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Cell Phone in Paris

Chicago, Illinois...
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Cell Phone in Paris

Hello,

I am visiting Paris from December 22-29 and would like to be in possession of a cell phone to make local calls and also have access to the internet to look up metro stops and commuting within the city.

Does anyone have any recommendations about whether I should do this before leaving the US or when I arrive in Paris?

Thanks!

Paris, France
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1. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

Have you checked to see if you can use your current phone in France? You can either use your carrier's International Plan or buy a local SIM card. Otherwise I'd probably do without a phone and use a paper map for just a week.

Chicago, Illinois...
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2. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

Using my current carrier will be really expensive!

Can I buy a SIM in Paris? If so, where at and which companies offer the most competitive prices?

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

Before going to all the trouble of deciding which carrier to go with, be sure your phone is unlocked and able to use another SIM.

Don't make the same mistake I made: had a French SIM mailed to my home and then found out my carrier wouldn't unlock my phone - even though I had less than 4 months left on my contract and have been with the same carrier for 3 iterations of iPhone! Had to use the international plan for my 2 weeks in France. It worked out all right - only paid about $25 for the 2 weeks - but now I'm the "proud" owner of a French SIM I cannot use! . ;-(

Paris, France
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4. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

I've used Verizon's International plan, and the price was fine for me. With the data plan pro-rated for my 2 week trip I paid about $20 for data plus a couple of expensive calls. It was much easier than messing with a SIM card.

For a week I don't know if I'd even bother.

Los Angeles
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for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
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5. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

A week of international data plan on AT&T is about $7.50 if you remember to add and cancel it immediately upon returning. You could use 120mb of data during that period (but would want to learn how to manage your phone so as to not have it constantly updating applications you're not using).

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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6. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

Lycamobile and Lebara sell SIMs for about 5€ to 10€. This includes a bit of talk time and 3G. You phone must be unlocked and capable of operating on the 900/1800mHz networks for voice (I can´t remember which frequencies 3G uses in France).

T-Mobile has been very aggressively competing in the international market place. US customers with smartphones and a WiFi connection can make free VoIP calls to the US and data is now free while you are traveling around Europe.

You can download, as an app, maps of the RER/Métro/Bus networks on your smartphone which can be used without a active connection of any kind.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

I used the Mobicarte from Orange - it gave me pretty much unlimited 3G internet for about 10 euros a month if i remember correctly. No contract was needed, and you can buy it either in Orange stores, or some Tabacs carry it. I tried using the Lebara one as I think it's the cheapest, but at the time they didn't offer internet in France.

As some posters already mentioned, make sure your phone is unlocked and can be used abroad.

Chicago, Illinois...
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8. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

Thank you all. I've decided to use the pro-rated data plan from AT&T for the data and will likely talk to them about getting a plan for the talk time as well or just get a SIM card in Paris. I do have an unlocked iPhone, so plugging in a local SIM should not be a problem.

New Jersey
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9. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

I have ATT International service. I utilized the phone for both local and calls back to the US. The cost was extremely reasonable. Happy travels!

Chicago, Illinois...
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10. Re: Cell Phone in Paris

So, AT&T is imposing a one month data and voice package on me when I only need it for 1 week. Apparently, I cannot pro-rate this package.

I'll have to go with getting a SIM card in Paris and popping it into my unlocked iPhone 5. Can you please comment on which companies are the best for voice + data?