Print Posted By Lost in France on 29 Mar 2012 in Living in France - Telephones and Internet

3 Travel Hacks For Staying Connected In France And The EU

Expensive fees for texts, calls and data use can ruin your long-awaited trip to France. Here are a few options that can help you stay connected without breaking your travel budget while in France and the European Union.
Option 1: Same phone, new location—rely on your service provider while abroad

If your phone is unlocked, tri-band and GSM compatible*, you can continue to call and text internationally. However, if you select this option, you run the risk of accumulating expensive roaming fees. That means you will be charged an additional amount for outgoing and incoming calls, texts and data usage. This often results in a surprisingly expensive phone bill waiting for you at the end of your trip. Check with your service provider to see if they offer slightly more affordable international roaming plans.

Option 2: Simplify with a prepaid SIM card and local rates

LeFrenchMobile is an excellent solution for globe trekkers, business travelers, students abroad and seasonal workers. It offers:
  • Services and customer care in English
  • 50% discount on calls between other LeFrenchMobile users
  • Credit does not expire
  • Tri-format SIM cards: normal, micro and nano
  • All SIM cards arrive ready to use. Just insert the SIM card and start calling, sending texts or surfing the web
  • Dual SIM phones available
Visit to find out more.
Prepaid SIM cards are an affordable way to stay connected while abroad. Free from binding monthly contracts, prepaid SIM cards can be easily purchased and inserted into your unlocked cell phone. The great thing about these types of SIM cards is that are pay-as-you-go. Wherever your travels take you, they can always be recharged and used to send and receive calls, texts and access the internet, which is especially useful while in France and other countries in the European Union.

If you want to keep your current SIM card, a dual SIM phone will allow you to simultaneously use both your original SIM card and a local prepaid SIM card.

Even though there are several network providers in France, and in other EU countries, few of them offer services and customer care in English.

A backup plan: Rent a GSM phone with a French SIM card

If your phone is not compatible with the European mobile criteria, then renting a GSM phone is an option for you. Mobile phones in France available for rent are often found in airports, car rental services and online. Typically, these types of cell phones include a French SIM card and a limited amount of credit that gradually expires. A big problem with this option is that calls from outside of France can be expensive. Therefore, this option is mainly recommended for emergencies and not intended for extensive daily use.

Whether you are using travel apps to navigate a new city, trying to call home or sending text messages to your travel buddies, staying connected is a part of the travel experience. Use this guide to help you select the best budget-friendly option for your connectivity needs.

* European mobile standards—GSM, tri-band, unlocked

First thing first, check whether your phone is GSM-compatible by contacting your service provider. GSM or the Global System for Mobile Communications—is the cellular radio system used in Europe. In America, two of the four major carriers (Verizon and Sprint) use CDMA while the other two (AT&T and T-Mobile) use GSM.

Also inquire if your phone is a tri-band device. If it is, that means it can interpret a specific type of cellular radio wave (900/1800 MHz) that is necessary for use in France.

In addition, if you plan to use your mobile phone in Europe, be sure your device is unlocked. This will allow you to use different SIM cards in various countries. Discuss with your service provider whether your phone is already unlocked, or the steps you need to take in order to be able to swap SIM cards while abroad.

You need more information before ordering? Just send an email at [email protected] or call this number: +33 1 74 95 95 00.

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