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Recharging an Old Lebara SIM?

Old Jan 30th, 2015, 07:11 PM
  #1  
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Recharging an Old Lebara SIM?

Can't seem to find it on the Lebara website, but I got a couple of freebie Lebara SIM cards sent to me in the States last May. Worked just fine. I understand that the minutes I loaded on the SIMS expire after a while, but can I reactivate/recharge the same SIMs online a year later, or do I need to order new SIMs?

Thanks
nukesafe is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2015, 07:58 PM
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There is a time limit whereby the Lebara SIM turns into a piece of rubbish if you do not use it within a certain time. I recently tossed some old Lebara SIMS I found in a file drawer, for that reason.

from http://help.lebara.co.uk/#tab:homeTa...b:7:artId:2451
"For a Lebara SIM card to remain active, you will need to make a chargeable call or send a chargeable SMS within 84 days of your last chargeable call or chargeable SMS. If no chargeable call is made or chargeable SMS sent; your SIM card will expire and the Service will be disconnected."
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 08:10 PM
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Ditto what Seamus said. Although I now use TMobile and no longer need a SIM card. Free calls using my regular phone.&phone number.
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Old Jan 30th, 2015, 09:05 PM
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If you're from the States, sims like Lebara have been outdated by T-Mobile.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:01 AM
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Can you explain the T-Mobile thing?
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:51 AM
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http://www.t-mobile.com/simple-choic...nal-plans.html
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:17 AM
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How is the coverage on T-Mobile in France?

In the past, we take a Lebara SIM and our AT&T US SIM on trips. Lebara has great coverage, AT&T does not.

Any "downsides" to T-Mobile (vs Lebara). We only use our phones in Europe for making calls. If a Gite or hotel has WiFi - we'll use that for other stuff. We don't text.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:29 AM
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We had really good coverage in Paris and Provence. The calls and data are made over local cell phone providers like Orange, Bouygues, SFR and others.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:45 AM
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Deb - if a hotel calls your phone, do you know if they are charged with an international call to the US?

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:54 AM
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They are calling a US #, so yes.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 07:59 AM
  #11  
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Thank you all. Just the information I needed. I'm not convinced about the wonders of T-Mobile, however.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:08 AM
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Not only that but T-mobile also provides unlimited data and texting on some plans and we used that extensively for navigation and texting during our two most-recent trips to Europe and it was worth its weight in gold.

T-Mobile is apparently trying to build a customer base which is why they are offering all these "advantages" like paying off people's contracts, etc. Now's the time to take advantage of it IMO.

As to coverage: if they have an agreement with the local companies/commo systems you should expect to get excellent coverage and we certainly did.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:26 AM
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We've had no problems using the iPhone/T-Mobile throughout the south of France, from Provence to the Pays Basque. And we've never had a problem anywhere in Spain, excellent coverage. And I do like the free Wi-Fi calling feature, only offered by T-Moble.

Since going back to T-Mobile (from AT&T), we've dropped out Spanish phone numbers and can call our friends and hotels at no charge when in a Wi-Fi zone (iPhone 6) and use WhatsApp for everything else.

I just can't see buying or using a sim card like Lebara when you can use T-Mobile as a service provider.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:30 AM
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T Mobile has little to do with what Lebara offers. The T Mobile plan is unlimited text but otherwise it´s VoIP only to/from North America only meaning you must have a rather good internet connection to get it to work.

Lebara offers a French sim which includes calls within France and to North America at nominal rates. The plans include data which the T Mobile offer does not (other than SMS or text).

If all you need is to communicate with someone in North America and you have a reliable internet connection, T Mobile will serve your needs. Otherwise use a French plan such as Lebara, Lycamombile or one of the pricier plans from Orange, SFR, or Bouygues.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:33 AM
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Actually, you can make regular phone calls on T Mobile, not just VoIP. The cost is $.20 a minute. Quite reasonable for the times you can't use internet.

" The plans include data which the T Mobile offer does not (other than SMS or text)." Wrong. T Mobile is also free unlimited data. That doesn't come free with Lebara.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 08:53 AM
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Lebara charges 0.09/minute to North America which is about half the T Mobile charge. T Mobiles free European data uses EDGE technology with top speeds up to 384Kbps or about dial-up speeds. Faster connections are available at higher cost.

And has been stated, anyone trying to reach you must call the US. The T Mobile plan is a good plan but it does not replace having a French SIM which allows higher data speeds and the ability for others (who are in France) to easily call you.

I have a T Mobile account but I don´t bother with it when I am in France (which is where I spend most of my time).
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 09:04 AM
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I beg to differ, we had 3G data almost all the time [a few times we had 2G, never had anything less] we traveled and that included : Santorini, Mykynos, Athens, Prague, Bratislava, Vienna, Budapest, Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, Provence, Paris.

IF you have a Lebara SIM, anyone calling you from the US has to be pay international fees. I really prefer to have my family etc be able to call me for free than worry about someone in France having to pay for a call to US. I, of course, don't spend as much time in France as you do, but for us who spend 3 -4 months all over Europe, T Mobile works very well.

And again, the Lebara free sim card [that I used a few years back when I had a different US carrier] was good for calls but data cost extra, and quite a bit extra as I recall. Don't know about now.

For the casual US traveler, who wants the ability to text, use data and make the occasional local call, T Mobile is a great way to go.

As always, YMMV and apparently it does here.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 02:10 PM
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makes sense to me, I would hope most tourists don't really need to use the phone much at all. Maybe a call here and there to tell a hotel when they'll arrive or something. I've never had a hotel call me when on vacation, actually, and if they do and it's a US number, too bad, they're a business and should have a reasonable phone plan for international calls, anyway. I like a phone just for emergencies, like calling a hotel when late (or apt owner), maybe if you think you need to check your airline, but that's pretty much all by internet now. So I am going to look into this plan.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 02:23 PM
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Sarastro: T Mobile has little to do with what Lebara offers. The T Mobile plan is unlimited text but otherwise it´s VoIP only to/from North America only meaning you must have a rather good internet connection to get it to work.

Not true. You can use your T-Mobile phone in Europe (in the countries covered in their international roaming as part of the Simple Choice plan) for 20 cents a minute using cellular radio. If you use WiFi calling with an internet connection, it's FREE.

And has been stated, anyone trying to reach you must call the US.

But they can call the US for as cheap as 9 cents a minute with the right SIM card, right? So why is that a big deal for them?

T-Mobile is a huge win for most US tourists visiting Europe. They don't have to mess with a SIM card, unlock their phone, or worry about people at home trying to reach them on a strange number. Most of us visiting Europe as tourists aren't going to expect frequent or extended calls from locals.

Some T-Mobile users may get only 2G data in Europe (that's all I got in Germany most of the time), but it is really good enough for basic things.

The situation may be different for someone who lives in France, but I don't think that is the case with the OP.
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Old Jan 31st, 2015, 02:39 PM
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T-Mobile worked for me in Europe pretty good, but not always. Here in the USA, not so well and there is a T-Mobile tower less than two miles from my house.

Nukesafe, does this inquiry mean that a sequel to the 'last gasp' is in the works?
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