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Cellphone use in Germany

I was wondering about the use of cell phones while in Germany. I am coming from the U.S. and have a Samsung Galaxy Alpha. I have that in order to use a phone in Germany it has to be of the tri-band kind and may require a sim card. An individual at the ATT store told me to simply contact ATT to purchase a packet in order for it to work.

Posted by
2779 posts

You can also just buy a prepaid SIM card once you are in Germany. Just make sure your phone supports one of the following: GSM 900 (T-Mobile or Vodafone Germany), GSM 1800 (the many brands of o2 Germany).

Posted by
8454 posts

I used the ATT plan recently and it worked great! I had unlimited texting, 125 mb data, access to several ATT hotspots, and phone calls were $1 a minute. This was $30 for 30 days. I used texts exclusively to keep in touch with those at home and with my traveling partner. I have elderly parents and others that I wanted to make sure that they could contact me if they needed to while I travelled. Being able to keep my regular phone number and use it in Europe was such a plus. I knew my parents would be able to call or text as long as it was the same number as usual. I was glad to pay $30 for this service and the convenience it provided.

Posted by
32231 posts

I haven't checked the spec's on your phone, but most recent phones will be quad band, which is the best type when travelling. You can use either the AT&T roaming plan or buy a SIM in Germany. However one important point on using a local SIM is that your phone MUST be unlocked to work with other networks. Using the AT&T plan is the easiest solution, as that will work with your existing SIM card. If you use that method, don't expect to have a large data allotment as at home. The travel plans typically have limited data.

Posted by
12172 posts

Easiest just to buy a cheap "handy" when you get to Germany. You can get a basic unlocked phone, sim card, charger and minutes for much cheaper than ATT will want to charge you for their international options. My last trip to Spain, there were lots of options for 25 euro that included 10 euro credit at 8 cents a minute. I used the phone to book lodging along the way but used an iPod touch with Skype to call home at about 2 cents a minute.

I once had an ATT Razr phone. It would have been easier to pull the clerk's teeth than get the phone unlocked. ATT is interested only in getting you to pay for their plan. I will never buy a locked phone again, in Europe or at home.

Posted by
27 posts

Hi Brad,

This may be a stupid question, but if I decided to purchase a phone in Germany where would I get one? Does the airport in Frankfurt sell them and what would I do with it once we get ready to leave Germany as I do not want two phones.