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Prepaid SIM - France

Prepaid SIM - France

Old Sep 1, 2014, 10:16 am
  #91  
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I've used the Let's Go SIM from Orange in a Mifi device.

So I'm going to probably try it again in a couple of weeks in my iPad Mini Retina, to see if I can use the Personal Hot Spot or partage de connexion.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 9:51 am
  #92  
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I've read the whole thread, and I'm a bit confused...

Normally European travel (and the SIM issues associated with said travel) are pretty simple.

I was just in Sicily, got a Vodafone SIM, and bam - 2 gig of data and a few hundred minutes of calling. Nano SIM was easy to find (first shop) and - by and large - a flawless experience.

Reading over this thread leads me to believe France won't be so easy...

FWIW, I have an unlocked iPhone 5S (AT&T is my co. back in the states).

According to this site, my phone will work with SIM cards from the following companies and I've put it brackets what my take-away is after scanning this thread:

- Bouygues (spotty coverage but best for data/ease of use & installation)
- Free
- NRJ
- Orange (48 hour wait period for data - but best coverage?)
- SFR (incl. La Poste Mobile) - (a complete mess)

The area I'll need coverage for the majority of my trip (+48 hours in Paris):


Anyone have experience w/ Bouygues in this area of France? If the coverage is good, I'll use them...data is my priority.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 10:15 am
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by pricesquire
I've read the whole thread, and I'm a bit confused...

Normally European travel (and the SIM issues associated with said travel) are pretty simple.

I was just in Sicily, got a Vodafone SIM, and bam - 2 gig of data and a few hundred minutes of calling. Nano SIM was easy to find (first shop) and - by and large - a flawless experience.

Reading over this thread leads me to believe France won't be so easy...

FWIW, I have an unlocked iPhone 5S (AT&T is my co. back in the states).

According to this site, my phone will work with SIM cards from the following companies and I've put it brackets what my take-away is after scanning this thread:

- Bouygues (spotty coverage but best for data/ease of use & installation)
- Free
- NRJ
- Orange (48 hour wait period for data - but best coverage?)
- SFR (incl. La Poste Mobile) - (a complete mess)

The area I'll need coverage for the majority of my trip (+48 hours in Paris):


Anyone have experience w/ Bouygues in this area of France? If the coverage is good, I'll use them...data is my priority.
According to Bouygues's coverage map, your cruise is within their 4g coverage area.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 10:39 am
  #94  
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Originally Posted by ajGoes
According to Bouygues's coverage map, your cruise is within their 4g coverage area.
Thanks ^

I forgot which page of this thread I saw it, but I read Bouygues coverage is spotty even in areas where they show solid 4G coverage.

That said, I'll probably go with them - granted, I need to be able to find them at CDG or in Bordeaux prior to departure.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by pricesquire
Thanks ^

I forgot which page of this thread I saw it, but I read Bouygues coverage is spotty even in areas where they show solid 4G coverage.

That said, I'll probably go with them - granted, I need to be able to find them at CDG or in Bordeaux prior to departure.
I used two Toggle SIMs in Paris. These were on the Bouygues network and coverage was fine there.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 4:07 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by pricesquire
...

- Bouygues (spotty coverage but best for data/ease of use & installation)
- Free
- NRJ
- Orange (48 hour wait period for data - but best coverage?)
- SFR (incl. La Poste Mobile) - (a complete mess)

...data is my priority.
With Orange I had no wait at all for data, it was available immediately, I was very happy with my experience with them and will use them on my next trip - the people in the Orange shops were all very helpful (I don't have a French credit card so I would go into the shops to top up, their shops are literally everywhere, I'd just look for one that didn't have many customers waiting).

I had coverage everywhere I went in France, don't think I ever lost it. Only downside I guess is that they aren't the cheapest, but that wasn't my main consideration.

Keep in mind this thread has posts from August 2012 to the present, so not all the information here still applies.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 4:27 pm
  #97  
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Originally Posted by BadgerBoi
With Orange I had no wait at all for data, it was available immediately, I was very happy with my experience with them and will use them on my next trip - the people in the Orange shops were all very helpful (I don't have a French credit card so I would go into the shops to top up, their shops are literally everywhere, I'd just look for one that didn't have many customers waiting).

I had coverage everywhere I went in France, don't think I ever lost it. Only downside I guess is that they aren't the cheapest, but that wasn't my main consideration.

Keep in mind this thread has posts from August 2012 to the present, so not all the information here still applies.
Good point Re: the old posts on this thread.

FWIW, I'd much rather use Orange. I've used them in both Poland and Romania and the experience was flawless.

I've never heard of the 48 hour hold, which sounds strange...

I'd also like a store that's everywhere, as I'm sort of a data hog and want to be able to top up from any city I may encounter.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 4:41 pm
  #98  
 
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Depending how long you will be in France, you might want to consider using your Vodafone Italia SIM. 3 Euro per day gets you 500 MB of data, 25 incoming minutes, and 25 outgoing minutes:

http://www.vodafone.it/portal/Privat...SMART-Passport


Originally Posted by pricesquire
I've read the whole thread, and I'm a bit confused...

Normally European travel (and the SIM issues associated with said travel) are pretty simple.

I was just in Sicily, got a Vodafone SIM, and bam - 2 gig of data and a few hundred minutes of calling. Nano SIM was easy to find (first shop) and - by and large - a flawless experience.

Reading over this thread leads me to believe France won't be so easy...

FWIW, I have an unlocked iPhone 5S (AT&T is my co. back in the states).

According to this site, my phone will work with SIM cards from the following companies and I've put it brackets what my take-away is after scanning this thread:

- Bouygues (spotty coverage but best for data/ease of use & installation)
- Free
- NRJ
- Orange (48 hour wait period for data - but best coverage?)
- SFR (incl. La Poste Mobile) - (a complete mess)

The area I'll need coverage for the majority of my trip (+48 hours in Paris):


Anyone have experience w/ Bouygues in this area of France? If the coverage is good, I'll use them...data is my priority.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 4:57 pm
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by pricesquire
Good point Re: the old posts on this thread.

FWIW, I'd much rather use Orange. I've used them in both Poland and Romania and the experience was flawless.

I've never heard of the 48 hour hold, which sounds strange...

I'd also like a store that's everywhere, as I'm sort of a data hog and want to be able to top up from any city I may encounter.
ah yes, from memory I also used my SIM card in Finland and Bulgaria, only for a very limited time as I'm always frightened of roaming costs, but again no problem (just depending on vague memories here as it wasn't something that I did for long, nor was roaming a priority for me with that SIM)
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 5:23 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by BadgerBoi
With Orange I had no wait at all for data, it was available immediately, I was very happy with my experience with them and will use them on my next trip - the people in the Orange shops were all very helpful...
+1 on the immediate availability of the data connection.

Regarding customer service, it was mixed. The staff at the Champs-lyses store in Paris was very unhelpful with the initial setup. However, we received outstanding help troubleshooting one of the phones, that started acting up upon returning from Italy, at the Rue de la Rpublique store in Lyon.

Originally Posted by BigFlyer
Depending how long you will be in France, you might want to consider using your Vodafone Italia SIM. 3 Euro per day gets you 500 MB of data, 25 incoming minutes, and 25 outgoing minutes:
I didn't care for Vodafone Italia.

First, there was a three hours lag between signing up and the time that the data service started. By that time, we were a couple of hundred of kilometers from the store where we bought the SIM cards. One of the phones worked and the other didn't. The Vodafone Italia stores at our next stops refused to help.

Secondly, Orange's talk minutes counted the same regardless from where in Europe the call originated and/or whether we called numbers in France, Europe or the United States. The Vodafone Italia minutes ran out after a single five or six minutes call from Italy to the United States.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 5:29 pm
  #101  
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P.S. Ask for the mobicarte holiday.

It features the following:
  • 2 hours to call and 1000 text messages from every European country (see list below) to all international numbers
  • 1GB mobile internet in Mainland France
  • Unlimited connection to Orange Wi-Fi hotspots (in mainland France)

Where can I use my mobicarte holiday out of France ?
Andorra, Azores, Aland islands, Germany, Austria, Balearic islands, Belgium, Canary islands, Cyprus, Corfu (island), Crete, the Cyclades, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madeira, Malta, Isle of Man, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Rhodes (Island), Romania, United Kingdom, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden, Vatican
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 5:44 pm
  #102  
 
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However, the poster who is travelling to France apparently has a functioning Vodafone Italia SIM, so the start up problems will not affect him.

The deal within Italy is not that great. But the roaming Smart Passport is a great deal, and I have used it in a number of European Countries as well as Canada. The 25 minutes per day of outgoing calls are to the US. Canada, and Europe.

VOIP is explicitly allowed. On my recent trip to Canada, when I thought I might be nearing my 25 minute limit, I switched to the new Google Voice VOIP client for calls, and it worked surprisingly well. With 500 MB a day, the VOIP calls are essentially unlimited.

Originally Posted by TWA884
I didn't care for Vodafone Italia.

First, there was a three hours lag between signing up and the time that the data service started. By that time, we were a couple of hundred of kilometers from the store where we bought the SIM cards. One of the phones worked and the other didn't. The Vodafone Italia stores at our next stops refused to help.

Secondly, Orange's talk minutes counted the same regardless from where in Europe the call originated and/or whether we called numbers in France, Europe or the United States. The Vodafone Italia minutes ran out after a single five or six minutes call from Italy to the United States.
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Old Oct 12, 2014, 9:47 pm
  #103  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA884
+1 on the immediate availability of the data connection.

Regarding customer service, it was mixed. The staff at the Champs-lyses store in Paris was very unhelpful with the initial setup. However, we received outstanding help troubleshooting one of the phones, that started acting up upon returning from Italy, at the Rue de la Rpublique store in Lyon.
I initially got mine at the Champs-lyses shop, and the guy there set everything up for me, gave me a good rundown on how everything works. I couldn't have been happier. However, the shop was full of other foreigners, I guess in a location like that customer fatigue could set in pretty quickly. I'm glad my experience with the staff was better than yours, everyone was helpful and efficient.

For top-ups I went to a small outlet in the Marais, maybe rue des Archives or rue du Temple, where I was usually the only customer, again great service from anyone I came across, even down to polishing my phone for me before handing it back.

I think the I had was mobicarte holiday, I may have been wrong about using it from Bulgaria (it's not on the list you provided) but I certainly used it at the airport in Helsinki on my way home to use up the remaining credit.

My SIM will have expired before I return to Paris next year, so I'll have to get a new one (there's a charge for the SIM, can't remember how much but it wasn't a lot) but I'll certainly go with Orange again.
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Old Oct 13, 2014, 8:07 am
  #104  
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@BigFlyer: thank you! Sounds like that could be an amazing deal.

First, the convenience of keeping my Italian # would be huge (everyone I know already has that # saved, and I wouldn't have to send out a mass email/text regarding my new French #).

Should also be easier to load up.

Looking into Smart Passport now.

50 minutes
25 input / 25 output

50 SMS

Unlimited Internet
on your smartphone
(Over 500MB browsing at 32Kbps)

3 € / day

Wow....
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Old Oct 13, 2014, 11:22 am
  #105  
 
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If you go this route, make sure that you turn on Smart Passport before you leave Italy. It is not on by default. I find the easiest way to manage my Vodafone.it phone is to manage it online, you can create an online account and then turn rate plans and other features on or off. I think there is also a way to turn it on with dialing codes.

There is more than one place on the website to add funds. While I have had varying success, the most reliable method for using a US credit card seems to be using Paypal here: https://ricarica.vodafone.it/vftopup




Originally Posted by pricesquire
@BigFlyer: thank you! Sounds like that could be an amazing deal.

First, the convenience of keeping my Italian # would be huge (everyone I know already has that # saved, and I wouldn't have to send out a mass email/text regarding my new French #).

Should also be easier to load up.

Looking into Smart Passport now.

50 minutes
25 input / 25 output

50 SMS

Unlimited Internet
on your smartphone
(Over 500MB browsing at 32Kbps)

3 / day

Wow....
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