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If using a European Country's SIM card do I lose access to the data on my existing phone?

If I purchase a local SIM card. Will I be able to use my existing apps such as: Rick Steve's Europe Audio Tours, WhatsAp and all the contacts presently loaded on my phone? I currently use Verizon as my service provider. I'm undecided about trading in Verizon for T-Mobile or just buying a SIM card.

Posted by
8889 posts

The Apps are stored on your phone, not on the SIM card, so the answer is yes, you can still access them. You can even use them with no SIM card, if you have WiFi. WiFi doesn't use the SIM card, or the phone service.
Contacts are usually stored on the phone, but can be stored on the SIM card. You need to check, it could be a mixture. Or just take the SIM card out and see if you can access your contacts and use your Apps on your home WiFi.

Posted by
7695 posts

No. Everything will be the same, Apps, Contacts, emails, etc. The only difference is your cell phone provider. Your phone has a SIM card in it for your existing cell company. I put my US one back in the phone on my flight home, just popped it in.

Posted by
22 posts

All you apps are not stored on the SIM so you will be able to use them perfectly with wifi or a local SIM.

Personally I think it would just be easier to purchase a pre-paid SIM card when you get there or buy a SIM that comes with an allotted amount of data so you would be able to use WhatsApp, google maps, etc. on the go. I typically just buy a SIM with data.

Posted by
11 posts

We have two couples traveling together wondering about the ins and outs of buying a sim card for one smartphone per couple. We will be in Amsterdam for three days, one day in Belgium and 3 1/2 weeks in France. Is it possible to buy one card that will cover all three countries or will we have to buy one card for the Netherlands, probably skip buying a card for Belgium and another that will work in France? We hope to do most of our phone use on wifi with data as needed for contacting hotels, etc. as we travel, any idea how much data would be appropriate?

Posted by
1343 posts


The EU has roaming regulations often referred to as roam like at home. You should be able to find a plan in Amsterdam that will cover all 3 countries. Not specific to the Netherlands but most plans that I have seen cover 30 days . If your trip is longer than that you may need to top up.(add funds) or get a new plan.

How much data you need will depend on how you use it. Streaming video, downloading or uploading large or many files like phots will chew up data quickly. Some people report that mapping apps use up there data too.

If you want to get a card in advance forum member Andrew H has a nice write up. A little dated so some details may have changed.

Posted by
24 posts

After reading the above note, I searched ebay for "Dutch vodaphone SIM" and found a couple SIMs( from the UK) being sold for a couple dollars. I ordered them and keeping fingers crossed that they work. May save me from tracking down a TIM store when we arrive in Rome. If not, I will only be out a few dollars. I also have a free SIM from GiffGaff(also UK) but that card might be limited to two weeks use if not activated in the UK.