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Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: timg
Date: June 15, 2018 05:58PM
We'll be headed to France and Italy soon on vacation for a couple weeks.

Per Verizon's website, using our cell phones there would cost $10/day. Seems a bit steep.

what are the options? Is it easy enough to get a sim card to use? how is the cost for that vs the $10/day? Is it better to just get a cheap phone while we are there?

How do the cell networks work - are they country by country? can you use a french sim in Italy?



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: numbered
Date: June 15, 2018 06:18PM
The choices are, assuming unlocked phones, to:

--use Verizon and try to use Wifi everywhere. The $10 is only charged when you use the phone. A "use" starts a 24 hour clock. It depends on your phone use. If you are constantly on it it will be pricey.

--the local SIM is likely very cheap. The cost will be mostly how much you are pre-paying. Your number will change with a new SIM. You can get one from a machine, but doing so from a kiosk/newstand might get you activation help. You can use a local SIM in various countries.

--you can get a global SIM before you go. These are generally used by road warriors. The fees are more than the local SIM, but MUCH cheaper than roaming.

Not having your number may be an issue if you expect to hear from home. You could use an old phone for the euro SIM, and keep your current phone on the Verizon $10 plan (which you might not use).

So, as always, YMMV.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: timg
Date: June 15, 2018 06:27PM
Thanks for the info. Yes, the phones are unlocked.

Your wifi comment makes me wonder if WIFI calling actually would work from there. Maybe I'll give that a shot first and if it doesn't pan out go with a local SIM.



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: zeppo2
Date: June 15, 2018 07:39PM
In France I usually locate the closest Orange Telecom store to my hotel/apartment, on Google Maps. It's usually about 20 bucks for enough data to last me a week (and I go through a good bit), along with a few phone calls. They install the SIM and do all the set up for me. There are some dual-country plans, but my guess is you'll need separate for Italy (and it'll probably be a few euros cheaper). Ask wherever you get the first SIM.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 15, 2018 07:45PM
I’m posting using a Flexiroam dual sim solution. Works well in Asia. I’d give it a try. You can keep your main sim and switch using software.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: June 15, 2018 08:43PM
I'm in Central America (Honduras). I took a different approach.

I'm on vacation, screw the phone. Messages/Facetime works with those I care about (aka my son). I did need to talk to my sister and mother about a real estate sale, I used my wife's facebook messenger for that.

my blood pressure is down, I'm sleeping longer, and have no interest in issues from others. The world got along just fine before smartphones, it's nice to remember those simpler times.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

"WE CALL BS!" -- Emma Gonzalez
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: June 15, 2018 10:15PM
I'll rent you my dual SIM Galaxy Mega... you can use your domestic SIM and a cheapo prepaid SIM from the country you're visiting at the same time. Best of both worlds. Rental fee; take my wife with you, she loves France and Italy, flies for free, is great with strangers, usually doesn't eat much, but she loves the food there, so this may not apply, and unfortunately snores like a 747 so you may want to get her a separate (soundproofed) room. But she'll bring that cool phone for you. Enjoy the trip.
==
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 15, 2018 10:24PM
.....the French ones are snooty........



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I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: Michael
Date: June 15, 2018 10:35PM
You could buy a Nexus 5x cheap and get Project Fi service from Google. It uses Tmobile overseas and just works. We were in 4 different countries last summer and the service just shifted from 1 provider to another as we entered different countries. The basic service is $20 a month and $10 for 1gb of data. The data that is not used is credited back the next month. You can start and stop it as you want so you could get the phone and service and use it for the 2 weeks then stop the service. That would cost $30 for the service for the 2 weeks. If you go overseas again, restart the service with that same phone. The Nexus 5x is cheap likely because it has a reputation for bootlooping. We have one that has been flawless but I'm a bit wary about it.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: Cary
Date: June 16, 2018 07:36AM
You could just get a T-Mobile sim, and sign up for one month’s service. Includes free data and texting internationally, and 20 cent per minute voice calls. Then use what’s app for phone calls.

When you get back, cancel the T-Mobile service.
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Re: Cell phone options in France/Italy?
Posted by: sekker
Date: June 16, 2018 09:08AM
The Flexiroam puts a sticker on your current SIM to make it a dual SIM. It’s very slick technology.

Have been happy with price and coverage so far.
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