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SIM card for France

I'm trying buy a prepaid SIM card for our month-long trip to France. The "Orange Holiday" SIM card (Phone, text, data) would be perfect except it appears to be good for only 14 days. Can't find other options from Orange that provides a SIM card that lasts at least one month? Alternatively, is there another provider that would work well in rural France?

Posted by
22 posts

Last year I got a card from Velo Nomad, and it was for a month.
I got the SIM card before I left, and inserted the SIM card into my iPhone during the flight over, thinking that as soon as I got there I'd have phone service. Alas, no. What ended up happening was Velo Nomad emailed me [my connection to the network at that point was via the WiFi in our hotel] a "profile" file which I installed by simply tapping on the icon which represented the attached "profile" file in the email. Bingo, I could then connect to the wireless network.

Velo Nomad was very supportive through my trouble, though I don't know why they didn't mention the possible need for this profile. (Maybe they mentioned it and I didn't read thoroughly enough: I am guilty sometimes of not reading 'the manual.' !

Anyway once I got things going my service was fine across a large swath of France, since we were east in Strasbourg, then way down south, then west in Nantes, and, then in Paris.

When we returned to the US I had to remove the profile which on the iPhone you do within 'Settings' in order to have the iPhone work again with my US carrier (Consumer Cellular). So setup wasn't bump-free, but once I got going the service was fine across France, and I was happy. The guy at Velo Nomad was very patient with me. The other thing that appealed to me was that Velo Nomad's site is all in English, and arrangements are all in English.

Posted by
2520 posts

I have used service from Lebara in France and found it to be reliable and inexpensive. You could get the SIM card at the Relay Shops at CDG (if they're not sold out), just about any tabac and the Lebara stores in Paris. They'll have English menus and an English website to track usage and re-up the card if necessary.

Posted by
6878 posts

I use SFR which is similar to Orange for quality and market share. Indeed the companies have tourist packages, but they are more expensive. Just go into a SFR shop, tell them you want a sim and unlimited for a month but not the visitors package. You'll need you passport to register and some money. I have them activate it for me. Sometimes you have to go to the tabacco shop (tabac) to get the minutes, but they'll still load it up for you if you ask nicely. ;)

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks to all for your responses. I will check into these options. Good to know that there are SIM card options beyond the tourist packages advertised on the websites.

Posted by
2520 posts

Just an add to my previous post - check the "phones and tech" tab under Travel Tips on this website. It'll answer a lot of questions about using your own phone in Europe. Buying a card before a trip always appears more costly then getting one at your destination.

Posted by
22 posts

Even though I got my SIM card before I left for France (see my previous post above), I do think it was more costly than if I'd waited until I got to France, but I didn't care. I wanted the security of having the card immediately once I got there.