Cell Phones in France

Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:04 AM
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Cell Phones in France

We have not as yet entered the current century of smart phones. We have dumb old ones.

So data is not an issue. All we do is speak, listen and text (not a necessity).

We will be in France for a couple of weeks at the end of August and beginning of September.

While calling back home would be nice, that's probably not a requirement. I assume for that we can buy a cheap phone card and still find pay phones (though I'm sure there are less and less of them) in train stations or elsewhere. Tell me if I'm wrong here.

Our main goal is to communicate with each other when we've gone in different ways for a few hours.

What is the best/cheapest way to do this?

SIMs, throw away phones or something else?

Myer is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:12 AM
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If you have existing flip-phones, they need to be unlocked first of all to be used with SIM cards overseas. But you can get them unlocked by the carrier.

They also need to be GSM-compatible phones - T-Mobile or AT&T, not Verizon or Sprint flip-phones, which don't use GSM and don't even have SIM cards.

And even if they are GSM and unlocked...they still need to have the frequencies (probably 900MHZ) that are used in France. Many US flip phones do not have the right frequencies and will not work in France, even if unlocked. Some do. You can search the web for your exact phone model and figure out what frequencies it uses.

If you have GSM phones that work on the right frequencies, another option is using T-Mobile, which has international roaming with 20 cents/minute calls in France and back home. You'd need to be on T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan (not some older plan) for that to work. At least you can use your same phone number from home this way. If you buy a SIM card in France, you'll get a new French phone number.
Andrew is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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Who is your carrier at home, and what model phone do you have?
Seamus is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:08 PM
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You will need unlocked GSM phone capable of operating on the 900/1800mHz band widths.

The low cost solution would be Lebara which offers SIMs costing around 10€ including 5€ of talk credit. Calls from Lebara accounts to other Lebara accounts have no per minute fees. Calls to locations such as the USA are typically 3 to 4 cents per minute.

Lebara or equally as good Lycamobile, SIMs are sold at magazine stores such as Relay.
Sarastro is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:22 PM
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My cell carrier is Verizon.

It's not a flip phone. It's an LG Cosmos 2
Myer is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:30 PM
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Won't work in Europe:


Frequencies: 1.9 GHz CDMA PCS, 800 MHz CDMA (Digital Dual-Band)
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 01:37 PM
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Have you been following this thread?


You can get a cheap phone on eBay that will work in Europe. I put a link to one on that thread. Also information about getting a free Lebara SIM for it.
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