Location: People >> CS For All Ages >> 50s+ Travellers >> April 2013 France Meet Up
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SIM card
Posted January 16th, 2013 - 10:56 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Hi all,

While in France it seems that one important item will be communication. Mobile phone to me is a must while travelling and specially with data access (Internet).

I'll bring my Android smartphone and plan to get a French prepaid SIM card. There are several but as going to extensively visit the countryside so the 'couverture' of the plan is very important. I've found that the cheaper plans don't have a good coverage in those places, and it seems that Orange is the best for that*.

I had difficulty in looking for the prepaid options for data in the Orange site. But fortunately have found this site that explains how it works: http://www.velonomad.com/articles/how-to-set-up-orange-mobicarte-internet-max/

I'll try it when I get there and hope it works.... As it seems I will arrive before most I may update this information later with my experience.

Cheers from Rio,
Roger

*Source: http://www.arcep.fr/fileadmin/reprise/dossiers/mobile/couv-2g-3g-2012/24.pdf

Posted January 17th, 2013 - 12:15 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
Thanks for your information.

I'm an internet junkie and need to be assured of my fix.

I'm going to our local phone/internet company, first to look at the iPad mini and see all of the features, then for a lesson on how to use it!

The mini connects via WiFi, but also by cell phone connection.

Last time I traveled internationally my Mac notebook, along with skype and magicjack, worked great. But I think a cell phone connection in France is a good idea.

I welcome all and any advice/comments.

Thanks!
Cherie

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 1:40 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 4:16 pm by from Monpazier, France (Permalink)
http://www.lefrenchmobile.com/?gclid=CPiN6-SvrLYCFUiN3godiUsAFw

Posted April 2nd, 2013 - 11:03 pm from Tourlaville, France
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Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 6:44 am by from Monpazier, France (Permalink)
...this is the best deal for english speakers in france:
http://www.lefrenchmobile.com/?gclid=CPfyxuPyrbYCFdEzzQodiDAAoQ

Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 2:22 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 3rd, 2013 - 5:57 pm from Tourlaville, France
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Posted April 5th, 2013 - 12:04 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 5th, 2013 - 5:56 pm by from Saint Petersburg, Russia (Permalink)
Marion,i can meet you at the airport with your sim-card. I will buy in Paris one for my self.
Galina

Posted April 8th, 2013 - 12:48 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 8th, 2013 - 9:40 pm from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 9th, 2013 - 2:17 am by from Curitiba, Brazil (Permalink)
Roger, I will be waiting for you to share your French SIM card experience.

I am now the bewildered owner of a Sansung mini-tablet... hope to be able to get used to it in 2weeks!

Emi.

Posted April 9th, 2013 - 2:32 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
I'm trying to learn my new iPad mini, too, Emi!

It's probably the same thing!

Cindy assures me I can do this. She had an iPad, now a mini. She says we can shift a lot of everything right onto the mini.

So far we're downloading apps to use in Iceland and France.

And figuring out how to download music and connect w/emails.

Welcome to the future!

Cherie

Posted April 9th, 2013 - 2:45 pm by from Curitiba, Brazil (Permalink)
I remember that I bought a cell phone because of a longer bike tour with my local group... and now, a tablet to keep in touch with 50+ friends in Dordogne...

Posted April 10th, 2013 - 1:06 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
Emi

After looking at all the angles, I, too, chose a tablet to travel with.

The cell phone will stay at home, and I will be skyping and emailing for all of my communications while away from home.

cherieerwin is my skype address.

Cherie

Posted April 10th, 2013 - 2:06 am by from Curitiba, Brazil (Permalink)
Cherie, skype is still a novelty to me. Maybe you can teach me how to use it in Dordogne.. eheh

Posted April 10th, 2013 - 3:49 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
Cindy and i just fired it up with my iPad the other night.

Easy as pie.

Actually, with all of that crust rolling and slicing, easier than pie! ;D

Cherie



Posted April 10th, 2013 - 8:03 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Hi Emi,

It seems you have an Android system phone. You should install an application called Whats Up with which you can exchange messages with other users thru the Internet connection.

Also install Skype, for talking with other users.

Cheers from Rio

Posted April 10th, 2013 - 10:58 pm from Tourlaville, France
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Posted April 11th, 2013 - 11:02 am by from Bradford, United States (Permalink)
Skype texting is not always reliable. I've had instances where I've texted people and they can't text back.

As a backup I have installed an app called TextMe. It gives you a certain number of free texting credits (after that you have to "earn" or pay) AND it will give you a phone number. It got better reviews than "What's Up." It's a bit cumbersome to use at times, but if you have people in your "address" or "contact" list it's easy.

I have called the phone number they gave me and my iPad rings, so I know that it works. And I can make calls from it much like from Skype to landlines.

I have a wifi-only iPad so I'm only going to be able to communicate when I have a wifi signal. However, I will be giving out my cell phone number (to be used sparingly since it's $1.50 a minute) to folks for use when no other method works!

I'll be sending out all of this information to everyone in the house we rented in a few days -- I'm rushing to get everything done right now!

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 12:18 am by from San Jose, United States (Permalink)
Roger have you tried this application in the past to see if it works callingAndroid phones that are not from your country? Or when you are not in your own country?

I have Sprint and they said that they have turned on my international sim card. I went in to buy an international card but they said they install remotely. They also said that to avoid an unexpected bill when I return home, that I should turn off data roaming and my best option is to message. $ .50 to send and $ .05 to receive.

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 1:45 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
@Yves

I am not aware that WhatsUp uses Microsoft messenger network. Where did you see this information?

@Becky

WhatsUp is a way to send a message like SMS but using the Internet, either via your data connection of a cellphone provider or via wifi.

The advantage: you don't pay for SMSes and it doesn't matter where is who I am calling if it is also using this application, connected to the Internet in any way.

It is independent of the provider. I intend to have a data connection provided by Orange in France and use wifi hotspots where I find them.

Of course Skype is better - you can have voice and image - but it consumes much more bandwidth.

And yes, I have used it from home to abroad and vice-versa.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 2:02 am by from Curitiba, Brazil (Permalink)
I go slowly, stick to the basics: e-mails, CS site, facebook.

Also, as I said before, my English listening is not that good, moreover to give/receive directions - so cell phone or skype will not be so useful.

It doesn´t mean I won´t learn to use them. I will, soon :)

Emi.

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 2:37 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Emi,

Facebook is a good solution for communication but some people doesn't want to have an account there.

BTW you can find me in Facebook by the name rogdias.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 11:04 am by from Bradford, United States (Permalink)
I don't use Facebook -- it's too intrusive for my taste!

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 3:13 am by from San Jose, United States (Permalink)
Roger,
Are you sure that it is not Whatsapp and not whatsup?

Whatsup is an event sharing site, whereas Whatsapp is a company right here in Silicon Valley, which is rumored to have just turned down an offer from Google for $1 billion, that does do messaging.
Becky

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 7:47 am from Tourlaville, France
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Posted April 11th, 2013 - 10:17 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
@Yves, thanks for the useful links.

I shall try the scheme proposed in
http://www.velonomad.com/articles/how-to-set-up-orange-mobicarte-internet-max/

@Becky, it's Whatsapp.

It is easy to use, it is just for exchanging messages like SMS. However it seems now they are charging somethong for it but it is very cheap, and free in the beginning.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 10:57 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
A guide for prepaid SIM cards is here:

http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/France

Some information may be outdated.
It has information on other countries also.

As I will be arriving the 20th I shall have some experience by the time most of you arrive.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 11:05 am by from Bradford, United States (Permalink)
Hey, we're all going to be expert on all of this by the time we leave!

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 2:42 pm by from San Jose, United States (Permalink)
Roger,
Are these actual cards that you put in yourself into the back of the phone? My phone does not have any slots. I have the Note 2. Sprint said I don't have any slots.

B~

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 5:24 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Becky,

There are different kinds of cell phones. The most common in Europe and my country are those that use SIM cards. If your doesn't work that way maybe it will be difficult or even impossible to use it in Europe.

If you give me the brand and model name I may look at the specifications to give you an idea.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 5:35 pm by from Bradford, United States (Permalink)
To those of you whom I wrote, I was wrong about Becky being on TextMe. I am on TextMe and she texted me (as a test) using her Sprint cell phone.

Boy this is complicated.

Of all the texting apps I looked at TextMe seemed to be the most usable. I've tested it with several people and it seems to work. It comes with a phone number, too, so that I can be called on my iPad.

Until 3 weeks ago I had never sent a text to anyone, anywhere!

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 6:04 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
As long as there are already people from the group usimng this TextMe I shall use it too.

But I will still use WhatsApp for already friends and family use it and in Android it looks at my contacts and warn me wether a contact of mine is already in the WhatsApp network.

Perhaps we could exchange numbers via email.

Roger

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 1:26 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
About TextMe: I noticed that this app takes 50Mb of memory and consumes a lot of CPU even not doing anything. So I think I shall stick to WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook and Gtalk.

Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 8:57 pm by from San Jose, United States (Permalink)
Rog
My phone is the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Let me know what you find out.
Becky

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 1:15 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Becky,

I don't know if this is your case but I think you told your carrier was Sprint. If this is the case, probably the mobile is locked to Sprint and you won't be able to change the SIM card for a French one. In that case you will be tied to the Sprint plans for abroad or use wifi where it is offered.

In this page http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/443649/20130308/buy-samsung-galaxy-note-2-price-amazon.htm#.UWdeNbWlVec
y
ou may find the information
"Amazon is currently offering the Note 2 for a reduced price tag of $70. However, the handset is locked to US carrier Sprint."

Roger

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 1:28 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
In this wiki I've found that recently this solution Orange Mobicarte Internet Max is not working anymore.
I shall have to find another solution for data access via mobile.
Roger

Posted April 11th, 2013 - 6:13 pm by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
About Skype and similar voice over Internet apps: they use VoIP which is prohibited by many cellphone providers. I've seen that Orange for instance does not allow it.

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 1:27 am by from Langley, United States (Permalink)
I think you're right, Roger.

They are different media.

You can order up cross-over (as wit the iPad mini: I opted for WiFi reception only, but I could have had her built with cell phone reception as well.

Like radio and TV: different transmission/delivery systems.

Cherie

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 1:33 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
What I was telling was that the carriers sell mobiles cheap but linked to contracts of exclusivity. This seems to be very common in US.
Cherie you mention another problem: differencies in transmission frequencies and systems. Even if the mobile is not locked it may not work in a different country due to this.

Roger

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 5:24 am from Norwich, England
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Posted April 12th, 2013 - 11:36 am by from Bradford, United States (Permalink)
Tina, I don't know if it's cultural or just different lives.

I didn't buy an iPad Mini for this trip -- I've had an iPad for two years and it's an incredibly useful tool even when not on the internet. I'm having fun exploring different ways of communicating because, frankly, I have no one with whom to communicate here at home. No testing ground. I hardly ever even get phone calls.

I was also a Girl Scout for too many years and come over-prepared for everything!

I think, too, at least for me, crossing the pond into unfamiliar territory is creating a bit of anxiety -- and that will only be resolved by being there and seeing how things work.

Posted April 12th, 2013 - 11:53 am from Essen, Germany
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Posted April 12th, 2013 - 12:44 pm by from Weston-super-Mare, England (Permalink)
Tina

I also like to be a bit disconnected. I shall bring my own cell phone which will be off most of the time and will not be buying a French SIM card. (I switch on once a day to check for messages from family). This works for me and has worked in the past with family emergencies. I may bring a netbook, but only to put my pics on to have a proper look at!

Anne

Posted April 13th, 2013 - 2:06 pm from Tourlaville, France
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Posted April 14th, 2013 - 6:20 pm from Portland, United States
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Posted April 14th, 2013 - 9:25 pm from Norwich, England
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Posted April 23rd, 2013 - 7:24 am by from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Permalink)
Hi y'all,

Already in Toulouse (nice city!) I bought an Orange Mobicarte for 10 euro, then a recharge with one month of unlimited calls and SMS and 300 Mb of data (Internet access) for 30 euro.

However I've found that now they have an offer of 5 and 10 euro recharges with calls and Internet for a week or 2 weeks. That would be a bargain compared to what I did.

One important note, the Internet didn't work right away, I had to go to an Orange shop where a technician configured the APN (whatever it is) and this service costs 10 euro (although he made me free).

My number is 06 47 10 74 95.

Cheers from Toulouse,
Roger

Posted April 23rd, 2013 - 8:30 pm by from Saint Petersburg, Russia (Permalink)
My number is 0785199956. I bought it in Paris. Till soon....
Galina