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iPad in Southern France - A Success Story

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My husband and I wanted to take an iPad 2 to Provence for our end-of-May trip. Prior to leaving we did extensive research to see what would be needed and how service could be obtained. There was a great deal of old information and discouraging information relative to not having the right SIM card, needing a French bank account to get service, having to call to get more data service to a number where there were only French speakers at the other end, etc. But we took the iPad anyway, hoping that we'd find a solution once we got there.

Delighted to report that it could not have been easier. Went to an Orange service store in Avignon, and a very pleasant and knowledgeable English-speaking employee helped us. He had an intro 12 euro package that included an Orange SIM card and 4 euros of 3G data transmission. There was a number to get more data without having to sign up for a plan. But he called for us and we paid for it right there. We got 25 euros of 3G data which was more than enough for the 2 weeks.

Using the iPad was great – we used it for locator services, street maps, web sites on historical places we visited, information on Cote du Rhone wines including Wine Spectator ratings, translation from French to English. Also used it of course to get email from home and to keep up with news from home.

It could not have been easier. Don’t know that it would be as easy in other countries or even in other parts of France. 3G not available in some remote areas – “E” service instead which was slower. But 3G was more reliable and faster than wi-fi which all 3 of our hotels offered.

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