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buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Naples, Florida
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buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Thought of going to FNAC and getting a cell phone with a prepaid SIM card for use next week in Paris. Any suggestions on which brand? Need only the most basic - for local calls and to call the U.S. Would be nice, though not necessary, to have one that works in other EUropean countries but right now the priority is just for the trip to Paris next week. What should I ask for when going to FNAC (chose FNAC because near to Ave Ternes where I'll be staying. But could travel a little if someone knows a much better way to do this. I heard can just pick up a prepaid cell phone at Charles deGaulle but fear that might delay me too much getting into Paris. Or is it much better to get the cellphone at CDG? Does anyone know in which terminal at CDG the CarPhone Warehouse (or other) booth is located?

Thank you all very much.

Denise

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dallas
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1. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

http://www.callineurope.com/cgi-bin/cie.cgi?b=(null)&p=index.html

I recently used this company and was pleased. The phone/simm/shipping cost $60. You'll have the phone prior to departing the U.S. and not have to bother with picking up a phone in France. The phone is basic, but that was all I needed/wanted.

Once in France it is 39 cents a minute within France. Don't recall the cost to call the U.S., but you will find it on the web site. The service is good for one year and can be renewed for a small fee as necessary.

K

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2. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

I had a look at the FNAC.fr website and was surprised their prepaid phones were not as

cheap as I thought they might be... you can have a look here: http://tinyurl.com/5rdjda

The least expensive appears to be 34 E, 43 USD.

There's also the disposable Bic phone with 60

minutes of airtime for 49 E.

At those prices I think the callineurope

phone is worth doing. I've use mine on trips

to Greece and France and it has worked flawlessly. You also have it in your pocket

and ready to use as soon as you land. And you don't run out of minutes at an inopportune time as they bill straight onto your credit card.

Rob

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Naples, Florida
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3. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

to Kennyx:

Thanks very much. good idea but won't have the time. Am leaving for Paris in three days so can't order online = will have to pick up something quick in Paris. Thanks for your reply.

d

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4. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Rob:

Thanks. Hmmm. Bic phone. That might work. I'll be there just for a week. Want to just get a SIM card and use it for the week. Bic Phone sounds good. I heard to ask for "Power Pack" - which includes the SIM card. Maybe that's the same as the BIC phone. I don't care for a few Euros more or less.

I read somewhere that there's somewhere at CDG to pick up a cellulaire. do you know where this booth is and if it's as good as FNAC? I also heard there's a good chain in Paris called The Phone House but I'll be near FNAC so that's OK unless something else is really terrific to go looking for.

Thank you Rob - much appreciate

Denise

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Charles De Gaulle Airport
Charles De Gaulle Airport
Roissy-en-France, France
Paris
Paris
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Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Hi Denise,

Try going here:

http://www.aeroportsdeparis.fr/Adp/en-GB/Passagers/Arrivees/Maps+and+timetables/depart_pratiques_plans.htm

Tiny url in case the above is too long: http://tinyurl.com/5hp73e

You can open maps of the CDG terminals. There is a Virgin boutique in each terminal except T1 so chances are good you could get a phone...

As far as I know all Bic phones come with airtime...

Bonne chance!

Rob

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Charles De Gaulle Airport
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6. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

There are many solutions to this question, the one I recommend you totally avoid is renting a cell phone. The reasons are simple: the cost of the phone, the cost of the calls, and the possible loss of any deposit you may be required to make. This forum is full of horror stories from those who have tried renting only to find pitfalls.

If activating international service is not an option with your present cell phone provider (AT&T or T-Mobile service) purchasing an unlocked GSM phone is a good option. You may either purchase a used phone on eBay (usually about $50) or purchase a phone in France using a pre paid minutes plan. Generally, FNAC is a good source for phones but there may be others as well.

I have found Virgin to be one of the most cost effective options. Here is a website outlining other service possibilities:

http://www.prepaidgsm.net/en/france.html

Undoubtable, the least expensive way to stay in touch is VoIP. If you are carrying a laptop, all you will need is a headset/mic (available under $15) and an account with a provider such as: Skype, Gizmo Project, or Ekiga.

Then using any internet connection you can call (for free) any computer using the same setup as you have. Pre paid minute call costs to telephones are about 2 cents.

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7. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Rob Merci,

Good idea. I'll see if i can stumble upon a Virgin Store in CDG then....

thanks...

denise

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8. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Sarastro Thanks!

Some good options -- guess we're set!

Thank you

Denise

Montreal, QC
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9. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Orange and SFR will sell you SIM card for 25 euros or so but without the phone. If you had an "old" quad or tri-band cell phone that can be unlocked, it is the right time to bring it back to work.

If you want to keep your phone number and your SIM card valid you will have to recharge it every 6 months for SFR and every 9 months for Orange. Since most US carriers have agreements withboth SFR and Orange, buy a refill before leaving backfor the States and recharge whenneeded from the USA.

P.S. This does not work for Canada as Canadian cell providers do not have agreements with French carriers.

Naples, Florida
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10. Re: buying a cell phone in Paris - advice please

Thanks YYMC:

It's beginning to sound a bit like Greek to me! Think I'll download this good advice and bring it to the nearest FNAC, Virgin...or...My limitations not your good advice. Any ideas on which phone to get or does it matter?

No - have no old phone around. I've been using an old Verizon (doesn't have European standard) for the last three years which I've gotten kind of fond of. So can't adapt it I understand from NYC to Paris standard. Do go to Paris often enough though but not sure when I'll beback after the trip next week. But would like to have a "Paris" phone in the drawer to pull out when I go next..for which all I will have to do is buy a SIM card - or better yet, your idea, buy an extra one and have it ready for when I go. Or would make a neat gift for one of my friends going...

But the main idea now is that I And I need one for when I'm there next week...and want a clear idea of what to get before I go because I don't want to spend any time poking around. Just want to go to Virgin or FNAC and get something and then do what I have to do in Paris. Thank you all...good info...am forming a plan.

Denise

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