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  1. #1

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    Default SIM Card in Europe with data

    Hi All,
    I'm off to Europe soon and I'd like to be able to get a sim card for my iPhone so I can stay connected.

    We're going to Austria, Italy and France. Austria first and I don't speak German, so I'd like to try and work it out before I go or at least know exactly what I need to get.

    I figure Vodafone is all over the place so they're probably the best. Does anyone know about roaming around Europe with a SIM card from within Europe? Is it considered roaming when you're still on Vodafone?

    I'll have to get my phone unlocked but you can't change the APN settings anymore can you? Do they now automatically change?

    I went to Vodafone.com and said I was from Austria and it sent me to A1.net which Google Translator has an epic fail on.

    If anyone's done it before or lives over there, any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    For Austria and Italy, if you really want a SIM roaming from Australia, you want a '3' SIM as 3 have no roaming charges if you connect to the 3 network in Italy and Austria. 3 Have no network in France.

    Vodafone pricing is marginally discounted if you roam on a Voda network, but not much - I wouldn't recommend it!!! You can select from two roaming options with Voda:
    Traveller Vodafone Traveller or
    Voda World Vodafone World™

    Vodafone World is the option that gives slightly lower rates if you roam on a Voda network. Still doesn't compare to the 3 offering.

    I would recommend getting a local prepaid SIM in each country.
    2012 Mac Mini 2.6 w/ 1TB Fusion Drive & 16GB RAM, Dell U2713HM Monitor | 15" MBP Unibody 2.66 | iPhone 5s Space Gray 32GB on Vodafone & iPhone 5 Black | iPad Retina (3rd Gen) on Vodafone | AppleTV 3 | Original Airport Express

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeKa View Post
    For Austria and Italy, if you really want a SIM roaming from Australia, you want a '3' SIM as 3 have no roaming charges if you connect to the 3 network in Italy and Austria. 3 Have no network in France.

    Vodafone pricing is marginally discounted if you roam on a Voda network, but not much - I wouldn't recommend it!!! You can select from two roaming options with Voda:
    Traveller Vodafone Traveller or
    Voda World Vodafone World™

    Vodafone World is the option that gives slightly lower rates if you roam on a Voda network. Still doesn't compare to the 3 offering.

    I would recommend getting a local prepaid SIM in each country.
    Thanks for the reply. I don't want to roam with an Australian SIM though. If possible I'd like to just buy one as soon as I get there that will work all over Europe.

  4. #4

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    andy, i used a TIM USIM in italy recently - only good for italy, but i noticed the APN settings changed automagically in my original 2G iPhone.

    in fact the only time i have to manually enter the APN is when i stick a tel$tra USIM in it - it tries to use the telstra.iph APN.

    as far as prepaid USIMs for roaming europe with data packs or affordable roaming - good luck finding anything, i couldnt!

  5. #5

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    When you get your iPhone unlocked you get access to the APN settings... i have on my 3G unlocked from telstra using it on three...

    As for being overseas, i went to europe last year and going again next year to see fam in switzerland but... if your going to Austria and Italy and calling home or home calling you i would def get a pre-paid three card and do that because its epicly cheap

    Three - 3G Services - Communicate - Voice & Video - Voice - 3 International - International Roaming

    it all goes on your cap or costs your normal cap rate plus no incoming call charges....

    As you mentioned, you can buy a simcard over there but since you are country hopping so much it would be wise to buy a new one in each country.. just get a $5 voda starter pack when you enter each country...

    If you need any german sites translated i speak german and or french but yea i would stick to the three simcard idea because you only gain and dont lose...

    You can buy a simcard in each country, it will cost you heaps to call AUS and it will cost ppl in AUS heaps to call you

    or

    you use three and you can call home at normal rates and ppl from home can call you at normal mob. on their caps etc... so yea!

  6. #6

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    Great thanks. I don't really need to call home much. We're only in each place for a week so not away for very long. Calling will more likely be between the people there.

    Looks like the go is to just get a vodafone SIM in each place. I suppose I could buy one in Austria then take it into Italy. If it works, it works. If not then buy a new one. Then do the same going from Italy to France.

    Can anyone confirm that it is common for pre paid sim's to have data? I don't know how common it is here, but Europe might be ahead of us.

  7. #7

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    yea, in europe its the same as here, if you go into another country Austria > Italy then you will be roaming on the italy network

  8. #8

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    i dont think vodaphone have any data on prepaid SIMS (well not data blocks, just extortionate by the mb charges.)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galumay View Post
    i dont think vodaphone have any data on prepaid SIMS (well not data blocks, just extortionate by the mb charges.)
    Bugger. At least I can look at getting one of those TIM sim's in Italy.

  10. #10

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    They do have prepaid cards i just checked.. in austria vodafone is called A1.

    A1 Be.Free 20 is what u want:

    A1.net

    Tarifinfo*
    Grundentgelt (monthly fee) EUR 0,-
    ruft A1 oder B.FREE (other A1 of B.Free customerS) EUR 0,20
    ruft Mobilbox (Voicemail) EUR 0,20
    ruft Festnetz (Landline) EUR 0,40
    ruft andere Mobilnetze (Other carriers mobile network) EUR 0,40
    sendet SMS in alle Netze (SMS to all carriers networks) EUR 0,20

    Data is stupidly expensive on prepaid:

    It costs EUR 0.20 Cents per 32 KB (not MB but KB)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by remigi View Post
    They do have prepaid cards i just checked.. in austria vodafone is called A1.

    A1 Be.Free 20 is what u want:

    A1.net

    Tarifinfo*
    Grundentgelt (monthly fee) EUR 0,-
    ruft A1 oder B.FREE (other A1 of B.Free customerS) EUR 0,20
    ruft Mobilbox (Voicemail) EUR 0,20
    ruft Festnetz (Landline) EUR 0,40
    ruft andere Mobilnetze (Other carriers mobile network) EUR 0,40
    sendet SMS in alle Netze (SMS to all carriers networks) EUR 0,20

    Data is stupidly expensive on prepaid:

    It costs EUR 0.20 Cents per 32 KB (not MB but KB)
    Ahh, so they have it but it's just really, really expensive. With no way to turn it off.

  12. #12

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    well you can turn it off, just dont put an APN in... then it cant use data

  13. #13

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    so i'm flogging an old horse.

    But. Wouldnt a Aussie 3 sim be better still.

    You can use data, call rates are standard in both Austria and Italy, and then in france, grab a voda sim. That way you have data and calling on the 3 sim whilst you're in 2 out of three places...and at a great rate.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeKa View Post
    For Austria and Italy, if you really want a SIM roaming from Australia, you want a '3' SIM as 3 have no roaming charges if you connect to the 3 network in Italy and Austria. 3 Have no network in France.
    Quote Originally Posted by mallo View Post
    so i'm flogging an old horse.

    But. Wouldnt a Aussie 3 sim be better still.

    You can use data, call rates are standard in both Austria and Italy, and then in france, grab a voda sim. That way you have data and calling on the 3 sim whilst you're in 2 out of three places...and at a great rate.
    Does that mean if I went away with another couple of people and we all got 3 SIM's from Australia, we could talk to each other in Europe for local call charges? As long as we roam to the 3 network in Austria and Italy?

    Sounds like I need to make a call to 3.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by andytlr View Post
    Does that mean if I went away with another couple of people and we all got 3 SIM's from Australia, we could talk to each other in Europe for local call charges? As long as we roam to the 3 network in Austria and Italy?

    Sounds like I need to make a call to 3.


    My education is purely based on what other have wrote, but from what Deka said

    For Austria and Italy, if you really want a SIM roaming from Australia, you want a '3' SIM as 3 have no roaming charges if you connect to the 3 network in Italy and Austria. 3 Have no network in France.
    It would appear that 3 don't charge roaming costs AT ALL if roaming on another 3 branded network. (At least Austria and Italy).

    So yep, if that info is correct, than if there was a couple of you going, if you each had a 3 sim in your phone whilst in Austria and Italy, you could call each other on the cheap (standard rates). And I assume use data also.

    I would talk to 3 and double check on the data thing also though. Its nice of them to provide no cost roaming on calls, but I'd be tripple checking this also applies to data, JUST IN CASE.

    Also, if you wanted to bypass having to worry about a pre-paid option, you could prob sign up to a 3 plan, with some added data, and then just cancel it once you get back (making sure what you sign up to is on a "month to month" basis of course, no form of contract.

  16. #16

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    Cool, time to give 3 a call. It will be great to have a SIM as soon as we get there seeing as maps needs data. Thanks.

  17. #17

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    Prepaid sims aren't very good when they are roaming. I chewed up £10 worth of data on my o2 prepaid in 15 minutes when I was using maps around berlin.

  18. #18

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    I called 3. Not great. You can't do it with a pre-paid sim. You call charges are the same as being in Australia BUT they're on top of your cap. And, data is $5 to $10 per MB. Ouch.

    So looks like a TIM SIM might be good in Italy. They've got an English translation of their site but I can't find call and data rates. Although it does say their SIM's support data.

    remigi, you said you speak German. Could you do me a massive favour and see how much data is with http://www.a1.net/. Thanks a lot.

    drewbles' PM'd me another option which is great for calls and works in all three countries but data is $5 per MB.

  19. #19
    Shaxbon's Avatar Shaxbon is offline Mactalk Honorary Member

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    Sorry to bump an old thread, but I'm in the same situation (heading to Europe (England, France, Switzerland and Italy) for a month) and I'd just like some clarification.

    I've currently got my iPhone unlocked with Optus as I'm on a plan. I also have a 3 sim which is still on a plan (moved off my 3 phone without cancelling it just yet), however this sim doesn't have any Data on the current plan.

    So, should I add Data to the 3 Sim (as I want to be able to use various apps over there eg TripAdvisor, Googlemaps etc) and just have family and friends text me on the 3 sim?

    Or, should I just buy a sim over in England which works in Europe?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaxbon View Post
    Sorry to bump an old thread, but I'm in the same situation (heading to Europe (England, France, Switzerland and Italy) for a month) and I'd just like some clarification.

    I've currently got my iPhone unlocked with Optus as I'm on a plan. I also have a 3 sim which is still on a plan (moved off my 3 phone without cancelling it just yet), however this sim doesn't have any Data on the current plan.

    So, should I add Data to the 3 Sim (as I want to be able to use various apps over there eg TripAdvisor, Googlemaps etc) and just have family and friends text me on the 3 sim?

    Or, should I just buy a sim over in England which works in Europe?
    I just got back from my trip and I ended up just using data roaming. It was $2 per MB with Optus so I just turned data roaming on every so often and checked my email and wot not, then turned it off again. I couldn't find any pre-paid SIM card that would work in more than one country. So ultimately, although data roaming is expensive, the price of buying a new pre-paid pack in each country was worse. I just used WiFi wherever I could find it and missed the internet a bit.

    Ah fuck, I just totally fucked up and I'm going to have a $500 phone bill. With Optus it was $20 a MB not $2. My maths is bad and they wrote it as $0.02 per KB. Fuck. Moral of the story, buy SIM cards in each country or don't use the internet.

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