European Phone Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Felldownthewell, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2006
    I will be going to Europe for around 6 weeks this summer, and I will be needing a cellphone. Last year, when I went for the world cup, I paid an extra $6 for the month I was there to Cingular, which reduced the roaming rates quite a bit, but they were still really high, around $1 per minute and 50 cents a text message.

    Instead of paying throgh the nose to Cingular, I would like to get my phone unlocked (it is quad band gsm phone) and buy a pre-paid SIM card when I arrive. I've been looking through various websites of european carriers, but I am still left with several questions. First of all, I will be in the UK for the majority of the time (3 weeks), but I will be using the phone mostly in France (two weeks), as I am staying with a friend and not with family. The last week will be spent in greece. I need to find a carrier that covers at least the UK and France. Obviously, I would like this to be as cheap as possible, but I would also like the best coverage I can get. Since I can't just walk into a store and start asking questions, I'm coming to you guys for help.

    Basically, I'd like to know which company would have cheap pre-paid coverage in both the UK and France, and what the ease level is in buying a pre-paid SIM (I've only ever been on contracts before). Thanks!
  2. Indohottie macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2004
    I did a trip through europe over christmas and early january..

    I went with this and had a good experience --

    If you go by country, you can get minute cost down, but lose flexibility, I went to 7 countries so this worked the best for me..

  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Hello :D

    Roaming rates across Europe are still a minefield. My best suggestion is to buy a prepaid SIM card in each country you stay in. If you're going to get SIM cards off of somewhere like eBay they'll cost a couple of pounds, or you can sometimes catch free giveaways on the UK networks websites (you could maybe google 'free sims' or something on From the shop, a SIM will usually cost between £10-£20 and may need to be purchased with some credit. The retailer may require some personal details from you before handing over the SIM - though I believe some, like Argos, still just hand them over.

    Most other countries require the SIM to be registered at the retailer before you can take it away. We're talking name, address, nothing that's too scary.

    I can't really go into any more detail than that, I never travel for as long as you and just take my mobile with me for simplicity, but there are some websites/businesses that specialise in 'roaming' prepay SIM's and supplying you SIM's for the countries you want to go to. As you've got plenty of time it may well be worth looking around.

    FWIW, Orange are big in both the UK and France, so you may want to check to see if they have any reasonable roaming rates for taking a UK SIM to France and vice-versa.

    Good luck...

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