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Best way to obtain pre-paid SIM for Europe?

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by TKR, May 27, 2008.

  1. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    Is it generally best to wait until you get to Europe to purchase a pre-aid SIM card? Or are better deals had by buying here (over the net) before you leave?
     
  2. Barciurek

    Barciurek Junior Member
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    It'll be better to just get there and buy one; for the most part "activation" is making any call. ;)
     
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  3. Simon5282

    Simon5282 Senior Member
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    Will you be traveling through many countries, or just one? You can check out https://united-mobile.com/ or Telestial.com - Prepaid SIM Cards if you are going to be traveling throughout several countries. I have never used any of them, but I plan of using one of them next time I have to travel.
     
  4. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    I've used both. I really like the UM SIM cards for convenience, but they are still much more expensive than local SIMs, especially in Eastern Europe. Telestial is very convenient place to buy things, but grossly overpriced.
     
  5. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    I get the impression the cheapest way to go is get a local country SIM for each country you will go to. I guess you can also get mutli-county SIMs as well.
     
  6. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Best to just buy one when you get there. Before you go you can research the local operators and see who offers the best packages in the country you're going to.

    GSM World - Roaming

    (Click on "Network Information" and it should have a link to the operators website.)
     
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  7. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    Which country(ies) are you visiting?
     
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  8. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    No set travel plans right now.

    Which countries (if any) in western Europe "require" you to have local residency to buy a SIM card? I have read there are some that do now.
     
  9. Barciurek

    Barciurek Junior Member
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    none.. where did u hear that?
     
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  10. scotsboyuk

    scotsboyuk Senior Member
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    I'm really not sure about that, it is possible I suppose, but I can't say I have heard of it. In the UK anyone can buy a PAYG SIM card although if you plan to top it up via credit card you may have to have a British credit card, but some networks don't bother about that I believe. You can always top it up using cash of course.

    Some shops in the UK may ask you to provide an address when you buy a PAYG SIM card, and that would have to be a British address, but I imagine you could probably use your hotel's address.
     
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  11. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    It's always better to wait til you get to Europe since you can often get them for really cheap (with some starter time included.) If you get them in the states such as through Telestial International Cell Phones, World Phones, SIM Cards, Satellite Phones you will get your number in advance but you wil pay a stiff premium for the convenience. If you want to be an "aware" shopper go to PrePaidGSM.net to see which prepaid operators and MVNO's are in the place where you are going to visit so you'll know the best "deals" that are available.
     
  12. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    None that I know of. Some may require you to show a passport for ID, but I'm pretty sure you don't have to be a resident of the country.
     
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  13. Telekom

    Telekom Bronze Senior Member
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    However, for Italy to get a prepaid account you need to have a "Codice Fiscale" to purchase a card. A calculator This site Comuni d'Italia - Servizi al Cittadino e alle Pubbliche Amministrazioni will construct one for you.
     
  14. TKR

    TKR Senior Member
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    What about Switzerland? Some sites seem to indicate you have to be a local or have a local adress at least per Swiss law.

    Which is better for prepay including calls back to US? Orange, Swisscom?
     
  15. SteveW

    SteveW Battery mgmt is my life
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    As others have said, if you needed to be a resident, all of this would be irrelevant. They sell tons of pre-paid SIMs to tourists, itinerant workers and other unsavory types. ;)


    I had read this about the Codice Fiscale as well, and went to the trouble of getting one before a trip to Italy in 2006. They copied my passport at the shop where I bought the SIM, but did not ask for the CF, nor did I offer it (I forgot - trying to complete this transaction without really speaking the language required all my concentration).

    Probably wise to get one just in case, however. My more detailed experiences were posted here:

    http://forums.wirelessadvisor.com/international-wireless-forum-including-canada-mexico/53360-prepaid-sims-for-italy.html#post369442


    SW
     
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