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Prepaid phones

26 Aug 2010 Dan said

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My friends and I were discussing simply buying prepaid phones once we get to Europe instead of bringing our own. We don't plan on calling each other that much, it's more of a 'just in case' kinda thing.

Anyone done this before? Any positives or negatives of which I'm unaware?

Thanks in advance for any and all help.
  • 26 Aug 2010 DamoMelb said

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    yeah i was wondering that myself today… I know here in AUS you can buy vodafone sim cards for $1 so im sure europe offers something similar

  • 27 Aug 2010 youwontknow said

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    I want to take my iPhone, but just buy a prepaid sim when I’m over there. Are you charged roaming between countries though? Because we’ll be in a new country almost every day!
    Surely there’s a company that is all/most of Europe where you won’t be charged roaming for the European countries…

    Anyone?

  • 30 Aug 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    My 2 cents..

    Vodafone UK are very cheap and generally have the same rates throughout Europe. Not only that, at Heathrow Airport in London they have the pre-paid sim packs in vending machines..very easy to set up. That would be my recommendation for sure.

    In most countries though you can get a pre-paid sim card and it’ll work cheaply in most of Europe. One basis of comparison is my vodafone pre-paid sim card from Greece..it was very cheap and worked throughout Europe. Also, I can say that for me to call mates in Europe from Australia I just chuck in my vodafone Greece sim card Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->. Australia really has the negative side of most things.

  • 2 Nov 2010 Explorer1197020 said

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    so if i wanted to buy a vodafone sim when i get to heathrow, there easy enough to find?? im going alone and will want to purchase one straight away so i can call my friend to meet me when i get off the tube Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->
    oh and there easy to put in and set up?
    do they come in different values out of the vending machine?
    thanks

  • 3 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    Answers to your questions Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->:

    1. Yes they are very easy to find, the moment I walked out of the arrivals area into the main section of the airport I turned and saw one of the vending machines.
    2. Once you buy it and get it from the vending machine you just follow the instructions and put the sim card into your phone. When I say instructions I mean calling Vodafone up and following the voice prompts. Only takes a couple of minutes. Then yes it will work and you’ll be able to speak to your friend
    3. From memory yes. I think just buy whatever from the vending machine and then recharge when you hit the city or even online. It is extremely easy to recharge.

  • 3 Nov 2010 Wez said

    Wez

    As mentioned above, buying a prepaid sim is definitely the way to go. Buy a sim in the UK (I would say Vodaphone or Orange) and load it with airtime (although some are already loaded with airtime when you buy them). As long as you roaming within the European Union the calls won’t be too expensive.
    Using a non-European Union sim will be VERY expensive.

  • 3 Nov 2010 Shanny said

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    Does it apply for when you’re calling back home to Australia? Because I would like to keep in touch, but I don’t know if I want to take my iPhone.

  • 3 Nov 2010 Kathleen said

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    this is great, I’ve been wondering what to do about this for a while!
    I’m also concerned about using the internet for facebook, twitter, email etc through my iPhone, does anyone have any information to add about that?

  • 3 Nov 2010 Explorer1197020 said

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    thanks explorer 1147179, extremely helpful Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->
    yeah i forgot to ask too how is it about calling/texting home to australia?? they can ring me anyways and spend their money lol.

  • 4 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    My pleasure Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    It costs 38 pence a minute to call to Australia. However, if you get vodafone passport (just another option) it costs 75 pence for connection, then 21 pence per minute. If they were to ring you you would be charged 14 pence a minute. It’s actually not bad. Texting costs 11 pence.

    For using the internet (facebook, twitter, email etc) it costs quite a bit i.e. 1-5 pound per MB throughout Europe depending on which country you’re in. In the UK though there are freebie packs you get with vodafone..eg when you recharge with 10 pounds you get 500MB of data and 1GB of wi-fi when on a web freebie. These prices only apply when in the UK.

  • 4 Nov 2010 Wez said

    Wez

    It’s cheaper phoning from Europe to Oz on a European sim as appose to phoning Oz from Europe while roaming on your Oz sim.

    Roaming data is also very expensive, rather get the internet connection details from Vodaphone ect and roam on your European sim.

    Basically all you should use your roaming sim for is to receive calls and use in case you run out of money on your prepaid sim.

  • 4 Nov 2010 Wez said

    Wez

    Ps. Remember you do still pay to receive calls while roaming but its not that much.

    As Explorer1147179 said, you do get data packages in the UK with free data when you recharge, BUT this is only applicable while you are in the UK.

  • 5 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    Wez some of the information you have provided is incorrect.

    First off, I think you’re going to confuse people with ‘roaming’. You are only technically ‘roaming’ when you don’t have any solid connection to your phone via an available network. In 95% of Europe you will be able to access a readily available network. Only in off the way areas, eg country towns, will you have issues, but that’s the same as in Australia.

    Second, there is no such thing as a ‘prepaid sim’ and a ‘roaming sim’. They’re both the same sim card (it’s not as if you need to get two sim cards).

  • 5 Nov 2010 AsherB said

    AsherB

    @Explorer1147179:
    No…You’re roaming when you’re not on your home network. eg. Vodafone AU sim on Vodafone UK. Your ‘prepaid’ sim and ‘roaming’ sim are different. Prepaid sim being the one from the country you are currently in. Unless you then take the prepaid sim out of the country…then they are both roaming…

  • 5 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    AsherB you ar incorrect as well. We are talking here about using a vodafone UK sim. We have never once mentioned an AU sim. The whole point of this thread is finding the cheapest and best option for using a mobile phone in Europe. We have already come to the conclusion at the start of the thread that no one wants to use their AU sim card because it’s too expensive-that’s why this thread was created.

    There hasn’t been any talk of anything else. Also, no, the Vodafone UK sim works with the same rates in pretty much every european country Contiki goes to. So you are not even roaming (as I mentioned in my post earlier).

    Also, the data has always been talked about with reference to a Vodafone UK sim. There also has never been any mention of using any other sim. That’s why I said that what Wez said is incorrect.

    The fact that you and Wez have talked about roaming sims and prepaid sims defeats the whole purpose of this thread. Not only that, if you chuck in your AU sim and use that to receive calls you will be charged heaps. It obviously depends on which carrier you’re with but using an Australiam sim card at all throughout Europe is very expensive. So even Wez saying that you can put in your ‘roaming’ sim when you run out of credit on your ‘prepaid’ sim doesn’t apply. The rest is just a re-hash of what I have posted.

  • 6 Nov 2010 AsherB said

    AsherB

    I was using the Australian sim as an example…
    Even though the prices are very similar, you’re still roaming when a Vodafone UK sim is in Europe.

  • 6 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    They’re not similar, they’re the same. That’s the perk of having a Vodafone UK sim card. Check the website, same prices throughout the majority of countries in Europe.

    Also, your second point does not make a difference, as stated above the prices are the same throughout the majority of countries in Europe Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->.

  • 7 Nov 2010 Jay14 said

    Jay14

    Hey guys,

    Anyone know what the best company to go with if I want to use data with my iphone while in europe? And the price rates? I can’t seem to find a definitive answer online. Thanks!

  • 9 Nov 2010 Wez said

    Wez
    quote:
    Originally posted by Explorer1147179:
    Wez some of the information you have provided is incorrect.

    First off, I think you’re going to confuse people with ‘roaming’. You are only technically ‘roaming’ when you don’t have any solid connection to your phone via an available network. In 95% of Europe you will be able to access a readily available network. Only in off the way areas, eg country towns, will you have issues, but that’s the same as in Australia.

    Second, there is no such thing as a ‘prepaid sim’ and a ‘roaming sim’. They’re both the same sim card (it’s not as if you need to get two sim cards).



    @Explorer1147179

    I am actually correct in what I am saying as I work in the telecoms industry.

    AsherB is correct in their definition.

    “Roaming” is when you are not on your home network such as your Australian sim card being used in Europe. Using a British sim card in main land Europe is also “roaming” but significantly cheaper due to inter Europe roaming tariffs set by the European Union.

    Your above description is “national roaming” and this has nothing to do with the topic at hand so I won’t go into that.

    A “prepaid sim” is a sim card without a contract attached to it where you are billed in real time and must have credit to make calls. As I mention above, a prepaid British sim can be used to roam in mainland Europe, and this would be my recommendation to most travelers.

  • 9 Nov 2010 Explorer1147179 said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Wez:
    quote:
    Originally posted by Explorer1147179:
    Wez some of the information you have provided is incorrect.

    First off, I think you’re going to confuse people with ‘roaming’. You are only technically ‘roaming’ when you don’t have any solid connection to your phone via an available network. In 95% of Europe you will be able to access a readily available network. Only in off the way areas, eg country towns, will you have issues, but that’s the same as in Australia.

    Second, there is no such thing as a ‘prepaid sim’ and a ‘roaming sim’. They’re both the same sim card (it’s not as if you need to get two sim cards).



    @Explorer1147179

    I am actually correct in what I am saying as I work in the telecoms industry.

    AsherB is correct in their definition.

    “Roaming” is when you are not on your home network such as your Australian sim card being used in Europe. Using a British sim card in main land Europe is also “roaming” but significantly cheaper due to inter Europe roaming tariffs set by the European Union.

    Your above description is “national roaming” and this has nothing to do with the topic at hand so I won’t go into that.

    A “prepaid sim” is a sim card without a contract attached to it where you are billed in real time and must have credit to make calls. As I mention above, a prepaid British sim can be used to roam in mainland Europe, and this would be my recommendation to most travelers.


    You are correct in what you say because you work in the telecoms industry? Um, you working in the industry in question does not make any difference to whether you know what’s going on or not. There are plenty of people in plenty of industries that don’t know what’s going on. I can’t believe you’re even arguing about whether you’re right or wrong.

    I replied and if you had read my posts you would have realised I agreed with you. Also, you just re-hashed what I said in my posts-I pointed that out as well.

    I also never mentioned ‘national roaming’, and I never also mentioned using a ‘roaming sim’ and a ‘prepaid sim’. You mentioned that. The thread was created asking what people should do if they wanted to use a phone in Europe. I answered that, and so did many others. You came on and talked about stuff that had nothing to do with the thread; and thank you, I knew already what a prepaid sim card is, you don’t need to tell me. Everything else you have written is purely what we had already come to the conclusion of. You came on and just said the same thing as if it were your own words.

    Thank you again for your knowledge and wisdom Wez, again, the conclusion had already been made.

    I’m not a 2 year old who’s going to argue this, it’s really pointless. Honestly, it just seems to me that you have an ego issue and want to seem as if you know everything.

    Also, you mentioned that ’ As I mention (correct english here is mentioned) above, a prepaid British sim can be used to roam in mainland Europe, and this would be my recommendation to most travelers’. If it’s your recommendation to most travelers, what is your recommendation to the other travelers that would travel throughout Europe and would like to use a phone?

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