Is it easy to buy 3G microsim in Europe?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Storm9, May 30, 2010.

  1. Storm9 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    I will be visiting UK, France, and Italy. How easy is it to get a 3G microsim for iPad? Do I just walk in to say a vodaphone store and buy it or is there a lot of documentation and residency requirements?
  2. om1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    Depends on the plan. A card for prepaid plan should be pretty easy, no id required.
  3. ogee macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2006
    Germany (not on your list but maybe of interest to others) :

    €15 200Mb
    €25 unlimited *

    €10 200Mb
    €15 1GB
    €25 3GB

    T-Mobile **
    €5 unlimited day per day
    €35 Unlimited ***

    * Fair use after a certain level of use speed reduces to 64Kb or less
    ** Slight reduction available for 2 year contract if you have a T-mobile iPhone contract.
    *** Fair use after a certain level of use speed reduces to 64Kb or less includes T-Mobile hotspots

    You will need to provide an address and visa card or German bank. Auto renew subscriptions can be cancelled monthly.

    These are direct from Apples website, there other providers such as symio (€19 3Gb) with other conditions. There maybe other non iPad specific plans you can use.
  4. colmaclean macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Thanks ogee. Those plans make me feel lucky to be in the UK!

    I'm going on holiday to Ruegen Island at the start of July. It's pretty remote, so don't know if I'll even be able to get a 3G signal...
  5. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    Extra-easy in Italy.

    Go to a 3store (h3g, aka Tre Italia) and ask for a pre-paid microsim with Superinternet option (5€ a month for 3gb, deactivable anytime)

    Not very good coverage in the countryside though. Good in the cities.

    Tim and Vodafone are more expensive (2€ or 3€ a week for 200mb or 500mb respectively).
  6. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    In the UK you can order and O2 micro-sim online for free (

    Soon (sorry not sure when) you will be able to pick one up in O2 stores, also free.


    £2 per day (not recurring)
    500mb until midnight

    £10 per month (recurring until cancelled with 24 hours notice)
    1gb per month

    £15 per month (recurring until cancelled with 24 hours notice)
    3gb per month

    All of the tariffs come withf unlimited access to BT Openzone and The Cloud wireless networks for the duration of the subscription.

    Orange and Vodafone also do iPad services in the UK but i'm not sure if the prices or tariffs, but you can fine out on the Apple UK website.

    Sorry, didn't read your whole post. One you have the SIM you can activate the plans on the iPad itself so all you need is a bank card and an account with whichever provider you pick.

    Hope this helps.
  7. jetoo macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2009
    In France, go to an SFR store and get a 3 days prepaid card for 9.99€.
    You'll get 3 days of full internet access and wifi SFR hotspot.
    If you need more, 1 day = 6€ (24 hours).

    All 3G connections are unlimited (except pass a certain amount of data, speed will be reduced).

    You won't be able to pickup a microsim at Orange store, need a subscription.
  8. Pring macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2003
    Are we sure that you don't need a bank card with a UK address?

    I know that AT&T will only accept credit cards with a US address, not sure if they have the same restriction here.
  9. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    Good point. I haven't seen any mention of requiring a UK card in any documentation, however when the iPad asks for your card details there is a space for 'post code' so I guess it might have to be a UK card.

    Might be able to pay with a different method at an O2 store though?
  10. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    Wow.. that's kinda expensive for a 3-day plan. Is there any other plans by other french telco?
  11. jetoo macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2009
    It's always expensive in France. :/

    French Telecom = Orange (same company as Orange UK).
    Theirs plans ares:

    - 10€ / month 200mb
    - 39.99€ / month 2gb
    (+ Orange hotspot wifi unlimited)

    But you need a credit card and a french bank account.

    Note: SFR unlimited plans, is 29.90€ / month (speed limited after a certain amount of data used)
  12. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    If you get an o2 microsim in the uk you can top it up with any credit/debit card providing he billing address matches the card. Uk residency only applies for the rolling 30 contracts.
  13. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2006
    I want an apple itunes SIM store where you can buy microsims from any country and get the plan activated in situ :)
  14. Storm9 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    Thanks everyone. The iPad will be a lot more useful on my trip if I can get 3G instead of using overpriced hotel Wifi!
  15. jhanlon macrumors member

    Dec 3, 2008
    @ jetoo

    Please see private email requesting more detils for France

    Jim Hanlon
  16. ACDeag macrumors regular

    May 25, 2008
    Edinburgh, UK
    You may need to activate in iTunes after inserting the O2 sim to get the carrier settings that will allow you to control the account online. No 100% sure of this but I suspect the carrier settings control this aspect.
  17. mrspooney macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2010
    Thanks for the info - €6 a day isn't cheap, but it's better than roaming charges! Can you activate the daily rate via the iPad, or do you have to purchase a card from an SFR shop?
  18. meettyrone macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Hi there. Do you know if I can use any international credit card to buy it or does it require a Italian credit card and address? I'm in Sydney Australia.
  19. gianly1985 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    You don't need a credit card.

    But it looks like it's a bit more difficult than I thought, you're gonna need to apply for an Italian fiscal code:

    You could also use a "3 Australia" prepaid sim card in Italy with decent rates thanks to the "3 Like Home" program, although a bit expensive for data.

Share This Page