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Mobile Plan for France

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Mobile Plan for France

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Old 01-22-19, 01:22 PM
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Mobile Plan for France

As mentioned in an earlier post, my wife and I are off to France for most of the summer. We will end our visit by traveling to Denmark and staying with friends for about three weeks.

We're looking for recommendations for mobile plans for a Pixel phone and an Apple XR. We own our phones and they are not bound by any contract. Here in the US we have a plan with Verizon which gives us unlimited calls and texts and we share 4 GB of data all for around $110 per month. I'd like to find something similar for our stay that will work in both countries.

Does anyone have any recommendations?
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Old 01-22-19, 01:37 PM
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I have AT&T. UNLIMITED data, not throttled, UNLIMITED calls/texts to USA, Canada, & Mexico. $10/day all other countries on planet Earth. $78/month. So figure $378 a month for 30 days spent in France.

My wife got her phone "unlocked" & bought a Vodafone Sim card when we got there & just had a new phone number for the country we visited. Sim card was $30-ish, a month of service was $30-40-ish. So, way cheaper than me, but she was limited to that single country, I wasn't. We relied on my data connection when we hopped over to Belgium.
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Old 01-22-19, 03:55 PM
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For two months, it is probably worth getting a local prepaid. If you expect to use a sizeable amount of data, Orange's holiday is not bad. 40 euros get you the SIM + 10G of data valid for 2 weeks. You can purchase recharges for 20 euros (10G/14 days). The holiday package may not be available everywhere -- you'll have to go to an Orange store, or order through Amazon. I'd probably go to an Orange store anyway and purchase recharges (codes printed on a piece of paper) since their online system doesn't accept foreign credit cards (and is fussy with local cards as well...).

You can also purchase a SIM (4 euros) and recharges (Mobicartes, prices ranging from 5-30 euros.) The 30 euros is valid for 30 days and comes with 20G of data + unlimited voice/SMS. New I believe. Last time I was there the best option was 20 euros for 2G/1month. The 30 euros Mobicarte is probably the best deal.

(There are no roaming charges within Europe. France's Orange should work in Denmark)

Have a great trip

[Edit]
[venting here....]

Leaving for the airport tomorrow, I wanted to activate my Holiday card (ordered online). Well, you have to register through a portal. Nothing to worry about, might you think. Think otherwise. Once you've completed the requirements, you're informed that Orange has received the relevant info and will get back to you via SMS when your account is activated. Will not work for me as I have to put back my regular SIM and do not want to have to worry about connectivity when we land in Paris.

To add another layer of frustration -- I travel frequently to France and have another still valid SIM. Impossible to top up from Canada as Orange doesn't accept foreign bank cards. I also happen to have a French account, but they use a "sophisticated security system" where every transaction has to be confirmed by SMS. see the catch?

So I'll end up as usual, and I should have learned from experience, that a global roaming card is likely to be the best option. Although I may land offline and find a recharge at a Relay store. Plenty of them.

So, yes, this entry is mostly about venting

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Old 01-22-19, 08:41 PM
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I used that Orange Holiday plan that @gauvins mentioned last summer. IIRC they had a deal for like €25 when I bought it. You'll probably have to go to an actual Orange store, the supermarkets only seemed to carry talk/text SIMs, and I had to provide a passport to buy it.
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Old 01-22-19, 09:10 PM
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do read my comments on the other thread about going to the orange store, and their sim not working on my recent phone.
and do some research about the two types of systems, and hopefully find out which one your phone is and which one is used by diff french networks.
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Old 01-22-19, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
do read my comments on the other thread about going to the orange store, and their sim not working on my recent phone.
and do some research about the two types of systems, and hopefully find out which one your phone is and which one is used by diff french networks.
Hi djb. Very very unlikely that your misadventure had anything to do with a CDMA / GSM incompatibility. If your phone was recent, it almost certainly was capable of connecting to 4G/LTE networks that have superseded GSM (2G). Recent handsets support many bands.

If I had to guess, I'd venture that your provider in Canada is Videotron. They work on AWS and their spectrum is not compatible with the French networks (see here for a list of compatible bands). You'll see that UMTS B4 is used by Videotron and supported in Mexico. IIRC, Videotron has limited coverage in the USA for the very same reason.
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Old 01-23-19, 06:51 AM
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Morning gauvins,
i haven't a clue. All I know it's that my 2 year old phone wouldn't work with the Orange mobile providers sim card, I took out my Telus card but my understanding is that it's the phone itself, not the sim from Telus or Videotron, that is the issue.

But as I mentioned, because this was all new terms to me, what the France and Telus technician talked about together to try to resolve the issue and couldn't, and probably told me the reason, I don't recall the exact why because these were terms I'm not familiar with, so it didn't stick.

All I know is that Monday morning when we wanted to leave Nantes, we spent a lot of time for nothing, and my French is fairly good, unlike perhaps this person.

But c'est la vie.
The timing was unfortunate because we arrived in Nantes at the end of the day Saturday, phone stores were closed Sunday, and we wanted to head out Monday, so only had Monday morning. After all that trying and waiting, simply didn't want to find and try another cell provider store.

I just want the person here to be aware of possible snafu's.
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Old 01-23-19, 07:23 AM
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I'd argue that is a good reason to go to the Orange store, instead of buying a card and trying to do it yourself. Compatibility will be sorted out, or you won;t pay for the card.

In any case, basic smartphones are cheap now, if that becomes an issue.
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Old 01-23-19, 09:42 AM
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One reason we went with T-Mobile was their international calling plan. Here is a link if you want to check it out. It has worked well for our needs while in Europe. https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/international-calling
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Old 01-29-19, 03:03 PM
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I got T-Mobile and can confirm that there is no cost for 2G Data (unlimited), plus something like 200 text messages plus something like 30 cents per minute calls. I used it in Sweden, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Portugal and Peru.

Originally Posted by debade View Post
One reason we went with T-Mobile was their international calling plan. Here is a link if you want to check it out. It has worked well for our needs while in Europe. https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/international-calling
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Old 02-04-19, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
So figure $378 a month for 30 days spent in France.


I bought a 20-Euro SIM card in Germany (friend helped me activate), and have since used it in Germany, Spain, all over France, and Belgium. I figured out a way to recharge it from the US using aufladen.de. Last time a $15 recharge lasted me on a 10-day trip and I still have some money left on it.
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Old 02-04-19, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by autonomy View Post


I bought a 20-Euro SIM card in Germany (friend helped me activate), and have since used it in Germany, Spain, all over France, and Belgium. I figured out a way to recharge it from the US using aufladen.de. Last time a $15 recharge lasted me on a 10-day trip and I still have some money left on it.
Oh, for sure there are options. The big question is: "What do you know, & when did you learn it?" The big strength behind the AT&T plan is it is global with the same number from anywhere to anywhere with no worries. Theres plenty of other options. Like i said, Mrs. Base2 had a different number for each sim, but the trade-off was affordability.

An "all Euro" sim card would've simplified things a bit. But like anything, you can't buy what the shop doesn't sell. It sounds like that's what you managed to get.
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Old 02-05-19, 03:01 AM
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Buy a sim in France. Data roaming costs are now much cheaper in Europe, and soon voice calls will be also reduced in price. You can safely ognore the comments about a phone not working, which may have been the case with older US photnes, certainly with Apple phones everything works fine. I'd recommend Orange since they're basically the old France Telecom, and have the technical resources the other providers may not have.

Also note there are virtually no cafés, restaurants, bars, hotels, etc. that do not offer free wifi.
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