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Airports & iPad

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    It is almost always ( cant think of a time when it isnt ) cheaper to buy local sim cards in europe rather than paying outrageous north american roaming charges.


      Certainly in UK and Spain, Vodafone has great coverage. In UK a one month 3G data card 'contract' is £10 for which you get 1 or 2 GB I think, but see PayG & Contract Mobile Phone Deals, SIMs & Mobile Internet – Vodafone for details. 4G is available here now, but coverage is sparse and non-existent near me so I haven't tried it yet. All mobiles cost a fortune in Spain, but some of the brands like Yoigo don't cost the earth, but coverage isn't the best. Vodafone coverage is strong, but they bend over backwards to avoid letting you on their precious network, so I've only used UK phones on a roaming deal that costs £3 a day then lets you use your standard UK tariff - this lets me keep my UK number and email etc. wherever I am so my clients can deal with me just the same wherever I am.


        Originally posted by backpack View Post
        iPad 3G best provider in the U.S and European Union both price and coverage wise?

        Any recent experience with BeNeLux airports in regard to iPad handling and everything else?
        We were in Spain in 2011 and then the beloved was back there last year - picked up Vodaphone SIMs for the phones each time and was happy with service (Barcelona/Madrid) and cost.

        We used O2 in the UK - also good - their phone and shop customer service was very good.

        We spent waaaaaay to much time in France (2011) trying to get onto Orange (or anything!) ... gave up and next time wouldn't even bother to try. We made do with hotel wifi and a bit of roaming on the O2 cards - SMS was pretty cost effective.
        List under construction ....


          I think I am going to go with the ATT iPad with France and Benelux (European plan)

          Still not sure as back home we only do mostly messaging but I would love to have the iPad that goes online via the cell tower networks when on the go or when the weather might cut off my home internet connection.

          Hunting for micro sims would be too time consuming and it seems that French networks are a huge pain to get into, they have wait time, addresses requirements etc... (stupids!)
          Last edited by backpack; 03-06-2013, 09:24 PM.


            Originally posted by backpack View Post

            Hunting for micro sims would be too time consuming and it seems that French networks are a huge pain to get into, they have wait time, addresses requirements etc... (stupids!)
            This was certainly our experience - both the requirements and and the waste of time trying to sort it ...

            (should add for clarity that we were using our Australian iPhones with local SIMs - just used the iPad on hotel wifi etc as the SIMs we had did not allow tethering)
            List under construction ....


              Huh. Good to know as i will be in paris for two weeks this summer.


                Originally posted by jannilee View Post
                Huh. Good to know as i will be in paris for two weeks this summer.

                Below are some of the best site I found about mobile service in France.

                Cellular Service for France | France tours, France vacations and hotels in France – France.com – France.com

                How to use your mobile phone abroad | Gadling.com

                HowardForums: Your Mobile Phone Community & Resource - HowardForums Home

                France Guide: Mobile phones, How to use your mobile phone in France: Like all European and many other

                The first thing to figure it out if your phone is compatible with the French GSM-compatible, quad-band phone in the U.S.

                If so you can use a prepaid sim that you buy from the U.S or even in France, if your phone is unlocked by your U.S provider.

                France 2 major providers are Orange (France Telecom mobile division) or SFR which is a subsidiary of Vodafone.

                There is also La Poste (the French Post Office) which sells SFR compatible phones and Sim cards.
                Postal services by visiting France: Informations on postal services in France - La Poste

                You can also rent a cheap phone in France, however, the rates are the highest at airports and I personally don't like the idea of being without a mobile phone anywhere for safety reason.

                I was doing research for myself so I thought I would share.


                  Use of U.S.-based iPhone and iPad mini in Italy

                  Hi, Everyone...

                  Since we're talking Europe and iPhones... can anyone enlighten me on the cellphone situation in Italy? On my past trips to my native country I always rented a phone through an outfit in the U.K. that would have it at my home here in the U.S. just prior to the trip. While in Italy, the provider was Vodafone (as indicated on the display).

                  This time (mid-May for two weeks), I will travel with an iPhone as well as an iPad mini with 4G LTE (AT&T) firmly ensconced in my Ristretto for iPad (Steel/Iberian)

                  I currently use an AT&T iPhone 5, but I also have an iPhone 3GS which I had unlocked by AT&T for the purpose of travel to Europe. So, my questions:
                  1. Is it, in fact, best that I leave the iPhone 5 at home and carry the unlocked iPhone 3GS?
                  2. Once I get to Italy (via Milano Malpensa), where do I go to purchase a SIM?
                  3. Is it possible to order a SIM online and have it sent to my U.S. address?
                  4. Will this give me a data plan as well?

                  iPad mini
                  I would like to be able to use a cellular data plan with it. Same questions about the SIM for this device as for the iPhone.

                  If anyone can help me out, I would appreciate it and pray that you forever be blessed with boxes and boxes of Tom Bihn products!

                  Thank you!

                  Someone please help me!
                  I have BAS (Bihn Acquisition Syndrome)!!


                    One of the things I did was to go to Apple e-stores in the U.S and European countries which explains specs and compatibilities.

                    What I have gathered so far is that:

                    1 One needs to have LTE which is compatible with European networks.

                    2 One needs to choose between a country data plan or nano chip swap (while micro chips are widely available in Europe, I don't think nano chips are as they are brand new)

                    3. After checking the Apple e-store for the country of your destination, check with your local Apple store, for brand new deals and compatibilities as well as new accessories suitable for travel.

                    Below are links for Italy's e-store, it helps in finding mobile providers and band width, use the link to each provider and check what provider might suits you best.

                    Below is the Italian Apple e-store link for iPad, it shows that Vodaphone and Tre work there.

                    iPad mini - Acquista un iPad mini con Wi-Fi o Wi-Fi + Cellular - Apple Store (Italia)

                    Apple iPad specs in Italian (useful to check what kind of cellular bandwith your iPad will accept in Italy)


                    As fas as the iPhone is concerned, use the Gaddling and Howard Forum links on the thread about France, for information gathering purpose then check the Italian phone service providers website then ask the same questions to your local Apple store.
                    Last edited by backpack; 03-09-2013, 11:09 AM.


                      Another resource you might check out is slowtravel (slowtrav.com). Their forum is populated with people who travel to Italy on a regular basis, and I know that technology-related questions pop up there regularly. It's quite possible that someone there will have the answers to your specific questions, right down to the closest SIM card provider to your hotel.

                      I've bought mail-order SIMs to use in Italy in the past, but I can't for the life of me remember the vendors. I don't think it should be a huge problem to get a SIM for a 3GS if you'd rather not deal with it when you're jet-lagged. Many places in larger cities have wifi access, so you might see if you can get away with turning data roaming off and relying solely on the phone's wifi capabilities.