Recommendations French pre-paid SIM cards please?
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Oct 18, 2012 7:09 AM Last Post By: elena50
Oct 3, 2012 12:55 AM
Recommendations French pre-paid SIM cards please?Hi,
I am trying to find a French pre-paid SIM card that offers good rates/service, and that works in rural southern France and abroad (esp. Spain). So far, I have been looking at LeFrenchMobile and simyo.fr, but would like recommendations/feedback.
Oct 3, 2012 1:48 AM
1http://www.lefrenchmobile.com/ - is of course not the only card you can buy.
There are also: Orange - http://prepaid-wireless-internet-access.wetpaint.com/page/France+-+Orange
SFR - http://www.sfr.fr/mobile/prepaid-sim-card-for-france.jspe
Oct 3, 2012 2:33 AM
This lists the mobile network operators (the hardware) and the virtual network operators (they offer service but use the MNO's lines and transmissions.
Without knowing which MNO the MVNOs use, it's a little difficult to know what sort of service they'll have in the rural areas in southwestern France. The list does show the pairings..
Orange and SFR were my MNOs of choice...subject to limitations (as below)
I've stayed in Aude and Ariege and I remember in one town (Montsegur) if you had a mobile there was one place on the main road where you might be lucky enough to get aq signal...and since it was on the main road it could be a bit challenging to complete a call. In 2010 I was driving on the upper Aude River hiway and lost any hope of a signal for about 30 km.
There has been work up upgrade the systems and put in more towers but it's still not a finished project (I follow the local papers and blogs).
I would also buy a carte cabine (plastic card that slides into the phone, you buy it with x number of minutes...in areas with poor service there will always be a cabine...usually near the Mairie and/or tourist office in small towns/villages.
The website for France mobiles actually has listings for all European countries...you back to the main page and select Spain.
The problem with the NVNOs is that you can't 'roam' with them. If you're with a regular carrier, you can call them and arrange to be able to use the service in a neighboring country (for me, it was Belgium and The Netherlands). We were only sending SMS so the cost was very low.
Hope this helps a little...and that you have a great trip.
Oct 3, 2012 4:21 AM
3Hello regards and sfgirl42, thanks for the info! :)
The SIM card is really for phone/SMS only, not data. But I want to make sure that the coverage is good.
Where do you buy the carte cabine? I was looking for one last time but could not find it.
The simyo (using Bouygues Télécom network) offer looks pretty good, the card is €1, calls €0,10/min. and SMS €0.05
I just wonder how good the coverage in rural France is.
I have simyo in Spain and they are pretty good (and much cheaper most of the competition) but inexplicably the connection broke off when we crossed the French border.
Oct 3, 2012 5:07 AM
4Orange covered http://couverture-reseau.orange.fr/france/netenmap.php
SFR has this http://assistance.sfr.fr/mobile_forfait/mobile/couverture-reseau/en-48-62267
You can buy in any tabac store, newspaper store, post office, in some supermarkets and of course in the shops from the different operators and other mobil phone shops.
Oct 3, 2012 6:10 AM
Oct 3, 2012 6:54 AM
Oct 3, 2012 11:54 PM
7I tried to buy the simyo card but they only accept delivery addresses inside France :(
Oct 5, 2012 10:07 AM
8This may not help much but one problem with the French pre-paid sim cards is that they have a shelf life. Don't use them up and you throw your money away. I ended up working out that it was cheaper to get a sime card, with a UK number but through an American online offer, where I just bought $50 of time and that lasted as long as I hadn't spent it. A plus was that some calls to certain countries were FREE, but that seemed to change around a bit. Probably doesn't help a lot but there you are. Good luck. Penny
Oct 5, 2012 11:13 AM
you have a point about the shelf life and that is one of the things I was looking at.
Most of the companies will not ship abroad anyway so in the end I went with LeFrenchMobile, who does. They also promised that the SIM card will not stop working after the normal shelf life of SIM cards expire, so hopefully this is correct!
I will let you all know how quickly it arrives, and if it works!!
Oct 10, 2012 1:33 AM
10The SIM card arrived monday, but I was rather annoyed to find out that in order to activate it AND get my new phone number I have to make a phone call inside France, within 15 days. I don't feel like driving 4 hours to the border in order to get it working... :P
Oct 18, 2012 7:09 AM
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