iphone5s is a must for working from my laptop on the 2x monthly visits i have in the country. I tried Orange and SFR prepaid in 2013, but tethering was disabled and was told later that you can only unlock it with a monthly plan. In may 2014 i tried Lycamobile which apparently enables the personal hotspot function. But i was unable to get any data transferred with my laptop connected to the personal hotspot.
In 2 days i have to be again in france for a month and have to find a solution that works on prepaid.
Most wifi hotspots from orange or SFR are lowspeed, fine for e-mail but not for hires pictures upload and download that i need.
I have not tried the USB 3G modems found on the market, but read that they sometimes are not working on OSX.
If someone can enlighten me with a prepaid service that allows something like 10 kbs download and 2 kbs upload and tethering i want to know. This is more a less a standard here in SE Asia and i found lebara working fine in Denmark with specs like this.
But i am not sure lebara denmark is the same as lebara france, thinking about how Lycamobile worked for me in France regarding tethering.
It is a hassle to work in france on the www, some countries like cambodia give you a sim card for 1$ and a data plan for 1$ and it works and it is fast.
nicobkk do you still have a French bank account? if so then there is one obvious choice for your travel pattern...
h15t0r1an is offline  

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