Mobile Broadband in France


Nov 23rd, 2011, 08:42 AM
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Mobile Broadband in France

We are from the US and will be spending a month in Nice in an apartment without WiFi. We will need access to the internet and are wondering if there is a Pay as You Go plan availalble in France. Any information would be appreciated! My French isn't good enough for me to figure out the site. Thanks,
Jo_Ron is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 09:16 AM
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There are a number of cyber-cafes in Nice as well as free wi-fi is getting more and more popular in local establishments. Heck I just walked the Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain and was always able to find free wi-fi along the way, even in small villages!
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 10:29 AM
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SFR certainly offer payg mobile internet.
But there are lots of free places - any MacD has free wifi. you don't even need to buy anything - we've accessed it just sitting in their car-park, though buying a cup of coffee or something is the politer option .
The tourist information office may also offer free wifi.

If you do a Google search for free wifi n Nice you will find more places.
hetismij2 is online now  
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 11:47 AM
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We were looking for something that could be used frequently in a location where it is convenient to connect. My husband has a few consulting clients that may need assistance while we're there and we didn't want to chance having a MacD's not available. I already checked the tourist office and they do not have free wifi, but did provide names of some internet cafes that may be our only choice. I'll see if I have better luck reading the SFR site.
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Download and install Google's free Chrome browser. It will offer to translate pages for you. It's not perfect but good enough for your purposes.

You should be able to find a person in an SFR or Orange shop who can speak English well enough to help you. You can also try the post office as they have phone and internet plans as well...

Try the link above with Chrome or copy/paste into Google translate...
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 01:04 PM
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Before most hotels switched to free wifi, I often paid for the Orange wifi network, but you will also often find the Free (not free) wifi network also wafting around the airwaves for a fee. Check what your computer picks up and how strong the signal is before you decide.
kerouac is online now  
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 09:24 PM
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I second the suggestion to check what your computer can receive - coverage is not equal everywhere. For instance, in the part of the Dordogne where I live, Orange coverage is good, but SFR is not.

I understand your problem - we are currently in South Africa in an apartment that doesn't have WiFi, and here there aren't may hotspots. Plus, as you say, you want to be able to work in comfortable surroundings - often Internet cafes are not. And there are fewer of them these days as most people have some way of connecting.

I know here in SA we buy time, convert it to data, and use a 3G modem, but really dont know how that works in France. As we live there, we dont need it. But your best bet probably is to go into an office and try to get some help. Many of the programs and offers that you find online are for people who live in France, and involve a contract.
Carlux is offline  
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Nov 23rd, 2011, 10:17 PM
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What you want is a dongle.

When launched, the Orange France dongle was €79, of which you got €30 back. Prepay monthly unlimited internet access, marketed as Orange's Internet Everywhere, was €29.90

The Orange website does have English-language content (, but I've struggled too to find the press release about dongles on that site. But if you google "Orange Sets Mobile Internet Access Free in France" you'll find the release all over the web.
flanneruk is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2011, 11:48 AM
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Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I have found the article about Orange internet and it appears that it will be a solution for us. We'll locate an English speaking Orange sales person on arrival and get set up with a dongle.
Jo_Ron is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Flanner: I clicked your link and got "Le site du groupe a changé et l'adresse que vous demandez n'existe plus."
which (not speaking French) I suspect means the URL doesn't exist any more.

Also, could you translate what you wrote for this ol' technophobe? Is a dongle hardware? Is it like a flash drive, that you'd stick in a USB port, and get connected? So for about $45-$50 one could get a month's worth of data usage, enough to look up countless Michelin maps and to translate speech using Google French? Or do I not understand?
tomboy is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2011, 08:01 PM
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Yes... a dongle looks like a USB stick and provides wireless internet.
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