Sim card in Nice, France

Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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Sim card in Nice, France

We'll be in southern France for two weeks. Normally we simply don't use a phone while we're there, but wondering what's involved in buying a sim card for an older Sony Ericsoon flip phone we're thinking of taking and activating. Anyone know where we can get one when we get there? Anything else we should know. The phone currently is not attached to any service -- does that mean it still needs to be "unlocked"?
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:54 AM
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Ask for a pay as you go SIM and bring your passport with you.


The phone currently is not attached to any service

I don't know what that means.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 07:07 AM
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"The phone currently is not attached to any service
I don't know what that means."

I'm not sure what that means either. LOL But I've read before that if you have a phone with -- let's say ATT -- you need to have it "unlocked" before you go to Europe. I was just saying that the phone is not set up with any number or server, so does it need to be unlocked?

Clearly I've never done this whole thing before.

Also, any idea where in Nice one buys a sim card?
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 07:40 AM
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Go to any cell phone shop.

http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/France
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 08:48 AM
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Whether the phone is "attached" to any service is irrelevant.
It has to be network unlocked to accept SIM card from carrier other than the one the phone was initially attached to.

This brings another issue. Your phone has to operate on GSM and able to operate on 900Mhz and 1800Mhz. I see you are from the U.S.. The GSM phones from U.S.A. operates on 850MHz and 1900Mhz. Additional frequencies used in Europe are supported on higher end phones.

AT&T and t-mobile phones operate on GSM. Verizon Wireless and Sprint phones, especially the old ones, only operate on CDMA, a system totally useless in France. Since you mentioned "buying a sim card", I presume your phone is a GSM model.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:10 AM
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OK, sorry if this is a dumb question. How does one go about going a phone unlocked when it is no longer attached to any carrier?
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:49 AM
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Do you know which carrier it was connected to before you stopped using it? You'd need to contact that carrier to get the unlock code. (I've done this for an iPhone) Try Googling (sp) something like "Unlocking Sony Ericsson AT&T flip phone" or some such and see what you come up with.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:40 AM
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OK, sorry if this is a dumb question. How does one go about going a phone unlocked when it is no longer attached to any carrier?

It's not a dumb question.

Three possibilities pop into mind:

1. If you know who the previous carrier was, ask them to unlock it. This may or may not work.

2. An independent/used cell phone shop may be able to unlock your phone for a small fee. I remember seeing this service offered quite a bit a few years ago.

3. Use The Googles to see if there are instructions on how to do it online. More often that not, this requires quite a bit of computer savviness.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 11:12 AM
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Or, if all this technical stuff sounds like too much trouble, you can do what I did a few years ago and buy a suitable phone on eBay like this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Plum-Boot-Un...item4aedda7ae0

Then, if you're not leaving home for another month or so, you could order a free Lebara SIM online at www.lebara.fr . It's a little tricky to fill out the form, but it has worked for me twice. For more details about doing this, see my most recent posts on this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rom-the-us.cfm
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 12:51 PM
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>

Google the exact model for specs.

>

Contact the original carrier if you acquired the phone through a carrier. So long as the account was closed in good standing, they'll provide an unlock code. You'll probably need the IMEI number of the phone. With older models, it may take them a few days to return the code.

To determine whether the phone is locked, try a SIM (borrow from a friend if you don't have one) from any carrier other than the original one. If the phone is locked, you'll get a message "Invalid SIM", or similar. If it's not locked, you'll get a phone signal.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 02:28 PM
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If you try to purchase a gsm phone from ebay, inquire about the phone's manufacture date. Many are too old for their original batteries to keep a charge, and many of the replacement batteries are faulty as well.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 03:15 PM
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Amazon also has a lot of suitable phones. Search for "unlocked quad band GSM phone". There are some reasonable priced Android phones, which may not have all the latest bells and whistles, but will (with a suitable French data plan) allow you to use the phone for mapping and other useful traveler information.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 03:59 PM
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>

Good point. I really miss my Walkman.
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Old Jul 31st, 2015, 05:10 AM
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"Many are too old for their original batteries to keep a charge."

Hmmmm. Sounds like me.

So last night we looked all this over (my husband is pretty tech savy -- but not so much with phones) and asked ourselves, is all this worth it? Last trip to Europe we generally kept our phones locked, didn't add an international plan, and I think spent about $ 10 total in charges for our two weeks. So what were we thinking? Probably we'll just forget this whole cell phone thing and end up spending even less. What were we thinking?
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