European Paizoians! Your assistance please.


Off-Topic Discussions


My folks are headed over the pond to spend a month slumming around Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and France. They are bringing some unlocked GSM phones. I am curious to know if anyone could recommend a cellular provider for them to pick up a SIM card and get a month of prepaid unlimited voice and data. (Continental calls only, for calls back to the states they will use VoIP or FaceTime.)

In the states there are a few services that could do this for $60-$80 a month. I think they would be willing to spend upto €100 per phone for this service.

Who should they talk to?

Thanks guys!


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

Sadly, cellular providers in different countries of Europe (even though often basically the same company) usually don't offer plans that cover more than one country. However, it is pretty easy to pick up a prepaid SIM card in each country. At least in Germany, most providers are very similar in the services and rates they offer and you can get a SIM card almost everywhere, even at supermarkets.

Be aware though, that "Internet flat" usually means a fixed amount of MB of full-speed traffic and after that being slowed down to about 1% of the regular speed.


Well, that kinda stinks. I guess they will just have to deal with having multiple phone numbers while they're over there.

Thanks!


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I think the easiest thing would be to pick a country and a pre-paid option, and then check the roaming fees. Due to recent EU legislation that limits how much companies can charge, cross-country phone usage, while inside the EU, should be fairly cheap. (I just can't remember if this went into effect on july 1st, or if it's on august 1st)


Slaunyeh wrote:
I think the easiest thing would be to pick a country and a pre-paid option, and then check the roaming fees. Due to recent EU legislation that limits how much companies can charge, cross-country phone usage, while inside the EU, should be fairly cheap. (I just can't remember if this went into effect on july 1st, or if it's on august 1st)

July 1st would be great (I am actually leaving to take them to the airport in about 20 minutes.) while August would be too late. I will tell them to consider this option though! I'm sure they could get details if they visit a cellular kiosk rather than picking up a card from a market shelf.

There are kiosks, right?

Thanks again!


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BigDTBone wrote:
There are kiosks, right?

Uh. I would assume so, but who knows what those southern savages gets up to. :)

Also, remember to wish them a nice trip from all of us!


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The roaming prices went down on July 1st.
It's still not cheap-cheap, but roaming prices have been cut by 50% (at least, there might still be competition to lower them even further among the various providers).


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The roaming charges within EU are supposed to be completely removed but this is still before us. Getting a getting a prepaid card in each of the countries seems to be the best option, but using 3G to access internet might be costly (I don't know what German, Spanish, French or Swiss companies are offering) - hunting for free WiFi hotspots (usually in restaurants, some pubs, libraries, etc) is advised.


Drejk wrote:
The roaming charges within EU are supposed to be completely removed but this is still before us. Getting a getting a prepaid card in each of the countries seems to be the best option, but using 3G to access internet might be costly (I don't know what German, Spanish, French or Swiss companies are offering_ - hunting for free WiFi hotspots (usually in restaurants, some pubs, libraries, etc) is advised.

They are really looking for the data rather than voice. My dad does geocaching so being able to search for nearby caches is important. Also they plan to use train schedule apps. Neither of which is particularly useful if they have to remain tethered to wifi.

I will pass along the info about using data judiciously while roaming. Thanks for the info!


I suspect that you will need to check individual phone companies operating in each country and look for prepaid offers for each country - I don't know if there are any cross-countries offers for the listed countries - branches of larger companies operating in multiple countries have different offers in different countries.

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