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Where to get a Europe SIM card for GSM mobile in Paris.

Where to get a Europe SIM card for GSM mobile in Paris.

Old Oct 5th, 2011, 02:17 AM
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Where to get a Europe SIM card for GSM mobile in Paris.

Hi all,
I've been very busy packing and reading up, less than 2 weeks to go!!!!! and yes, I know I've left this to the last minute...
I've checked out a few sites recommended on other threads (like 'Slowtrav') which have been very helpful. It sounds like my older GSM phone (Nokia 6120) will be the thing to use for this trip. We also have an iphone4 that I'm hoping to get a SIM for and I think it's unlocked but not sure about that ones frequencies yet. (We have used our own carrier before but the roaming charges now are astronomical!)

Just looking for some suggested shops (preferably near St Michel) where I might be able to purchase the said SIM. I'm hoping to get a SIM that will be suitable for France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
I know I'm pushing it but if the shop has staff who speak English, that would no doublt be a BIG bonus! Merci beaucoup, Veilen dank, Grazie mille....JT
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 04:36 AM
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I'm hoping to get a SIM that will be suitable for France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

I am not sure what you mean by suitable. If your GSM phone is indeed unlocked and will operate on the 900/188mHz frequency bands, it should work well in all of the locations you mention (but you will need to confirm this by referring to the service areas advertised by the vendor). Any SIM purchased in one country should work fine in the other countries but the usage rates you pay when you leave the country in which you purchased the SIM will always be roaming rates.

For France I recommend Lebara which has call rates which are among the lowest in the country. Lebara SIMs are available at most magazine stores or tabacs. It is possible to change the SIM language from French to English by changing several prompts. You can recharge the SIM on line in English if you like.

www.lebara.fr

Phonehouse is the largest independent mobile phone provider in France and if you want step by step assistance, you can stop by one of their outlets and ask for their recommendations. There is a high probability that there will be a fluent English speaker at anyone of their locations just about any time of day:

www.phonehouse.fr
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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900/188mHz frequency bands

That should be 900/1800mHz frequency bands.
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 04:52 AM
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Sarastro, Thanks so much for that, the freq's are fine and at least one phone is unlocked! Thanks again,
Cheers, JT
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 05:26 AM
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With almost 2 weeks try ordering a Lebara SIM online... they're free and many people report receiving theirs in under a week.

Add in "USA" on one of the address lines on the order form at http://www.lebara.fr You can order 2 so you'll have one for each phone.

If you are unsure about one of them being unlocked go to an independent phone shop. (you can test for this... simply insert a SIM from a different service provider) If not unlocked, it will cost about 25 bucks to have it done. iPhone 4 uses a microSIM... you can buy a gadget to cut a normal SIM or look on YouTube to see how to do it with scissors. Any phone shop should be able to do this for you. Use Kijiji.com or Craigslist to find one...
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 09:06 PM
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Agree that Lebara is incredibly cheap - used them in Germany, and they can be used for roaming in other countries. The cost of roaming is supposedly capped in Europe so you should be OK, just make sure you've got enough money on your SIM before travelling as I don't know how easy it is to reload abroad. I am not sure if you'll have time to receive the SIM in Australia before you leave. If you still want to pick one up when you get there I would try service stations, big electronics shops or internet café / international telephone shops (i.e. the type where there are multiple phone booths for calling abroad at cheap rates).

Lavandula
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 09:26 PM
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Oops, just saw above that you can recharge online - scrap my comment about recharging abroad!

Lavandula
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 11:33 PM
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...but there's a lot of problems I've read and had with re-charging European sim cards on-line i.e. they don't like to take foreign credit cards (this is not a case of chip and pin against magnetic strip); they must think that re-charging an anonymous sim card for 50 euro or less is fraught with fraud possibilities I suppose but constantly I read of problems using on-line re-charging of many sim cards (the UK sim cards are notorious for this).
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Old Oct 7th, 2011, 01:51 AM
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I wouldn't count on getting a Lebara SIM card quickly. I placed an order for one and received a confirmation email with the new phone number on July 26. When we returned from our trip to France two days ago, the Lebara SIM was waiting for us.

If you haven't found it already, you might find TaconicTraveler's recent thread on this subject interesting:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rd-at-cdg-.cfm

I'll second Sarastro's recommendation for The Phone House. They were very helpful.
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Old Oct 7th, 2011, 04:37 AM
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To remove any doubt, US credit cards are accepted for on line payments to a Lebara account. You can recharge your Lebara account from anywhere on Earth where there is internet access.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Hi, just ordered 2 SIM cards from Lebara, let's see how long they take to arrive, have just under 2 months to go!
An FYI for anyone else who does this, The website would not accept a US phone # for contact number so I had to use our Paris hotel phone # instead!
If I have trouble loading it online, (due to a foreign credit card etc.)anybody know if they have any stores in France where this can be done? I tried the Store Finder feature on their website & when I enter the hotel address in Nice or Paris, it says location not found. Thanks.
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