Help me txt and call around Europe without breaking the bank.
October 30, 2008 8:11 AM   Subscribe

Best Europe wide roaming prepaid sim card?

I am travelling through Europe for an extended period of time and am looking for a prepaid sim card that has decent roaming around Western Europe. I will only be staying in one country for a few weeks max at a time, so buying one for each country I visit isn't very practical, especially because I am travelling on a budget. I'd like mainly to be able to txt other European phones and call European landlines.

I recently purchased an Orange prepaid sim card in France where they told me it would work fine all over Europe, and they told me the fees which I now forget, but which were not bad. However, when I went to Spain, I could no longer call from my phone. I could txt / sms to France, but I could not call to mobiles or landlines in Spain or France. I was fortunate enough to return to France, where at an Orange store I was told they do not offer any roaming services, and that this is why I could not call. It doesn't feel like this is correct, but I don't really know where to go from here. The Orange website is hard to navigate when translated through google.

I am totally willing to buy another sim card, or fix whatever the issue is with my current one, either way thanks for the suggestions and advice hivemind.
posted by atmosphere to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yeah, EU common market and all, but the telecommunications industry is still pretty fragmented. You may actually need two or three cards to do what you want. Kind of a pain, but actually pretty common in Europe, where a large percentage of customers--a majority in some countries--are prepaid.
posted by valkyryn at 8:25 AM on October 30, 2008

For my last multi-country EU trip I used a data SIM from United Mobile, which worked very well. They offer regular voice SIMs too... check out their "rates" map for the cost by country (generally €0.29 for outgoing calls and SMS throughout the EU).
posted by departure lounge at 8:53 AM on October 30, 2008

A pre-paid one can be tricky in Europe. Generally, a "Vodafone" or "Vodafone-owned" company should be the one to go for, because Vodafone automatically has roaming rates set up for their pre-paid sim cards and have a network in every country. The others can be a bit fragmented - Orange is a good example there.
posted by BigCalm at 9:22 AM on October 30, 2008

I used the Global Riiing card in 2005 and 2006, though it's probably best for receiving calls--their text rates are a bit more. It's also kind of annoying to make calls because you dial, get disconnected, and then have to wait for a ringback. It does cover much of Europe, though.
posted by komilnefopa at 9:30 PM on October 30, 2008

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