French & Italian Prepaid Cell Phone

Old Oct 11th, 2011, 09:58 PM
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French & Italian Prepaid Cell Phone

We are traveling to France and Italy and need 2 prepaid phones for 18 days.
We will be landing in Paris, laying over for a couple of hours before flying on to Florence. I would like to pick up 2 phones on the layover. We will be coming back through Paris and would be able to drop off 'rentals' if someone has an option for this rather than having to purchase.
Any and all ideas are appreciated as my U.S. carrier is telling me that my Sprint Evo's will not work in either France or Italy.
I can probably dig up phones with SIM cards if there is a less expensive option available.
Thank you in advance for your help!
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Old Oct 11th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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According to the HTC web site, Sprint EVO cannot use GSM, so what your carrier is saying looks correct.

If you have access to unlocked GSM phones that can operate at 900 and 1800mhz European frequencies, then you can start using phones by just buying two prepaid SIM cards. For example, www.tim.it SIM starts at 10EU. Nothing to return. You buy SIMs outright.

If you don't have a phone, you can buy something like this in Italy http://www.tim.it/consumer/c365/i564...44/prodotto.do, which even includes 30 days internet at least for online purchases albeit at EDGE speed.

I am not sure where you got an idea of renting phones, but cheap prepaid phone terms are much better in European countries.

There are many other options.

T-mobile U.S.A recently enabled roaming of prepaid phones in Europe at $1.49/min. http://www.t-mobile.com/internationa..._RoamWorldwide so if your usage model is very low, you can use the t-mobile U.S.A. prepaid SIM and don't have to buy contract with t-mobile when you already have a plan with Sprint. What about the phones? You can find unlocked quadband phone in used phone market such as e-bay, buy t-mobile higher end phone with 900-1800mhz capability, find someone with unlocked unused ATT phone with 900-1800mhz capability (which can be used with TIM SIM,) find someone with unused any t-mobile phone with 900-1800mhz, etc. The possibilities are endless.

There are other SIM options.

Over the years, I have gotten rid of CDMA based phones and plans. Now, I use only unlocked quadband GSM phones in the US, so I can use a European SIM or a U.S. SIM depending on my expected usage model.
greg is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2011, 11:37 PM
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There is a cheap phone in France, called a BIC, http://www.bic-phone.fr/ 29 Euros, which includes 10 Euros of time.
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Old Oct 12th, 2011, 04:11 AM
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mobal.com
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Old Nov 16th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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You can go on ebay and buy an unlocked quad-band dual- or tri-SIM cell phone for about $30-$40. Then go to Lebara.com and order a free French SIM, which will be mailed to you (I got mine in 5 days) to get you started (you can top it off when you get to France, but you'll have plenty of minutes to get you started). There's probably somewhere online you can order a cheap Italian SIM card as well in advance; otherwise just buy the Italian SIM when you get there. This worked really well for us and was by far the cheapest solution we could find.
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 06:22 AM
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Just to say that lebara specialise in SIMS for tourists with cheap overseas rates. They are not the cheapest for, say, France to France calls.

I use them when travelling if I need to phone home.
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 05:43 PM
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I thought they were low. What's lower?
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Old Nov 18th, 2012, 06:50 PM
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They are not the cheapest for, say, France to France calls.

Calls (including SMS) between two Lebara users in France (or France to France if you will) are free. Does anyone have a cheaper rate than free?

Calls to either fixed lines or non Lebara mobiles are 0.15€ per minute with a 0.15€ connect fee. SMS is 0.10€ each. Inbound calls are free. There may be a cheaper rate, there may not be.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 04:04 AM
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If you need to make a lot of calls in France, and have an unblocked phone, These are quite cheap : https://www.b-and-you.fr/forfaits.html

I have the 19.90 deal because I use mobile internet, but the 9.90 deal would suit most.
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 04:07 AM
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This one is good for light use and doimestic calls are €0.10 per minute
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 04:10 AM
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Note for smartphone users: Lebara is NOT offering any data service at this time; the last contact I had with them, in September, told me that they expect to offer it "sometime in 2013."
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Old Nov 19th, 2012, 06:05 AM
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Lebara offers data in UK.

£5 for 500mb

http://www.lebara.co.uk/passes/data
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