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The Travel Forum
Planning a trip or have a great travel story? Need travel tips or want to share your experiences (and photos)? Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, the Bimmerfest Travel Forum is your best resource on the Web.

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  #1  
Old 03-11-2012, 03:34 PM
sjohal sjohal is offline
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European Data Roaming SIM Card for iPhone

After doing some searching it seems like the consensus approach is that most AT&T users add a data roaming package before their ED if they plan on using their smartphone in Europe.

I'm a Sprint user (pity me) and I have an unlocked iPhone 4S that I plan on using heavily during my ED in May. Are there any local providers that have a straight forward and affordable prepaid data options for use in Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France)?

I came across iphonetrip.com while searching, which seems reasonable at ~$70ish for a week long trip, but they don't provide any definite coverage maps which makes me a little suspicious.

Are there any local providers in Germany that have good roaming rates throughout Europe? I'm hoping to load up a prepaid sim with around 20-30eur and have that last me the week.
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2012, 04:47 PM
gbarros gbarros is offline
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Interesting. My experience has been that you have to be insane to consider the AT&T roaming plan

I just walked into the phone store at the airport, and bought a sim there, repeat the same as you arrive in each different country (at a gas station.)
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2012, 12:03 AM
roots roots is offline
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If you want to save yourself some hassle of looking and buying the SIM yourself, there's a seller on eBay selling various prepaid German SIM's. I bought one from him for my trip. I'm mainly interested on having data access on my phone and he suggested a blau.de SIM with 10 euro preloaded. The selling price was 29 USD shipping included.

Before I left I selected and activated the package (online via blau.de website). Then yesterday when I got on the S bahn from the airport, I put the SIM in my phone and voila, I have data access.

I can't remember the seller name, but if you're interested I can look it up.
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2012, 09:45 AM
850iFan 850iFan is offline
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Ortel Mobile, a Germany cellular carrier, offers an unlimited data plan for under 10 Euros for 30 days. You must add that plan, which is done by sending a text message, to your SIM cards plan. You can buy Ortel SIM cards in Germany or at Cellular Abroad's website in the United States. They also have a plan for calling back to the United States for 1 Euro cent per minute. That is about 1.3 pennies per minute. It just doesn't make any sense to use AT&T, Sprint or any other US carrier for roaming.

Last edited by 850iFan; 03-12-2012 at 09:45 AM. Reason: mispelled
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2012, 02:06 PM
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Tanning machine Tanning machine is offline
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It just doesn't make any sense to use AT&T, Sprint or any other US carrier for roaming.
It does if you want your US phone number to work in Europe. I realize it is a large price to pay, but for some people it is worth it.
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  #6  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:47 AM
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Meiac09 Meiac09 is offline
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I was in germany on a longer term, and had an o2 data packet, so 5GB prepaid for 25. Worked for me in Germany. Only.

I had family visit, and we were in four countries in a week, we did the $50 ATT package so business e-mail and Skype were accessible no matter what (roaming in the EU and CH with prepaid almost never works) plus the 150 texts pack and it simplified everything. I use a Skype number that is forwarded to by my google voice number when I'm over there.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:12 PM
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northernlights northernlights is offline
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We have used the VOICE prepaid sim cards in Scotland, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. EACH country had their own unique network and you needed to find a SIM card for each place. It became a CHORE to find a store that carried it. This was last done in 2010 and we needed passport info at each place. Hopefully that has changed now?
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2012, 11:05 PM
ard ard is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northernlights View Post
We have used the VOICE prepaid sim cards in Scotland, Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. EACH country had their own unique network and you needed to find a SIM card for each place. It became a CHORE to find a store that carried it. This was last done in 2010 and we needed passport info at each place. Hopefully that has changed now?
I was in germany, switzerland, UK and the netherlands... I picked up a vodaphone sim for my ipad and was able to roam data in all countries. (Note: Since I dont need a phone number for the ipad, this was a perfect solution...data cost 1/5 to 1/10 what a roaming package would have cost...) My understanding is that this sim would work fine in my ATT iphone if I'd wanted to pay lower rates and have a local phone number for VOICE calls(I needed the US number access, so just paid to roam)

If you have a GSM phone and pop in a EU sim (say from Germany) it should roam to any of the GSM networks- however outside of germany the costs may be a bit more (but still MUCH less that you would be charged for roaming on a USA ATT sim).


Italy, who knows...feels like a 3rd world country at times.
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Last edited by ard; 11-26-2012 at 09:10 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:31 AM
coldintake coldintake is offline
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I have Verizon and use their Int travel data package and phone package while doing any traveling.
It's $25 or $30 for 100mb and $3.99/mo to get $0.99/min calls (sent or received anywhere in the world). You also use your US phone number throughout the truip.... I can't imagine why someone other than for business would need to make more than 50-100mins/dollars worth of calls while traveling...

I've found it's not cost effective to travel and buy a phone package in every country(Especially in France) if you're constantly crossing boarders.... However in Austria, they do have phone sim cards that are like 0.03euros/min calling to the US. Spoke for hours and it wouldn't finish with a 20 euro card...
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  #10  
Old 11-26-2012, 12:40 PM
gbarros gbarros is offline
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I don't understand the need for minutes while traveling, I'm using 99% data, 1% voice. Maybe that not the usual pattern? For the few voice calls I do make, I use skype for $0.05/min or free to other skype users. Just like your regular phone you can also take skype calls just as easily for a similar rate.
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