Sim card for Europe for iPhone 5?

musiclvr

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2011
55
1
I will be going to 5 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France) for 2 weeks. I will be making a few calls/text but I mainly need it for the data (maps, etc).

From what I've heard so far, buying a prepaid SIM card is my best option (and significantly cheaper than an international plan from AT&T).

It seems as though everyone gets the SIM card once they are over there...BUT I'd like to get it in advance. Does anyone know the best way to go about getting a prepaid SIM card before I leave for Europe?
 

EDH667

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2009
995
232
Northern California
Since you are going to so many countries it may be difficult to find one SIM that will work for all the countries without paying for roaming. You may want to use AT&T's international data and phone package for use throughout your travels (although expensive, you won't have to switch sims as you travel into each country).

When I travel to only one or two countries I tend to purchase a prepaid SIM through eBay so I'm up and running when I arrive. I have read that at some countries, buying a SIM at the airport can take an hour or two while they get approvals through the government. If you go this route be sure you know how to change the voice prompts to English (I have been very frustrated in Italy and Spain trying to switch the voice prompts to English).

Another option is Telestial, http://www.telestial.com I purchased a 1 GB SIM from them in the past and used it in a portable Hot Spot which worked throughout all of Europe.

Also reiterating the above poster, be sure your iPhone 5 is unlocked through AT&T. Submit your request at https://www.att.com/deviceunlock/client/en_US/?
 

Samanosuke

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2013
339
29
Why not get a t-mobile sim, they give unlimited 2g data and unlimited texts.....

Im currently in Europe for my second month out of 3 and will be here till the end of august and Im surviving off of this....
 

DerekRod

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2012
820
0
NY
Didn't the EU pass some law killing overages.Basically whatever plan you have in your home country will apply in the other EU member countries?
 

IndyBob

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
98
12
Indianapolis
I will be going to 5 countries (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France) for 2 weeks. I will be making a few calls/text but I mainly need it for the data (maps, etc).

From what I've heard so far, buying a prepaid SIM card is my best option (and significantly cheaper than an international plan from AT&T).

It seems as though everyone gets the SIM card once they are over there...BUT I'd like to get it in advance. Does anyone know the best way to go about getting a prepaid SIM card before I leave for Europe?

I have had good luck with ordering from https://www.telestial.com before leaving the US. They have an "International" SIM that is good in several countries.
 

bkends35

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2013
937
397
USA
I've been in Ireland and the UK for the past week and I've bought two "3" sims for my unlocked 5s, for 20 euro and 15 pounds respectively. I've gotten unlimited data, and lots of calls and texts (can't remember exact numbers). Coverage is very good and you get tethering as well. I'd recommend just buying a new sim in the different countries because otherwise you'll be roaming if you just buy one to my understanding. They can be found in the airport, convenience stores and cell phone shops obviously. Have fun!
 

bigchrisfgb

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2010
1,215
333
Didn't the EU pass some law killing overages.Basically whatever plan you have in your home country will apply in the other EU member countries?
It doesn't come into effect until the end of next year. Also Switzerland isn't included in it as it's not an EU state.
 

617aircav

Suspended
Jul 2, 2012
3,976
818
How much per GB of data are these things purchased at the airport usually? Does a data only SIM work in an unlocked iPhone 5 or a 5s if one does not care about making phone calls?
I went to London and bought a Vodafone prepaid SIM for 1 pound. I was able to roam with it to Switzerland. I used data and made most calls while on WiFi.
 

Merkie

macrumors 68020
Oct 23, 2008
2,108
682
Didn't the EU pass some law killing overages.Basically whatever plan you have in your home country will apply in the other EU member countries?
Yes, but that doesn't go into effect until June 1st 2015 I believe.
 
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