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pre-paid phone and use in other countries

Atlanta, Georgia
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63 posts
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pre-paid phone and use in other countries

We are planning a driving trip in Sept 2013 starting in Munich when we pick up our new BMW. We are thinking of driving through Innsbruck to Zurich and then up to Belgium and the Netherlands. Followed by Berlin, Prague, Vienna and back to Munich for the trip back home. Is there any phone system that will work throughout the countries? If I get a sim card for my iphone, will all of the text, email/internet capabilities work? I would prefer a pre-paid phone and not mess with my iphone.

Any other thoughts about our trip would be welcomed. I have just started planning and at this time all options are open.

Hanau, Germany
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1. Re: pre-paid phone and use in other countries

You only can get sim cards for the individual country, they will work in the others but roaming charges apply.

Gambrills, MD
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for Fussen
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2. Re: pre-paid phone and use in other countries

Instead of using your Iphone, you could just buy an unlocked smart phone (not iphone) off Ebay, and then get prepaid SIM cards in Europe. You can get a basic unlocked phone off Ebay for about $25, or an unlocked older smart phone for about $200. As the previous poster said, you can get a SIM for one country and then pay roaming charges, or get SIM cards for each country. In Germany I've used the company Blauworld and liked it, but others prefer different companies. There are lots of options, all pretty reasonable. http://www.blauworld.de/

If you get a SIM card be sure and have the seller activate it. It's easy for the seller, but harder for the buyer, since you have to understand the directions and have access to a computer to activate it.

Edited: 03 March 2013, 20:44
Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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3. Re: pre-paid phone and use in other countries

To compare prices for a new unlocked phone in Germany have a look at amazon.de, mediamarkt.de or saturn.de .The latter two are also "high street" retailers; if you bought in Germany you wouldn't need an adaptor for European sockets. You can get an unlocked basic phone new from Mediamarkt or Saturn for about 20€

lebara is a phone company which operates in several countries http://www.lebara.com/

Lebara cards can be bought at internet shops, possibly also at mediamarkt etc but less sure about that.

If you are using a phone within the EU but outside the original country of the SIM card there are roaming fees but they are capped by the EU so it is not outrageously expensive to make occasional calls to another EU country, indeed texting is often cheaper than in the country of origin at only 10cents; 34 cents a minute to make a call, 9 cents a min to receive. This tends to mean that most European travellers just use their own (EU) mobile, they don't buy a local card for every country they visit.

However rates for calls to outside the EU will be very high outside "country of origin" ie with a German SIM card in Austria etc.

AND Switzerland is outside the EU so all calls will be very expensive there (to make and receive). My son flies into/out of Basel and always makes sure he is in Germany before he uses the phone!

Edited: 03 March 2013, 22:11
Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: pre-paid phone and use in other countries

Does anyone have any experience with Telestial? Looking at their web site it looks like a good deal, combining ease of use with good value. I can buy a phone for about 20$, add minutes for 25$ and pay about 20$ for shipping. I get a US phone number and a European one so my family can call me from the US to Europe without incurring any cost. Any comments?

5. Re: pre-paid phone and use in other countries

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