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iPhone and iPad use in multiple European countries

I have and iPad mini with a SIM card slot and would like some suggestions about cellular data in central Europe. When we went to Italy last year, we got a SIM card from a TIM store in Italy with a very reasonable 30 day plan. This year, we are cruising from Vienna to Amsterdam, so we’ll be in multiple countries. We obviously don’t want to go to a different store every time we get to a new country or pay for roaming, so what can we do? Is there a carrier whose service area overlaps several countries? I don’t want to use the AT&T international plan due to the cost.

Relatedly, I’d also like a SIM card for my iPhone for emergency phone contact only. Suggestions for that, given the same scenario as above?

Thanks.

Posted by
2081 posts

TigerMO,

check out what your provide has to offer in terms of international plans. If that doesnt work, then look at T-Mobile. They have a 30/50 USD/month no contract plan with unlimited international. The catch is that on the international it drops you to 2G.

Not that T is the only one out there, its the one i settled for. I will let you do your own homework or others can chime in about other deals.

I have been using T and have purchased their 50 USD/Month plan for my travels this year. Also, just an for your info, i have used my inexpensive cell phone i got in the UK with the USA T card over here. Not the new plan but a PAYG one and it worked.

I also have 2 other sims from the UK and Amsterdam. they also worked everywhere i went too in Europe so far.

happy trails.

Posted by
3 posts

TigerMo,
I'm hoping to learn from you as I am very new to utilizing communication technologies. Regarding your trip to Italy last year, you seemed to be pleased with purchasing a SIM card at a TIM store for utilizing your iPad Mini. Was your iPad Mini both WIFI + Cellular enabled? Did you have a domestic (US) plan for your iPad already? And, what do you consider to be a very reasonable 30-day plan? I'd like to be able to Skype home at least an hour a day, but have no idea what kind of data usage that involves (or the cost).

Thanks for any info you're comfortable sharing.

Mary

Posted by
9110 posts

Question 1. Does the boat have wifi? If so the question is moot.

Question 2. If the phones is only for emergency, why are you adverse to spending two bucks a minute for emergency calls?

For Mary

If a device has a sim slot, it's not wifi-only by definition.

Skype is a wifi platform that competes with FaceTime. Neither uses cellular service.

Posted by
7 posts

Marycleopatra-- For 15 euro, you can get 1GB of data, 200 minutes of talk time, and 200 free SMS messages. There are many other options. I’d suggest reading this blog: http://www.donaldstrachan.com/2013/05/3g-data-plans-for-taking-your-smartphone-to-italy/. Donald is really good about responding to questions posted in the comments section of his blog.

Yes, my iPad is both WiFi and cellular. Without the cellular capability, you’re limited to using your iPad for the Internet to only those locations with WiFi. Although there are a lot of areas with free WiFi, I found them to be very slow. Why not? They’re free, so everyone is using them. I did not have any plan in the US before I left for Italy.

Posted by
20625 posts

I am sorry Ed but for once you are off the boat. Even if the boat has wifi, it is often very expensive. As much as a dollar/minute. However, free wifi is nearly everywhere so we just used free wifi when ashore and skip the boat.

Posted by
1454 posts

Hi TigerMO,
Two years ago our river cruise advertised free wi-fi, except the wi-fi didn't really work for most of the week-long trip. Things have probably been enhanced since then, but many of the passengers spent way too many hours trying to log-on with understandable frustration.