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Rimwall Aug 30th, 2016 07:35 PM

Orange or other Spain SIM card available in Barcelona Airport?
We are planning a 21 day trip in Spain and need to buy a Spain SIM card with data plan for iPhone 6 (with T-Mobile). We need data plan mainly for navigation on Google Maps while in Spain cities. Is such SIM card available at Barcelona Airport and where to buy it? How much does it cost for 1G data?

greg Aug 30th, 2016 09:56 PM

Any reason why you are not using your phone as is? You don't have a simple choice plan?

t-mobile no cost data roaming method:
If you are concerned about the speed, if you are running iOS 8.1 or later, you can set your iphone to operate only on 2G to see if the navigation performance is acceptable.

no mobile data method:
You can navigate without even using the no cost t-mobile data mobile by downloading the offline google map and use the GPS hardware only. You can also try this at home. Offline download map of your area, set your phone to airplane mode, but keep the GPS hardware on.

Rimwall Aug 31st, 2016 09:33 AM

Thank you so much greg! Yes, I checked and T-Mobile does provide no cost data roaming in Spain. :=}

Rimwall Aug 31st, 2016 12:38 PM

greg, just in case 2G data roaming at some places is not fast enough, I want to download the offline Google maps app as well. One question though - how to "keep the GPS hardware on" while setting the phone to airplane mode? I could not find GPS hardware switch in settings.

Robert2016 Aug 31st, 2016 03:00 PM

You shouldn't experience any delay in downloading a Google Map, but since the data plan is free, why would you bother?

We had up to 4G service in parts of northern Spain and southern France this summer, including around Barcelona.

Note, the GPS is always on!

If you where going to the Basque country, you'd find that Euskaltel is now providing free WiFi for 5 days ( Something like this would not happen in Cataluyna.

greg Aug 31st, 2016 03:42 PM

You should pre-download the map.

T-mobile free roaming is about 16KB even though the signal indicator says 3G.

What you cannot do for navigation is to present totally new area. It takes long time to download.

However, even if you forget to download, the 2G throttled speed can keep up with incremental map update as you drive along with the traffic update unless you are driving through complex metropolitan area.

With downloaded map, you can even navigate on GPS alone. You lose the traffic update, however.

You can check this out at home by forcing your phone to operate in 2G only or without any mobile network.

Setting/privacy/location service/ON keeps GPS on.

This summer, T-mobile offered summer only free 4G LTE international roaming. I hope they do this more often. This offer ends today :-(

Rimwall Aug 31st, 2016 07:14 PM

Thanks greg and Robert2016. You guys are awesome!

Loacker Aug 31st, 2016 10:34 PM

Google maps work offline. It's only the search function and driving directions that require 4G (or that you download the offline map.)

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