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SIM for multi-country Europe trip and options for calling home

Old Aug 17, 2023, 8:44 am
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Last edit by: serpens
Here are instructions for what phone settings to use when a travel SIM has been activated. The initial wiki is for an iPhone (in particular, an iPhone SE 2020 with iOS 16.6), but perhaps others will expand the wiki to clarify the steps for other phones or other operating system versions.

* Before arriving in the travel area, turn off roaming on the home SIM (to avoid any roaming charge).
- At Settings > Cellular, under SIMs, choose the home SIM and turn off Data Roaming.
If there is a Network Selection option (which is apparently not available with Consumer Cellular), choose a network on which the phone cannot roam, for example, 313-100.

* After arriving in the travel area, use the following settings.
- At Settings > Cellular > Cellular Data, choose the travel SIM and turn off Allow Cellular Data Switching.
- At Settings > Cellular > Default Voice Line, choose the home SIM.
- At Settings > Cellular, under SIMs, ensure both home and travel are On.
- At Settings > Cellular > [home SIM], ensure Wi-Fi calling is On and Data Roaming is Off.
- At Settings > Cellular > [travel SIM], ensure Data Roaming is On and (optionally) Low Data Mode is On.

Corrections are welcome, as are elaborations of what these settings mean and do.
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SIM for multi-country Europe trip and options for calling home

Old Jul 27, 2019, 3:55 pm
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Thought I’d circle back and say total success with the sub $20 Three 12GB SIM cards. Activated in US before leaving (takes 24 hours for activation so do it ahead of time...you get a confirmation via email).
Just a bit of a different experience for me...I put in my Three 12 GB SIM and instantaneous got a text that activation could take 30 minutes. About 30 seconds later, got another text indicating that the SIM was activated for data use only while in the USA. The company literature included with the SIM does encourage activation while still in the USA.

I haven't left, so can't provide further experience.
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Old Jul 27, 2019, 3:57 pm
  #77  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC
Just a bit of a different experience for me...I put in my Three 12 GB SIM and instantaneous got a text that activation could take 30 minutes. About 30 seconds later, got another text indicating that the SIM was activated for data use only while in the USA. The company literature included with the SIM does encourage activation while still in the USA.

I haven't left, so can't provide further experience.
So what's the safer bet? And why are there contradictory directions?

Last edited by Nayef; Jul 27, 2019 at 5:38 pm
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Old Jul 27, 2019, 11:09 pm
  #78  
 
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Originally Posted by Nayef
Is there an app or a number or anything that can show data usage for that SIM card?
Yes. You can call 333 and via menu find out how many GB you have left. I did that every 4 days or so.
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Old Jul 27, 2019, 11:12 pm
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by Nayef
So what's the safer bet? And why are there contradictory directions?
The instructions say to go to a website and enter info first, before entering sim in phone. The next day i got an email saying activated and sim ready. I’d suggest doing it the way the instructions on your sim read. It’s only one day. Since above poster hasn’t used sim abroad yet, we don’t know it’s fate.
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Old Jul 28, 2019, 1:38 am
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis


The instructions say to go to a website and enter info first, before entering sim in phone. The next day i got an email saying activated and sim ready. I’d suggest doing it the way the instructions on your sim read. It’s only one day. Since above poster hasn’t used sim abroad yet, we don’t know it’s fate.
Very interesting. I got different instructions!
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 10:17 am
  #81  
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Anyone have any experience with Orange Holiday Europe? going to France and need tethering...

Availabe on
Amazon Amazon
for $50, I think it's 40 euros in France..

thanks
FDW
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 11:37 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu
Anyone have any experience with Orange Holiday Europe? going to France and need tethering...

Availabe on Amazon for $50, I think it's 40 euros in France.
Its data expires after two weeks. There are many cheaper options available.
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 1:06 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by ajGoes
Its data expires after two weeks. There are many cheaper options available.
only going for 13 days, I need tethering and somewhere in neighborhoood of 12-15 GB I think (will be supplying multiple devices
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu
only going for 13 days, I need tethering and somewhere in neighborhoood of 12-15 GB I think (will be supplying multiple devices
Three UK has 12 Gb for £20 (30 days). Unless you require a French number, this plan is one of the cheapeast out there for 10+ Gb. Even their 36 Gb for £27.50 is still cheaper, but tethering will be limited to 19 Gb per month while roaming in EU. Plus, they finally started supporting LTE when roaming.
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 2:45 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by König
Three UK has 12 Gb for £20 (30 days). Unless you require a French number, this plan is one of the cheapeast out there for 10+ Gb. Even their 36 Gb for £27.50 is still cheaper, but tethering will be limited to 19 Gb per month while roaming in EU. Plus, they finally started supporting LTE when roaming.
thanks. I ran across a bunch of stuff saying that Three was only 3G when roaming in many countries. Looking at their website it looks looks they are indeed 4G in France. I’ll look into it. I don’t think I absolutely need a French number.

chris
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Old Jul 29, 2019, 4:02 pm
  #86  
 
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I have no experience using this in the EU, but giffgaff is currently running a 30-day plan with 40 GB of data, with 20 GB available while roaming outside of the UK in the EU, for £20: https://www.giffgaff.com/sim-only-plans.
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Old Aug 10, 2019, 7:40 pm
  #87  
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Any of these simcards allow reloading online?
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by lsquare
Any of these simcards allow reloading online?
I'm assuming you mean if you don't have a locally-issued credit or debit card. As far as I know, most cell providers allow reloads online for residents of the country where the SIM is purchased with a local credit or debit card. For non-residents of the UK, Giffgaff does. For non-Irish, Tesco Ireland does (I have one for my Irish trips) but Tesco UK does not for non-UK.
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Old Aug 11, 2019, 1:47 pm
  #89  
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva
I'm assuming you mean if you don't have a locally-issued credit or debit card. As far as I know, most cell providers allow reloads online for residents of the country where the SIM is purchased with a local credit or debit card. For non-residents of the UK, Giffgaff does. For non-Irish, Tesco Ireland does (I have one for my Irish trips) but Tesco UK does not for non-UK.
Is a Tesco Ireland prepaid simcard worth it? What are the rates? So anyone with an online account can reload their Tesco Ireland card and use it exclusively for roaming? I wonder at what point they'll cut someone off if they were to do that.
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Old Aug 26, 2019, 6:42 am
  #90  
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Originally Posted by 747FC
Just a bit of a different experience for me...I put in my Three 12 GB SIM and instantaneous got a text that activation could take 30 minutes. About 30 seconds later, got another text indicating that the SIM was activated for data use only while in the USA. The company literature included with the SIM does encourage activation while still in the USA.

I haven't left, so can't provide further experience.
I did have the same experience like you wrt activation yesterday . Since I am leaving only on Friday, I have removed the SIM card from my iphone ( I am in Canada).
Have you started using it in Europe? and your experience thus far .
BTW: If I am in Italy or France , will I have to dial the country code ( like International call) to reach a local number in Italy or France since this is UK card ?
Thank you
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