Need help in using iphone 5 in France

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Clint1583, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Clint1583 macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2011
    This should be an easy question but everyone including Verizon gives me a different answer. My wife is traveling to the south of France next week on business and wants to be able to use her Verizon iphone 5 if she needs to. What exactly does it take to do this? Just turn it on? Does she need some type of international plan before she can use it? She might only use once or twice but would like to be able to receive call's from home or work (USA) if needed. Anyone with an easy explanation of how this all works? Also, how about roaming. Does she need to keep it on and if so does that alone cost money?

    Thanks for any help you might have.
  2. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
    Her best bet is to buy a SIM of one of the local carriers when she gets there. She just needs to pop it in and she is good to go. Research French prepaid plans and you will find out that they are pretty cheap and flexible. Make sure she does not loose the Verizon SIM in her phone though.
  3. g0odfr1end102 macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2010
    Montreal, Canada
    I am French, and just came back from NY. I had an At&t iPhone 5, that I had to unlock–thanks to third party stores. Her best bet is to get a "Mobicarte" or a temporary SIM. I would advise going with the operator Orange! Hope this helped! :)

    ps: French plans are a lot cheaper compared to american ones, you get unlimited data, phone an text for 50euro here. 4G/LTE are still not supported though...
  4. sulpfiction macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2011
    Philadelphia Area
    Whatever she does, DO NOT let her roam internationally on the US sim in her phone. Even a small amount of usage will be crazy expensive. I've heard thousand dollar horror stories of people who didnt know any better.
    Her best bet is to get a prepaid sim from a local carrier when she gets to France. Not sure what carrier would be best, but that's the only way to go.
  5. Baggio, Mar 10, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2013

    Baggio macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    It's a business trip, so I would think her company would cover these expenses. :confused:

    OP, you can add international roaming to her number. Contact Verizon. It will cost her about .99-1.29 per minute. If you need data, I am not sure if Verizon allows you to pre-purchase a roaming data. I know AT&T allows this. If she is going to use data don't let her use it without some sort international data plan. Roaming without a plan would be around $20 a MB. By using her own number calls to and from the USA would be easy as dialing +1-xxx-xxx-xxxx. People in USA would only need to call her number.

    The other option is to get a prepaid SIM which would give her a local number, but may or may not allow her to call back to USA. Some prepaids do not allow that ability. Furthermore, people calling from the USA would have to call her internationally, unless, she uses Skype or Viber with her prepaid numbers data access.
  6. Mellisaray macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    good idea, it is quite easy and convenient, and can avoid many unnecessary trouble.:D
  7. bloutrein macrumors regular


    Sep 6, 2011
    Well if it isn's a huge hassle to unlock the iphone in order to get a local sim, in case her iphone is carrier-locked, a prepaid local SIM is a good idea.

    btw, what do Verizon say? =P
  8. Clint1583 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 4, 2011
    Two different store's told me two different answers. I called the Verizon "Global Services" 800 number and they said she only needs to activate Verizon's Global Services service (including giving Verizon her SIM card number) for $3.99 and any phone calls would be .99 a minute and texts would be .50 for sending & .05 for receiving them. He told me that as long as her phone's signed up on this service prior to leaving here isn't any roaming charges to worry about.

    Also if she wants to use data in France she would need to also add a Global data plan for $25. which gives her 100MB of data. I hope this is all correct.

  9. dictoresno macrumors 601


    Apr 30, 2012
    yea, you have two options. the verizon iphone 5 is already unlocked FYI.

    1.) call verizon, have them add international roaming on your plan. according to the verizon website, roaming in france is:

    GSM Standard Roaming Per Minute Rate: $1.29
    Text Messaging Rates
    $0.50/address sent
    $0.05/message received

    and add the $25 100MB data on top.


    2.) once she lands, she can go into any airport kiosk and get a local prepaid SIM. this is usually cheaper than verizons roaming fees, and you usually get more for less. the only issue is that local prepaid cards may not be nano SIMS. so you should check to see if they do indeed offer them or can be properly cut down. i bought a sim card cutter for when i goto iceland, as i dont know if their local prepaid SIMs come in nano size.
  10. cutienoua macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    if company pays ,of course roaming is the way to go.

    otherwise you can get a skype in number and forward the verizon nr to this .
    in France you can use the free wifi at the cafe or get a prepaid sim data only !

    I am going soon in Europe for a month and I'll buy prepaid data for my ipad mini and use voip. I also have Google voice so I am covered!smile
  11. koala5700 macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2013
    This chain is very helpful. I will be in France for about 3 months and was wondering what my phone options were. I'm planning to purchase Verizon's iPhone 5 before I go. It seems that purchasing the SIM card locally would fit my need, but does that come with data plan? I would really like internet access even without wifi...
  12. Sparky21 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2013
    Actually writing this as I am sitting in a meeting in france, and using my unlocked iphone5 with SFR... here is what needs to be done:

    1) its a good idea, if you do not speak French, to take a French speaking friend with you.
    2) go to SFR store, its the biggest Telecom carrier in France.
    3) Ask to purchase the SFR nano SIM for Iphone5/ PRE-PAYE
    4) They will actually cut you one, they will take a regular micro SIM card and will cut it, they have the tools, into the nano SIM.

    5) IMPORTANT: when refilling the card at the TABAC shops, etc. you MUST ASK FOR "INTERNET/DATA OPTION FSR REFILL" it is much more important than voice option.

    the cost is 20 EUROS for 300MB, which is not bad. It also gives you a free 1 Month of Voice and Free Texts in France.

    Oh, and make sure and take your passport with you. They wont sell you one without ID/Passport.
  13. Smartass macrumors 65816

    Dec 18, 2012
    If the phone is carrier locked and she cant unlock it to use other carrier's sim card then just advice her on buying one of those cheap prepaid phones and use them as a main phone while being there. She can still use her iphone to take photos and do other stuff via wifi..
  14. pugnut macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007

    They ship the sim to you and once in France you can add a plan and top off. Very easy. A lot easier then looking for a sim when landed and it is pay as you go , so no hassles.

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