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Pre-paid sim card for Europe and UK

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I will be in London in mid-May, near St Pancras Station, for a couple of hours before taking the Eurostar to Paris.

Does anyone know of shops within reasonable walking distance of St Pancras that sells a range of pre-paid sim cards that will work in Europe without costing an arm and a leg? I won't be making or receiving a lot of calls, I mainly want it for emergencies, or to call hotels I can't find or locals I am meeting, or for receiving occasional sms's. The specific countries are France, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Hungary and Russia. I have an unlocked phone with appropriate frequencies.

After wandering Europe I return to the UK for a couple of weeks at the end of the trip. If I cannot get a multi-country card at the beginning, I will be looking for a UK-only card then.

All ideas wil be gratefully received. I did some forum searching on pre-paid sim but all of the posts looke fairly old.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
http://loraltravel.blogspot.com (Where Do You Want To Go and What Do You Want To Do and See?)

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    This comes up here all the time....you may well have the phone from the question you asked as Australia uses gsm with the same frequencies as Europe so if's just a sim card you want, you can go to the web sites of any of the largest British mobile telcosd (those are vodafone.co.uk, o2,co.uk, orange.co.uk or tmobile.co.uk) and if you go through the web site, I believe each of them will post to any UK address free sim cards (you need 2, right?). I myself prefer either orange or tmobile, since they're merging you can use towers of either which makes coverage very good, especially in London. All follow eu roaming rules that means that while within the eu, you can receive calls relatively cheaply (coming down all the time), make calls within the eu relatively cheaply. While in the UK, you will receive for free and pay whatever the tariff is for calls within the UK. Also Orange and T mobile UK team up with a firm called yourcallworld to offer dirt cheap, and I mean dirt cheap, international calls to worldwide landlines, a tad more expensive to worldwide mobile phones (except to North America where all calls to the USA and Canada are considered landline if you call those places). The sim cards will arrive at your hotel with no credit but topping up is also dirt simple while in the UK. They give you a card that looks like a crfedit card, you take it to any convenience or grocery or chemist or petrol station just about and tell the clerk you want to top up say for 5 quid and they'll know what to do.

    I assume you're coming into St. Pancras via eurostar. As you get off the eurostar train, you will see some kids hawking a sim card from lebara (lebara.co.uk)....also free with a top up (£5 or more) and they also feature cheap international calls only a little more expensive than yourcallworld, free reception within the UK and the same low roaming rates within the eu.

    The only thing that's tough to do is to get relatively cheap calls to Australia or anywhere outside the eu (vodafone has a plan for this as vodafone also operates in Australia) but the work around is to get a local calling card with a local (within the eu) triggering number and the triggering call will be under the eu roaming rates (or just use a public phone or the hotel phone to make outgoing calls home)....

    And as I always end my posts on this subject, the nice thing about English sim cards is that everything is done in a language you should be able to understand.

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    Thanks a lot. Good info.

    And yeah, Strine and English are almost the same :)

    If that didn't make sense to you, google "Let Stalk Strine" by Afferbeck Lauder.

    Cheers, Alan, Australia.
    http://loraltravel.blogspot.com (Where Do You Want To Go and What Do You Want To Do and See?)

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    Post Script

    I bought a Lebara, or more correctly pre-charged a Lebara with GBP10 at St Pancras Station before I boarded the Eurostar. Calls while in Europe were 38p/minute to send and 19p/minute to receive. That was OK for me, because I mainly needed it for emergencies or quick calls to hotels. Unfortunately it expired in Russia because roaming rates there wiped it out even when the call was not answered.

    On return to the UK they apologised and re-charged it for the Russian loss. In the UK calls were 5p/min to landline and 10p/min to mobile, but the best part for me was calls to Australia from the UK were 1p/minute to landline and 16p/min to mobile. I had used Skype to Australian landline all through Europe but this was actually cheaper.

    Unfortunately it was back to expensive roaming in Malaysia; GBP1/minute. But overall it was marvellous for my needs.

    Cheers, Alan
    Born Under a Wandering Star http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/
    (latest: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

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