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Smart Phones in Europe?

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  • Smart Phones in Europe?

    What are cell phone and data usage rates in Europe? Is date reasonably priced or do you consider it expensive? I'm getting ready to head over to Germany and amazed at what data costs. I expect it to be expensive to add to my US plan and I can understand the voice/phone rates but data is really expensive. Are data plans expensive in Europe?

  • #2
    I'm not an expert in any way, but if the phone is unlocked I would consider getting a local pre-paid card, at least if you are going to use data a lot.
    Here in Sweden you pay about 3-4 USD/day for a decent data connection.
    It's also quite common to find free wifi-spots, so you can get around quite ok for free if you are not dependable of a full time internet connection.

    I know that we're using a bit different frequency bands in Europe than in the US, that might restrict your ability to get full 3G/4G-connections.

    I think that Seagull might be the world wide CVF-Oracle of pre paid SIM-cards?


    • #3
      Are you kidding,Dane?You really believe we have cell phones in Europe?.....


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tommi View Post
        I think that Seagull might be the world wide CVF-Oracle of pre paid SIM-cards?
        Not much of an oracle! I have only had experience of purchasing pre-paid sim cards in Norway and Thailand for use in an iPad. Haven't been to Germany for some years, so I don’t know costs there, or how common it is to find free wifi in café’s and suchlike.


        • #5
          Will let Ralf update on Germany - but our experience is that 'home network' data rates aren't too bad at all (We pay around £15 per month for iPhone, calls, SMS and 1GB of data on home network). BUT, data roaming rates are horrendous! I work for a German company, but using my UK phone in Germany actually requires buying a single month's worth of extra data at a time 'cos it costs too much. Our dear friends in the European Parliament are trying to fix that - they have been successful in driving down the cost of calls from the previously exorbitant rates we were used to.

          What I would say though is that free Wifi is far more common now than it ever was. Long time since we've paid for WiFi in Scandi, and most of the Dutch hotels we stay in have at least a couple of hours of free data usage every day, most have free all the time.



          • #6
            I expected it to be expensive to add Europe/Germany to my US plan and the phone and text rates are high but what I expect. It's the data that is shocking. With a pre-arranged plan it is $25 for 100 mb (that's $250 per gig !!! ). Without a pre-arranged plan data is charged at $20.48 per mb, that's an insane $20'480 per gb. On my US plan I have 4 phones, two smart and two normal phones and 10 gb of shared data for $175.

            We have a dumb travel phone and will probably get a SIM card in Germany to keep in touch with others in our group. I was thinking of using my US phone and get a bit of date to look up restaurants or directions but the international data rates are so high I'm afraid to even turn my phone on.


            • #7
              Give me some days, because i am travelling now, but i know that the kids and my wife are using prepaid cards or cheap rated abo's. I will ask them because now i am the only one in our family without smartphone, But what Cecilia is stating is right. Most of the hotels are offering free WiFi-connection, as now my hotel in a remote village near Nürnberg does. When and where will you be travelling?
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


            • #8
              Here is the result of my families research and recommendations.

              If you are in Germany, visit one of the numerous Aldi or Lidl supermarkets. There you can by a Prepaid Sim in the E+ net, which is fairly working in all cities.
              Their offer is for Aldi:

              Sim-card costs 12,99€ including 10 € credit to spend.
              This is for phone calls and you can add then Data packages.
              S 150 MB high Speed 30 days 3,99 €
              M 500 MB " " " 6,99€
              L 1500 MB " " " 9,99 €

              You can pay it immediately cash, when you buy it, nor pre-order needed. Registration by phone or internet.

              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11


              • #9
                Thank you. It looks like getting a SIM card is by far the best way to go. I just checked and my phone should have enough bands for good coverage in Europe and it will unlock automatically when used with a foreign SIM card.


                • Ralf__
                  Ralf__ commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree. Don't hesitate to ask, if i can help in any way. You may also write a PM if you need some specific information.

              • #10
                The SIM card idea is working perfectly. I bought two cards one for my wife and I. I got a data only card with 1gb of data for 15E and a phone and 250mb data card for my wife's phone. I picked a quiet time in the store and asked them to activate the cards.

                We were staying at a hotel in Nuremberg and moved onto the river boat yesterday (Avalon Vista). The wifi on board the boat block photo hosting websites like Photobucket. Luckily I've got a VPN service that gets around it.