HELP!!! Prepaid Europe SIM Card?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by vinay427, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. vinay427 macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #1
    Hey guys! I am going to Europe this summer for the first time, and I know very little about cell phones there. Is there a prepaid SIM card that works on an unlocked At&t phone (iPhone 3G or not) in England, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Italy? I'm not sure if I should yellowsn0my iPhone 3G. I will probably just get an unlock code online for my family's LG Shine or BB Curve 8310 for like $25. Thanks in advance for any help! :)
     
  2. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Bracknell UK
    #2
    Well there are pre-pay cards but you're talking about 5 different countries there so 5 different telephone companies and 5 different pre-pay cards.

    In the UK you can walk into a supermarket and buy a pre-pay SIM for about $10
     
  3. Kardashian macrumors 68020

    Kardashian

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Location:
    Britain.
    #3
    Spar have all major networks for 99p.

    As long as the phone has space for a SIM card (its GSM), and works on the European bands (900/1800/1900Mhz) and its unlocked, just buy a sim card in whatever country you're in.
     
  4. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #4
    A prepaid SIM card will cost you about 15 Euro in each country, with about 12 Euro of credit for calls and SMS.

    One company that has a presence in all the countries you mentioned is Orange, don't know about international rates for a prepaid SIM card, they may be quite high: I think it would be cheaper to get a new SIM card in every country you are in, but if you keep the same card, you would have the convenience of the same number (Although it would be really expensive even to receive calls).

    And as someone have mentioned, you will need a NON-provider-locked phone (or you could unlock it for about 8 Euros).

    Hope this helps
     
  5. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #5
    Thanks for all the replies! It really means a lot. What is the site where you can get it for 8 Euros? I found some sites online but they are $25. I want to unlock an LG Shine and maybe a Curve 8310. I've done some research and they both work on Europe bands.

    EDIT: I found gsm-unlock.com but what is the most reliable? Thanks a lot in advance (again)!
     
  6. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #6
    I also investigated, but found no option to my entire liking, so I just arrived with my "home" SIM (and home number) and asked around in the city center; after about 20 minutes I found a mobile store where they unlocked my phone for 8 Euros (the cheapest I found) and in less than 5 hours I had a new mobile number.
     
  7. sallythemac Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #7
    This thread has some info about UK and French prepay SIMs.
     
  8. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #8
    Vodafone Ireland do the best offer IMHO.

    You get charged 79c to recieve a call and thats it for as long as you stay on the call. So you can receive a call for 2 hours and it would only cost 79c.

    Making a call costs the same but then you get charged the local rate. So 79c then 30c per minute after that or whatever the cost is to where you're ringing.

    The other great thing Vodafone Ireland do is, is offer 50mb of data per day for 1eur. This even works when roaming and all of the above information is regarding roaming charges by the way.

    The only catch is that you have to be on the Vodafone network when travelling through Europe or a network owned by Vodafone.



    Hope this info helps.
     
  9. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #9
    Under most circumstances I would but I'm traveling to England last, and that is the only language I can speak. Thanks though!

    Is there a Vodafone network or one operated by Vodafone in the countries listed in the OP? So if I do that can I use it in all of the countries with the same charge, even when calling local numbers? For example, is there a difference between me calling from England to an England number and France to a French number? Thanks!

    What is Spar? I Googled various things about it but can't find anything related to cell phones or SIM or anything.
     
  10. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #10
    Yes Vodafone are in all the countries in you OP. You can roam using the Irish Vodafone sim and call international numbers for around 30c per minute. I can't remember the exact prices.

    So if you were in France calling a French number it will cost you 30c per minute. If you are in France calling a British number it will cost you 30c per minute.

    You can also browse the internet for 99c for 50mb per day in any EU country with Vodafone.
     
  11. wwe2008 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    #11
    3 network works in a a number of European countries (if you set up in uk) and it doesnt cost extra!
     
  12. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #12
    Thanks! The only problem is I'm starting with Germany, so there is no way I can buy a SIM there. Is there anything that I can get online or over the phone and get it shipped to the USA? Thanks again!
     
  13. bmcgrath macrumors 65816

    bmcgrath

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #13
    To be honest I don't know. You could email Vodafone Ireland and see how they can help.
    www.vodafone.ie
     
  14. pauliphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    Spar are smallish supermarkets over here. Also at the moment Vodafone in the UK are advertising that they are charging the same for roaming in Europe, so that might be an option
     
  15. MadCowMark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2009
    #15
    before you buy an unlock code...

    Try calling the company you got the phones through and getting the unlock code from them. That's what I did with AT&T last year when I went to Europe and needed a phone to use. I called them up, said I had an old phone from them that I didn't use anymore, and that I was going to Europe and would like to use it there. The customer service rep looked up the code and gave it to me on the spot. Much easier and cheaper :D
     
  16. ACDeag macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #16
    You should be able to get any UK Sim on www.ebay.co.uk

    You will need to find someone prepared to ship to the US, but still should be pretty cheap.
     
  17. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #17
    Thanks! I'll try that.

    Thanks also! I'll look into that.

    I tried that several times, with no luck. Anyway, I got them unlocked by buying them online at www.cellunlock.net. Really reputable site. I ordered mine at 8:30 pm and received them at about 9:30. Really fast!

    I would, but I still can't use that across Europe.
     
  18. yakkonvazn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #18
    yup. just say you're going to travel international and need to use it. will unlock for you. my case for free
     
  19. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #19
    I got it unlocked anyway. Does this seem good or is there a cheaper option?

    Thanks for all the help so far but I really need a solution (if there is a better one) very soon. I have looked into GT-SIM but the upfront cost is too expensive to be offset by the low per minute cost for my level of usage, which is minimal.
     
  20. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #20
    Anyone have any suggestions? Sorry for the bump.
    Can you please see the link above and decide if that is my best option if you are willing to help? Thanks! :)
     
  21. Tweak3D macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #21
    being that i've been to germany several times I can help you a bit. First, you can buy a prepaid card on ebay and they will mail it to you if you have the time. This is the easiest so that your phone works as soon as you get there.

    your other option is to ask if anyone speaks english. go to a vodafone or t-mobile store and just ask. if you say "english" they will probably know what you mean lol. Or take the time to learna few phrases and then you can ask with a bit more confidence.

    Sprechen Sie Englisch? Do you speak english?
    Ich Brauche eine SIM-Karte für mein Handy. I need a sim card for my phone.

    Its really easy to get one while you are there. Best bet if you are nervous is just ask if they speak english. if you have any other questions let me know.

    also you can use any sim card across europe, you will just pay more for roaming. How often do you plan on using your phone? I would do very much calling personally but keeps your phone ready in case of an emergency.
     
  22. Tweak3D macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    #22
  23. vinay427 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    vinay427

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #23
    Thanks everyone, but I didn't see the above two responses in time. Anyway, if you're curious, I got this. I'm only going to use about 20 minutes, so it should work out good enough.
     
  24. Narzist macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #24
    In Germany you can charge a SIM Card in every super market and also on some tobaco bending machines. But you have to sign up for an account at a provider first.
    If you'll call a lot to the US, i recommand a t-mobile Xtra Card, as it offers the Worldwide Option, which makes calling to the US cheaper.
    Also, if you can find a conrad store, you can buy a blau.de worldwide card (or something like that), which let you call to several countries quite cheap. But these shops are quite rare and blau.de's network isn't really that well.
     

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