European Cell Roaming
October 23, 2017 9:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm traveling to Greece in December from New York and was just starting to look at my usual go to for cell service while away at the prepaid sim wiki. However, I have some old spanish SIMs and I'm wondering if I can take advantage of the new EU roaming laws.

I have two SIMs from Orange that I bought last year in Spain and used for about two weeks using prepaid packages. I haven't touched them since. I was wondering since there is apparently free roaming in the EU if I could top up those SIMs online a few days before I left and just use them for a week or so while in Greece.

Alternatively, any way to get a Greek SIM before leaving the country would be A+ too.
posted by jourman2 to Travel & Transportation around Greece (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't know the situation in Spain but in other parts of Europe, SIMs aren't valid indefinitely when they're not in use (or topped up) for a certain amount of time. So it's worth checking that before trying to top it up. If the SIM hasn't expired, Orange appears to have a website specifically for your purpose: Orange Top Up.
posted by Ms. Next at 12:03 AM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


What's your usual carrier? Mine, T-Moble, has free international data roaming (at 3G, nominally, but when you hit the bandwidth cap it throttles you down to 2G, which is infuriating). Texting/calling, while not cheap at 10¢ each and 50¢/min respectively, is affordable if you're just using it for logistics. I've used it internationally for the past five years--though I'm grandfathered onto a slightly older plan--without a hitch, though data speeds get poky at times.
posted by tapir-whorf at 3:05 AM on October 24, 2017


Something you might fall foul of is that the free EU roaming is designed for people ordinarily resident in one EU country who are making short trips to another EU country, rather than for infrequent visitors.

My own UK-based mobile provider checks for recent UK usage before allowing roaming in the rest of the EU (yes, we're still in) to stop people from simply using the SIM to roam all the time, which has a cost implication for the company. If you've had no recent Spanish usage on your Spanish SIM, you may well find roaming blocked when you arrive in Greece even if the SIM is not expired.

I'd probably find myself a Greek SIM card instead - there seem to be quite a few on eBay with 30 days of calls/data preloaded.
posted by winterhill at 3:08 AM on October 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


This wiki will answer all your questions on SIMs in Greece.
posted by mdonley at 4:53 AM on October 24, 2017


really its not worth the hassle of swapping sims anymore.
posted by JPD at 10:04 AM on October 24, 2017


Thanks, ended up buying a SIM on ebay, a guy is mailing it from Greece, hoping it all goes well!
posted by jourman2 at 5:52 PM on November 23, 2017


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