Best prepaid sim for multiple European countries?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mellofello, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I am fortunate enough to be heading for France, the uk, and the Netherlands in 3 weeks. I will be purchasing a gevey sim to unlock my 4s. For the European forum members which company do you prefer for your multiple country travels?

    It seems like Vodafone Ireland is a good deal three euro per day for 50 mb data roaming.

    If I had a choice though I would pay more for a month long plan with a higher data cap. I am intending to use some data logging apps on a bike trip through France that could potentially use a lot of data. I can't seem to find a higher tier of data on vodafones website.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    Quick side note. Does anyone know if the 50 mb is cumulative? If I bought the sim today and didn't use it for five days would I have 250 mb? Or is it capped at 50 mb per day for roaming?
  3. 3bs, Apr 23, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

    3bs macrumors 603


    May 20, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    I'm not sure about roaming but I'm on Vodafone pay as you go and it's 99cents a day for 50mb in Ireland and it's not cumulative. If you go a day without using any data you don't get charged. I think it might be the same for you.
  4. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    AT&T also has global data roaming plans that should work anywhere in the EU, Norway, and Switzerland. Compare the prices to see what's the cheapest.


    Also, Gevey looks like it's for the 4, not the 4s.
  5. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    AT&T's domestic pricing doesn't compete with the prices here, let alone their roaming rates
  6. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I would probably be looking at a bill of hundreds, if not one thousand plus if I used my ATT sim. People seem to have good luck with the Gevey as long as they didn't update to 5.1.
  7. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2002
    I am also interested in this/ I just unlocked my old 3gs and am heading to Europe for a few weeks. UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. Are there any SIMs that work in many different countries, or is it better to just get a new SIM in each country?
  8. DerekRod macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2012
    Three has something called three like home.Anywhere where theres 3 you can roam like you were in your home country not too sure if it exists.And to the above poster the Gevey Ultra S works on the 4S
  9. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Three UK doesn't offer that anymore, but Three Ireland does.
  10. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    Depending on where you travel. For someone traveling throughout Europe, data roaming packages are still better. Once the EU roaming rules kick in this summer, it will likely make sense to roam from an EU SIM.
  11. DerekRod macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2012
    Yeah do the EU rules apply to us roaming on AT&T?Anyway to have three send me a new sim to my US address lost my old one
  12. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    As far as anyone can tell, no. They may apply to the SIMs in Verizon global devices, since they are out of the UK or the Netherlands through Vodafone. They wouldn't apply to global roaming on 4G LTE devices when that system is turned on, as Verizon is doing that themselves.
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Gevey has interposers for both the i4 and 4S that works on 5.1 stock baseband.
    Also there's the "SAM" unlock option right now too.
  14. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    What is the Sam unlock? I haven't heard of that yet.
  15. fedecape macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    Miami, FL
    But to "sam unlock" you need jailbreak, and the 4S is only jailbreakable on 5.0.1
  16. BiggAW macrumors 68020

    Jun 19, 2010
    These all sound so shady. I'll wait for well-recognized hackers like the ones on iPhone Dev Team to release one.
  17. pedropedro macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2012
    best roaming broadband europe

    Hello travellers

    As far as I know the best for EU data roaming is ALDITALK, It is a pay as you go, you buy the SIM for 11,99 in any ALDI supermarket in Germany and it comes with 10 euros.

    The international tariff is 4,99 euros 60mb for 7 days and it is work in the whole EU

    more data in

  18. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I just returned from my trip and wanted to share my experience. AT&T just revised their data plans for international, and while expensive over prepaid I found the convenience worth the price.

    I was in the middle of a big deal when leaving the country and needed uninterrupted data so I paid for the plan. $200 buys you 800mb international data. The thing they don't tell you is that it is pro rated. I was gone for 20 days so I only paid $145 and still had full use of the 800 Mb. My travel partner was out there for 1 week and only paid $50 for 800 mb.

    Well worth it IMO. The texting was 15 cents each. The only caveat is the minutes are steep at $1 each. This also counts if your phone goes to voicemail. I had them disable vm and used Skype out for 2 cents per minute.

    Is it the cheapest option? Nope

    Is it reasonably priced for the ability to stay in touch? Absolutely.

    I inquired about a similar plan last year and they just didn't exist.
  19. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    That's great that you had close to $200 to blow on data, but most of us aren't that lucky or well off.
    I would've either gotten advice from vodaphone (or whomever you chose) and asked for advice based on my needs.
    Looking at vodaphone's web site, I can buy some minutes and add 250MB for £5. Additionally I can buy a few data packs and queue them up when I finish the first allotment. For 1 GB of data, I'd have paid £25. With relatively cheap minutes, even while roaming, this seems pretty simple to me.

  20. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Perhaps it's worth updating this thread for anyone reading it now:

    1) From July 1st 2012 (in less than two weeks from now), a new set of roaming regulations will come into effect in the EU and EEA (most European countries).

    Wikipedia has a good table showing the different rules

    These rules only apply to customers of the networks operating in the EU/EEA, so you'll need a local SIM to make use of any of the new rates.

    i.e If you have a German SIM and visit France, these rules will apply.
    If you have a US SIM (say on AT&T) then these rules do not apply.

    Perhaps most interesting is that data roaming is capped at (€0.70 per MB - excluding tax, about $0.88)

    2) Most of the networks are updating the bundles that they offer to make them more competitive given the drop in prices generally.

    Some of these only apply to pay monthly customers, so they are of little use to visitors from outside of Europe.
  21. mellofello, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    If you are still trying to handle business at home, then having a different number isn't always an option.

    While ATT rates are still highway robbery, they are no where near as criminally high as they used to be. My phone slipped out of airplane mode in japan, a few years ago and one day of just checking email in the background was a $50 phone bill(I got it reduced to $15).

    If you look at the total cost for an average ATT subscribing American to take his 4s on a two week european vacation then things gets a lot closer in price.

    Option a:

    Gevey turbo sim $40

    Vodaphone Ireland sim from ebay $25

    Service for data roaming through EU 3 pounds per day x 14 = roughly $60

    50mb per day allowance = total data of 700 mb, but remember prepaid plans cap you at the 50 mb

    Total out of pocket = $125

    There are many caveats to this. I bought a turbo sim from a shady Craigslist merchant. The first two failed, and it will be useless by my next trip since ios6 will be out this fall. Also it is sometimes hard to activate a prepaid account without residency in the country you are in. I have tried and been shot down before.

    Option b:

    One phone call to ATT. International 800 mb data plan, and 200 text plan.

    $230 per month

    Pro rated = $115

    Yes you may be able to get slightly cheaper rates on data but not much. Plus the fact that everything just works and you don't need to fiddle with apn settings, or shady ebay people makes life much better.

    If I was spending a few months internationally I would go for the local option, but I just wanted to let fellow travelers know that there is another way that is much more convenient, and when you look at the whole picture it may not cost much more. This is certainly cheeper then renting a phone with data for the trip, and is 100% legitimate no hacking involved.

    To each there own
  22. beatledud macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2006
    So with the new rules considering:

    My wife arrives in Germany for a Week.
    I arrive in UK for a day a week later.
    We both arrive in Spain together for 10 days.
    We travel to UK for 5 days together.

    Overall 3 weeks for my wife in Germany, Spain, & UK.
    2 weeks for me in Spain & UK.

    We both have iPhone 4 that are out of their contract and I can just ask AT&T to unlock.

    So where to get SIM cards before we go or her in Germany and myself in UK. I really don't want to spend $150/person. It's just not worth it at that point.
  23. DougOLis macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2011
    I can't speak to Germany, but at London Heathrow there are vending machines in the baggage reclaim area that sell prepaid micro-sim cards. Then all you need to do is buy a top-up voucher from a bookstore/liquor store/grocery store/etc. and top it up. I bought a 3 one for like 10 pounds then topped it up with 3's all in one plan for 15 pounds that includes unlimited data, 3000 text and 300 minutes for 1 month. Should work fine for you. You'll have to pay roaming charges when you're outside of the UK though so you might want to buy more than 15 when topping up. I'm guessing that Germany has something similar available too so you might want to get that for both you and your wife while there.
  24. WWWiseman macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2012
    Prepaid Data

    Hi. Not sure where you're based from but the best prepaid SIM I've found for travelers from the US is the SIMsmart Prepaid International SIM Card. It's ideal for those going to multiple European countries. Costs $20 and rates back to the US from the UK are only $0.13 per minute. You can also buy a really good value GSM World Phone from them if you're on cell phone is CDMA (less than $20)
  25. JerseyDoug macrumors regular

    May 10, 2012
    You were lucky to be on AT&T I guess. Verizon prorated the data as well. In fact, they tell you not to cancel the plan until the end of your billing period so your data doesn't get pro rated.

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