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Buying a SIM in Spain and using it in Italy, France and the UK also

Buying a SIM in Spain and using it in Italy, France and the UK also

May 25th, 2015, 01:49 AM
  #1  
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Buying a SIM in Spain and using it in Italy, France and the UK also

Hola all,

I posted on here a few days ago asking advice on the best SIM to buy for use in Spain (country of arrival), France, Italy and the UK, during a six week trip in July/August. I mistakenly mainly asked fellow Aussie travellers for their experience but in hindsight realised it is always best to ask locals as you guys are the ones who use the services all the time - and travel within the continent.

I have now realised that buying local is the way to go, rather than pre purchase something here, or using my provider on roaming from home, in Australia.

I have done some research and found some cheap options. orange.es for example seems to offer 1000 texts, calls at 0.01 Euro, and 1GB data, for around 12 Euro, valid for 30 days. Ideally I would like to use the one SIM, to save the hassle of having to find a shop as soon as I arrive in each new country, but can anyone advise on how much more expensive it will be to take the Spanish SIM abroad?

Can someone also please advise on how easy a service such as Orange is to use, how reliable and is it simple to top up once I either use all the credit, or when 30 days have passed?

Many thanks in advance,
RT
RT2015 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 02:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Can someone also please advise on how easy a service such as Orange is to use

SIMs from any company are very easy to use. Occasionally, it may be necessary to confirm APN settings which is not difficult.

is it simple to top up once I either use all the credit, or when 30 days have passed?

Very easy to do as long as you are in France.

SIMs from any one country will usually work fine in another but usage costs can escalate and recharges may not be possible.
Sarastro is online now  
May 25th, 2015, 02:59 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Sarastro,
I will be purchasing it in Spain however, not France.

Does anyone have any experience using the Spanish-purchased Orange SIM in other countries and topping it up in other countries, including France, Italy and UK?
RT2015 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 04:30 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Call your cellphone co

In the past I used SIM cards, but this year I wont have to. My cellphone provider dramatically lowered the cost for many countries, all that was needed to activate my iphone for intl calls/data was to contact my provider.

They said they only started the new plan in the past 2 months
FrankS is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 07:41 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Some cards can not be topped up on line.
You cannot purchase a one brand SIM card in one country and top it up in other counties even if they have the same brand.
SO my advice is use one that can allow you access to a website or an app where you can top up after you have left Spain.
assuming you are asking about android phones.
Tuenti has an app.
https://www.tuenti.com/
This company is a cheaper version of Movistar. So purchase the SIM from Movistar. However I do not know for sure if you can purchase one without a Spanish fiscal number. If you can the app is certainly in English if your spanish is not so good.
Alternatively use Movistar. https://www.movistar.es/
They seem to have an app, but it is also unclear if this is in English. Ask at a shop.
The 3rd one I can suggest is Yoigo a different company to Movistar but here in Spain uses the same 3g equipment so coverage in Spain is good.This can can be topped up by good old fashion SMS, or on line. However everything is in Spanish.
Of coarse when in Spain you will find other ways of topping up like shops petrol stations etc.
I do not know about the others as I have never used them due to poorer coverage when you get outside of larger towns and cities.
The price of roaming in Europe has been lowered but unfortunately the EU has backed out of the final phase of this exercise, where there would be no roaming fees. Seems a case that the free markets prevail in this case, unfortunately.
ribeirasacra is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 07:53 AM
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You shouldn't have any problem using a Spain based service provider in other countries, but you will pay roaming charges. You can check the cost by going to the service providers web site. The largest service providers in Spain are Vodafone, Movistar and Orange Spain.

You can recharge any Spanish mobile phone at Ding (www.ding.com), AloEspana (www.aloespana.com) and Canaries Telecom (www.canariestelecom.com).
Robert2533 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 01:47 PM
  #7  
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Thanks all. Sorry I should have specified I have an iPhone 6.

Re my provider, yes I can use my existing service for $10 a day (I think that gives me unlimited calls and texts and 50mb data a day) but it will be more than $400 for a six week trip. Not ideal.
RT2015 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 02:02 PM
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Switch to T-Mobile and pay nothing extra while you're out and about. If you do need to make a call, the cost is $0.20/minute to anywhere, but free with T-Mobile and the iPHone 6 when in a WiFi zone.
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May 25th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Thanks Robert2533. Can I get T-mobile in Spain? I am Australian and we don't have it here.
RT2015 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 05:25 PM
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Alas, T-Mobile is not available in Spain.

My son used an Orange SIM for the iPhone 5s in Spain during his 4-month study abroad program. He reports that the coverage was decent (not excellent) and calls and texts were super cheap. He got it at the Corte Inglés (the major department store), which has a large area with all the phone companies so you can compare plans.

Orange was the only SIM available that worked with his iPhone 5S. It did not include a plan for the other European countries. So when he traveled outside of Spain (2-3 times a month) he found it was cheaper to replace the Orange SIM with his US SIM (Verizon) and use that mostly for texting.
crosscheck is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 07:52 PM
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"I am Australian and we don't have it here." Maybe someday!
Robert2533 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 08:19 PM
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Maybe Robert! I am looking at the Organge site now as it seems reasonable! I am just not quite able to work out if I can buy a pay as you go sim and add credit to it without it automatically topping up (I don't want that because once I stop travelling I don't want to keep paying for it automatically!) and if I can add the Europe roaming to a pay as you go ... it's not that clear on the site.
RT2015 is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 10:42 PM
  #13  
 
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flipping i-things. You need a specialist SIM card costs more naturally!
Your best bet is to head for a multi-brand shop for advise.
http://www.phonehouse.es/
ribeirasacra is offline  
May 25th, 2015, 10:54 PM
  #14  
 
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Here is Orange's information about roaming:
http://m.orange.es/particulares/movi...jero/buscador/

Basically, their roaming plan for Europe is called Go Europe, and it has to be activated before leaving Spain. They seem to have a separate data plan from the calling plan, but maybe someone whose Spanish is better than mine can confirm that. The calling plan gives you 60 minutes per day for €1. The data plan gives you 100 mb for €1, which is charged only when you actually connect, and covers you for the next 24 hours.

There may be a hitch in plans to top up online after you leave Spain. Make sure you can do it with a foreign credit card. In Italy all the phone providers require an Italian credit card to top up online. Even those who allow use of Paypal only allow Italian Paypal, which, again, requires an Italian credit card. I read that the situation is similar in France. I don't know about Spain, but do check. You could estimate your costs, expecially if you'll have a fixed daily cost, and top up before you leave Spain.
bvlenci is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 01:20 AM
  #15  
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Thanks guys.

Yes all of this seems tricky to work out from here. Basically I would like an option that lets me
a
A) use in Spain and Italy, France and UK
B) top up internationally with my Australian card
C) not have money automatically deducted (ie when it runs out I have to add more money myself) and
D) not have to worry about being charged again once my credit runs out and I return home

If worst comes to worst I can just buy another new sim when I change countries. I will be using Skype or Viber and Facebook and What's App to call and message people back home so I really only need to be able to have the option to call local numbers if I need, text my travelling companions and use maps. That's not worth me paying $10 a day to my own local provider so like I say the worst thing could be I have to buy four different cards with cheap options for the six weeks. I'll live!
RT2015 is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 02:11 AM
  #16  
 
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You can use wifi in accommodation and bars to do most of your contacting via the web. I gave you a list of options above on how to top up your Spanish SIM. If none of these are workable for you due to no Spanish or they do not work with Ipads SIM then you are going to have to suck it and see with your own provider.
Alternatively purchase a cheap Spanish phone (with a SIM) and top that up as you go
ribeirasacra is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 02:54 AM
  #17  
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Thanks ribeirascara. Can you buy phones and top up no matter where you are for not much extra cost?
RT2015 is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 06:44 AM
  #18  
 
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I do not know what you mean by "no matter where you are".

In Spain you can certainly purchase a cheap Android phone for around 40 plus Euros. Sometimes that includes call times too. I have explained the ways of topping up with the companies I have experience with. The others I cannot vouch for.
ribeirasacra is offline  

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