Italian cell phone in France?

Old Oct 29th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Italian cell phone in France?

Hi

I have an Italian cell phone, purchased some years ago on Ebay, with TIM service which I keep topped up.

Is there some way that I can use this phone when in France?
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 02:12 PM
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You can replace the TIM card with an Orange or other SIM card upon arrival in France.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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You should be able to use your Italian SIM in France. Of course, you use up your balance faster.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 06:39 PM
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I don't even mind about using up my balance; I won't make many calls and this phone has payed for itself many times over.

So I just need to know how to dial France from Italy? I am not sure about this, but it suddenly occurred to me that Europeans who cross borders all the time probably don't need a new phone every time they go to a different country.

So we have one vote for a new SIM card and one saying it is not necessary. Still confused but determined to figure this out.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 07:04 PM
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Since your SIM makes your phone Italian, you dial within France the same way you dial from Italy to France (FN is French Number, but without the first zero): 00 33 [FN]

But if you get a French SIM (not a SIMCA, they were awful), then you simply dial the French Number (including the first zero).

For example, if you want to call M. Sarkozy to tell him to cut it out, you would dial the Élysée Palace at 04 93 97 90 90 (from a French phone), or 00 33 4 93 97 90 90 (from your Italian phone, no matter where it, and you, happens to be).

But, as noted above, when you call from outside Italy with an Italian SIM, you will be "roaming," which costs considerably more than calling in Italy.
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Old Oct 29th, 2008, 07:09 PM
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Try it when you get there. If it doesn't work then get a SIM card. I couldn't get my daughter's phone (purchased two years ago while she was living in Spain) to work while I was in Italy. I assumed it would be unlocked since she purchased it in Europe, but no other SIM/TIM would work and the kind already in it wasn't sold in Italy.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 01:29 AM
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Roaming prices within the EU are now a lot lower than they were even a year ago, thanks to new legislation. You would have to check with your provider whether you need to register to qualify for the lower roaming charges - some require it, some don't.
You can also use the + key on a mobile phone instead of the 00 btw.
If your phone is locked you will not be able to use a French SIM in it unless it is from the same provider and you buy it at their shop.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 01:48 AM
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The eu is working on trying to do away with roaming charges within the eu...they're not there yet as roaming is a cash cow to mobile phone telcoms...it will cost osmething like 0,22€ to receive calls and about 0,40€ to make calls within the eu per minute....

While you're in France, you will be roaming on a French network. Therefore, you can make a call as if it's a French domestic call by dialing the number with the lead 0 followed by the city code (01 for Parks) and then the rest of the number although it will do no harm to dial it as an international call (0033 (omit lead 0) cithy code (1 for Paris) followed by the number. The + key on a gsm keypad will stand in for the 00 so you could dial +33 etc....to call back to Italy, you will have to dial it as an international call (0039 (omit lead zero then rest of number) or +39 etc.

But to make a long story short, yes the sim card will work.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 03:18 AM
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Many European cellphones, when roaming in another European country, automatically recognize which country they are in and allow you to dial as if you had a phone from that country. So with your Italian phone, when in France, you may only need to dial the usual French number without international prefix. Experiment with it, and if it doesn't work, put the international prefix for France, 00 33 and drop the first zero. This is because such calls are handled entirely by the roaming partner in France, which allocates a virtual local number (which is hidden from you) to your phone while you are there.
Roaming charge within EU for another phone from an EU country is now capped, at the maximum of 46 euro cents/min for calls made abroad and 22 euro cents/min for receiving (plus VAT), due to come down even further in 2009. Many operators charge less than the maximum, so it may even be cheaper for you. So it may work not much more than getting a local French SIM (most Italian phones are unlocked but France has notoriously high local tariffs), other than having to pay for received calls (but you keep your Italian number, so easier for your friends and family to contact).
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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But it seems that there is the possibility that my phone may be locked; is that correct?

If it is, I couldn't get a new SIM in France, anyway. Is that correct?

I would like to keep my Italian cell number, but I could live without it. It just seems that using the Italian phone in Paris, as is, would be a good thing.
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Old Oct 30th, 2008, 07:02 PM
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FYI - I have heard that if the TIM SIM is dormant for about a year then it may not work. So even if you have money on account you still may not be able to use the number anymore. Getting a new TIM SIM card should take about 24 hours to activate (or never - which also happened to me).

(...incentive to make sure you return to Italy before a year passes!)
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