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Thread: Best Prepaid with Data for EU travel (1-2 weeks)

  1. #46
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    ^^ I am staying in Italy this trip ( 3 weeks) and will return again early next year and do another 5 weeks totally in Italy, so not really worried about roaming. If I get Lyca and use it for both trips, I might even pass their "fair use" screen to roam somewhere else later. I assume they will sell it to me, after the requisite Italian administrative hassle, as it seems to be available to all.
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  2. #47
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    Three UK are the ONLY network still not to offer 4G/LTE roaming to its customers.

    Gotta laugh that apparently they only offer EDGE/GPRS roaming in Italy.




    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Lycamobile has a specific agreement for roaming in EU, that is explicitly banning the use of the card extensively for roaming in EU:
    https://www.lycamobile.it/en/roaming...-eu-countries/

    "If we identify abusive usage of our roaming services due to organised resale of our SIM cards to persons who normally live outside of Italy then we may take immediate proportionate measures to stop this, which could include suspension of services. We will send a text message to any such affected SIM cards."

    Personally I just got back from Spain. Used a Vodafone Romania SIM (roaming on Vodafone Spain), recharged online from US with a 15 Euro "roaming option" that gave me 5GB roaming in EU (and 1GB in US if I would care to use it). Roaming on the same company is the best way to go.
    And I didn't need to re-verify my WhatsApp phone number, I don't know why some people choose go trough that step.

    PS: I still have 150GB of data left to use if I travel back in Romania. data is amazingly cheap in EU compared with what we are paying in US.
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  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aclondon View Post
    Three UK are the ONLY network still not to offer 4G/LTE roaming to its customers.

    Gotta laugh that apparently they only offer EDGE/GPRS roaming in Italy.
    I only saw 2G and 3G when I took my day trip to Paris (took train from London, so much rural areas)
    iPhone 11 is my current primary phone. I have older model iPhones and Moto phones available on other lines. Trying to simplify to 2 prepaid lines, one on the Verizon network and a limited minute plan on ATT to improve coverage area. 12 month plans to help me fight the urge to switch. The good old days of contracts where you had to pay a hefty ETF to leave

  4. #49
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    I will say that although I have "championed" Three in the past, on our recent trip to Italy my wife's phone (using AT&T Passport) got better speeds (primarily on Vodafone I think) than did my phone (using a Three SIM). But hers had to be aggressively controlled to keep it under 1GB total for the trip, whereas my Three SIM had 12GB available.

    That said, I wasn't downloading movies, and getting data to satisfy Google maps and things like searching for restaurants seemed fine using the lower speeds of Three.

    And Three was really easy to set up (bought from Amazon this time, rather than try to buy the right SIM somewhere on the road, while jet-lagged ).

  5. #50
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    my roaming speed on 3G from 3 was fine in Paris for my usage (navigation). Just the 1 day.

    Obviously cheaper. But if I was on postpaid I may just use the travel pass options in the future. Like I did a couple years ago in Australia. My trip cost over $5000 anyway, an extra $100-150 is a rounding error

  6. #51
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    We took two identical Samsung Galaxy S7 phones on a Europe trip recently and went around France, Germany, and the UK. One phone had a Gigsky SIM and the other had the Orange Holiday SIM ($50 on Amazon with a massive data allowance). Our plan was to mostly use data, and also to use a VOIP app to make phone calls back to the U.S.

    We found Gigsky to be very unreliable. There were entire days that it didn't work at all, and it often had no signal or only a 3G signal that was insufficient for both web and VOIP calls. Yet, in the very same location, we had a very strong LTE signal from the Orange Holiday SIM which allowed for fast web and great VOIP calls back home. I highly recommend the Orange Holiday SIM, and do not recommend Gigsky at all.


    Quote Originally Posted by raidenii View Post
    Just my two cents:

    How about Gigsky? I have used their data SIM on my Axon 7 in Japan and Canada and it worked like a charm. Not tried in EU, but according to its official page EU data package starts from $15 for 500M or $20 for 1G, valid for 15 days.

    I bound my Gigsky account with Paypal before I left, and when arrived in Japan I just used the Gigsky app on its mobile data to purchase an Asia-pacific data plan and it got activated right away.
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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by rs899 View Post
    ^^ I am staying in Italy this trip ( 3 weeks) and will return again early next year and do another 5 weeks totally in Italy, so not really worried about roaming. If I get Lyca and use it for both trips, I might even pass their "fair use" screen to roam somewhere else later. I assume they will sell it to me, after the requisite Italian administrative hassle, as it seems to be available to all.
    Lying here in bed near FCO, headed home tomorrow.
    Bought a Lycamobile SIM at a shop a block away from Roma Termini 3 weeks ago. I paid 15 euro for a national bundle that included 20 GB data and some minutes. I think the plan was ten euros and he charged me five for the SIM. Anyway, it worked very well (vodaphone service) just about everywhere in Italy. Mostly got 4g LTE good signal in the medium to bigger cities. Only once way way out in the sticks was it 2g. I was using an LG G3 d855 that had all the right LTE bands. The stupid thing eventually froze up on me and I ended up using it for a hotspot for my tablet and Nexus 5. Anyway, Lyca works well in Italy.

  8. #53
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    Does anybody know if a Lycamobile SIM from the US can be activated in Europe, France and Italy specifically? It hasn't been activated and is brand new from Lyca US. It sounds like they have good roaming in the EU and it would be nice to be able to top up and activate on arrival.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colecaz View Post
    Does anybody know if a Lycamobile SIM from the US can be activated in Europe, France and Italy specifically? It hasn't been activated and is brand new from Lyca US. It sounds like they have good roaming in the EU and it would be nice to be able to top up and activate on arrival.
    I'm 99% certain this would not work. The only thing they have in common is the name and probably a corporate parent, as far as I know. But if you want to know for sure you should try contacting Lycamobile support in the country in question. Kind of a waste of time IMO.

  10. #55
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    Lyca US states clearly on their plans "Only valid for calls, texts and data usage from the US".

    People, don't be scared to stop and shop for a prepaid SIM in Italy (or else in EU)! It's way more convenient than what is peddled in US as "International roaming"!

    And be smart, download "off-line" Google maps while at home, before you leave US.
    And Netflix movies if you want (a waste of time IMO to watch Netflix while traveling).

  11. #56
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    I have a trip to France coming up. Any recommendations?

    By the way what bands are most used in Europe? I know it's a big place but at least when recommending to people traveling to the USA I can safely say any gsm phone with bands 2,4,5,12,17 would get them on AT&T or T-Mobile. Are there common ones to most countries in the EU?

    Anybody using Drimsim or World Sim?

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    I have a trip to France coming up. Any recommendations?

    Anybody using Drimsim or World Sim?
    I used my WorldSIM in France when passing through this past summer connecting to Egypt, both directions. I have the Data-Only SIM version but it worked fine. Not cheap, but convenient; I already had it; I could refill it here at home in Chicago; and it needs only be filled/used once a year. Perfectly fine for low-data-use things like checking email and sending OTT texts (my use case). They also have a voice and data variant that I've never used.

    For France it is $0.12/1MB from balance a la carte, or you can get a much better rate from time-limited bundles that begin once you first fire up the SIM and expire after a certain number of days/weeks (works out cheaper if you will not be using the SIM erratically over a long-ish period of time). See: https://www.worldsim.com/data-bundles.

    For me, it works reasonably well. I already have it; I can use it pretty much anywhere; I can toss in maybe $15 and have a few hundred MB of data for whatever without the hassle of getting a local SIM every place I travel (several times per year). Example: I'm going to the Azores in early December. Local SIMs are far cheaper/give you much more for your money, but (1) my plane lands at 6 am and the airport SIM kiosk won't open for hours, (2) there is no SIM shop in the small town where I will be staying, 50 KM from the airport, and (3) I won't pass any SIM shops that will be open during my early AM drive from (1) to (2). So, there my WorldSIM makes sense. I rarely need to use a cellular-only connection so it's pretty much for emergency or casual use. Most of the time I rely on some kind of local wifi -- typically my hotel. If I wanna surf , I wait until then. I simply don't need to be that connected, and in any case many of my trips are off the grid (scuba diving in the middle of the Red Sea, for example. No service other than a sat phone there for a solid week...)

    For data the WorldSIM at best HSPA-only; no LTE. Thus, it is pretty sucky for VoIP. Very, very laggy. It can work but you have to apologize and be patient.

  13. #58
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    Really depends what your going to use your connection for? And if you need LTE.

    Below are the bands that are useful in Europe.

    1 (2100 MHz)
    3 (1800 MHz)
    7 (2600 MHz)
    20 (800 DD)

    UMTS
    900 MHz
    2100 MHz

    Remember that you can purchase a Prepaid SIM from “Relay” Newsagents in France, generally the prepaid SIMs can be used for around five days before they need to be registered with your passport.

    Maybe you could try ordering a sim from a french mobile carrier and have it delivered to your hotel?

    Also if your trekking around the EU the same SIM should be useable in other countries.




    Quote Originally Posted by ShredFred View Post
    I have a trip to France coming up. Any recommendations?

    By the way what bands are most used in Europe? I know it's a big place but at least when recommending to people traveling to the USA I can safely say any gsm phone with bands 2,4,5,12,17 would get them on AT&T or T-Mobile. Are there common ones to most countries in the EU?

    Anybody using Drimsim or World Sim?

    Sent from my iRulu Geoking Max 3 G36 using HoFo mobile app

  14. #59
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    People, don't be scared to stop and shop for a prepaid SIM in Italy (or else in EU)! It's way more convenient than what is peddled in US as "International roaming"!
    I agree, but consider what your time "costs" in Europe, searching for the "perfect" carrier/deal. In some countries like Italy it seems hard, if not impossible, to overcome the language/bureaucracy barrier. The dude I bought my Lyca SIM from earned that extra 5 euro registering my passport and getting me running. Literally "window shopping" other carriers in Italy (Tre, Wind, Vodaphone, TIM), they seemed to also offer pretty good deals , but I couldn't get much out of their websites. It may be possible to get an even better deal than I got on Lyca, but time on the ground there is too valuable, and it seems hard to figure the Italians out just looking at their websites.

    I burned through about 12GB of data in 3 weeks, even with the screwed up phone. We had wifi in most hotels and 2 of the 3 airbnb sites. But one place in Simione had no wifi so I used the D855 as a hotspot. I got a great 4g lte signal there so having something like I had was great.

    My wife brought her LG G5 that is on the Sprint "1 year free" plan. Sprint includes free 2g (? I assume) roaming on Vodaphone and even that was very usable. We got several accidental VOIP calls from our daughter using Viber that came across on that 2G connection and they were fine.

  15. #60
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    Buying a global SIM to use for a trip to Europe makes no sense unless you like throwing money away.

    For France, you can get a free.fr SIM and pay 20€ for 100GB (yes, one hundred gigabytes).

    More generally, when going to Europe just look at the prepaid data wiki at http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.c..._SIM_with_data for the first country you'll land in and find a deal you like. Chances are you can use data on that SIM elsewhere in Europe (the wiki covers this for each SIM).

    The only reason IMO too have a global SIM in Europe is as a backup or to have service as soon as you land. Even then, you can get some European SIMs shipped to you via eBay (see Three UK discussion) and get far better rates than any global SIM.

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