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How can I get cheap mobile internet access in France?
August 22, 2007 1:50 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to be spending quite a bit of time in France (Paris and Bordeaux and Lyon) over the next 6 weeks. What's the cheapest way to get mobile internet (3G or wifi)?

I live in the UK and have an unlimited subscription to a wifi provider, which allows roaming to pretty much any other provider - so I never spend more than £6 a month on wifi costs. And I have free data through my mobile phone, which fills in the blanks when no wifi is available.

But of course, as soon as I go to another country, that goes out the window - data roaming is tres expensive.

So.. do French wifi operators offer free roaming in the same way? If so, can I subscribe, even though I'm not resident in France? Or is it perhaps possible to buy a SIM card for my mobile that will provide cheap 3G access?

All ideas welcome.
posted by ascullion to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
 
If you're on Vodafone, you might have luck with Mobile Connect, especially if this is to become more frequent. On the lowest plan you'll pay a flat £8.50 (+ monthly contract) for 24 hours' use with the 3G / GPRS modem in "certain countries" (bound to include the EU, I'd bet). On the higher plans you get a free allowance to use in other countries.

I use Mobile Connect in the UK and it works excellently. The price might be hard to swallow though. The contract might also be offputting unless you plan this sort of travel more in the future.
posted by wackybrit at 4:14 AM on August 22, 2007


There's a ton of free wifi spots (in Lyon, at least) at places like FNAC and Mcdonalds.
posted by jacalata at 5:08 AM on August 22, 2007


If you're on Vodafone, you might have luck with Mobile Connect

Ah. Sadly I'm on orange. Though it doesn't look like you need to be a subscriber to use the broadband service. I really like the look of it, but £25/month is probably more than I can justify.. £8.50 a day for roaming though is not terrible.

There's a ton of free wifi spots (in Lyon, at least) at places like FNAC and Mcdonalds.

Thanks for that. I'll certainly look out for free hotspots when I'm there. But I was hoping to arrange a less adhoc solution.
posted by ascullion at 6:53 AM on August 22, 2007


Best idea I can think of is getting a T-Mobile hotspot account. They provide, amongst other things, WiFi in all Starbucks cafes, so that should cover Paris. From a brief look at their site, they don't appear to have any stores anywhere else though...
posted by djgh at 7:30 PM on August 22, 2007


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