Using a Boost mobile iPhone in France
January 3, 2018 9:18 AM   Subscribe

A friend will be travelling in France in the next couple of months and would like to know if they should set their iPhone 5 up for their travels either through their carrier, Boost Mobile or should they find a cheap sim card or something else ...

These friends speak some French but navigating things like purchasing a SIM card might be difficult without explicit instructions.

They will be in Lyon, Paris-specific ideas aren't as useful.

They would like to be able to use the phone for things like google maps as well as voice calling. They will be there for about a month.
posted by sciencegeek to Technology (4 answers total)
AFAIK, Boost Mobile doesn't have an international addon package. So I recommend:

First find out the model number of iPhone you have (it will be the letter 'A' followed by a string of numbers)

Then go to WillMyPhoneWork to find out on which networks it will work in France.

Then you will most likely want to unlock it through Boost so you can use it on other networks.

Then look for PAYG (pay as you go) sims for the recommended phone networks for your model of phone. It might end up being something like the Orange Holiday SIM, but I don't know your specific model.

I could be mistaken, but I think Boost Mobile is CDMA (type of phone network) and much of France is GSM (incompatible phone network) so you might have slower or inconsistent service, and you might consider getting a burner phone for the trip, but I'm not certain of this.
posted by bluecore at 9:40 AM on January 3, 2018 [1 favorite]

I have Boost Mobile and I had an Android phone. As far as I could tell, there was no way for my phone to work in Europe. I got a cheap phone from Blu and purchased a SIM card when I got there, but I never used it. I used free wifi wherever it was available and Whatsapp for texting and calls. I managed to have wifi in most places. I don't know about a month in France -- I traveled around Scandinavia and the Netherlands for two weeks. There was also some confusion about which country my SIM card I bought in the Netherlands would work in. I would maybe look at just buying a cheap disposable phone in France, if they sell such a thing.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:56 AM on January 3, 2018

I bought a SIM from GiffGaff for a European trip. It worked really well for data in six European countries. In Switzerland, I had to pay extra for data. I couldn't get international SMS or phone to the US to work, but that might have just been my misunderstanding. I did get dialing to work eventually on Skype after trying a bunch of different things (Google Voice, etc.) and eventually paying Skype extra money. I never actually used the phone part.

The data was super cheap. I would advise downloading offline Google Maps over Wifi for the places you're going, as that saves data and allows map use during the odd time when the network isn't accessible.
posted by cnc at 10:43 AM on January 3, 2018

Burner phone is a good idea. I went up to Germany a few years ago, and was able to use 's mifi device, and the month to month rate was cheap ($19? for 3gb) and worked great.
posted by edman at 11:44 AM on January 3, 2018

« Older Web scraping when JS loads data in-line (Kindle...   |   What's the best simple website construction and... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.