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mobile phone advice, please

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
When we're on le Chemin in France later this month we're going to need both to be contactable from home (grandchild due in Nov but the last one was two months early) and also to be able to phone ahead for accommodation etc. We have a mobile each and a solar charger. Can anyone explain the ins and outs of buying a french sim card, advise on the cheapest option and give any other guidance? Thanks.
 
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Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
Hi there,

As long as you UK mobile phone is not locked to your UK mobile service provider you should be able to just stick a french SIM card into it and then you have a french number. I just looked at one french provider: http://www.orange.fr and it looks like they have pay-as-you-go sim cards from €15,-. Then you just fill it up when you run out of balance. In Spain this can be done at most chain supermarket.

For how things are in Spain, have a look at the wiki page on mobile phones.

Buen camino,
Ivar
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Will my Vodafon Spain SIM card work in Toulouse, France (and on to Somport Pass)?
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
falcon269 said:
Will my Vodafon Spain SIM card work in Toulouse, France (and on to Somport Pass)?
It should work, but remember that you would then be paying international rates for incoming and outgoing calls.

The reason I say is "should work" is that sometimes a carrier asks you to call them before you make a trip outside Spain to activate the card for international use. I don't think you need to do this as long as you have a balance on your card... but I am not sure.

Saludos,
Ivar
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
You possibly only will pay roaming in Toulouse but not in Somport. Coverage of companies at both sides of all frontiers arrive 5 km. inside the other country. It happened to me last month in Irun (5 km from the border).

If you have to call in Somport don't forget to check which company you are calling with.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
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Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
For those of us travelling from the States, where most cell phone networks (including my own) are not GSM compatible, I've heard the best bet is to buy an inexpensive phone in Europe. I'll be starting in France in 2009. Can anyone recommend a French cell phone firm that would have good coverage on the LePuy route? And do you have recommendations on SIM-switching or pay-as-you-go?
 

Deirdre

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2007), Camino Francés (2008), Camino Portugués (2010), Camino Aragonés - from Lourdes (2012)
Hi,
I have an inexpensive Vodafone that I bought in 2005 - and recharge every year. You can change the SIM card from country to country and recharge the minutes on the phone. I bought mine in Madrid, but Vodafone is all over Europe. Do be careful though, there is something about having to recharge the phone in the country where you bought it... I'm not sure what that is about.. but I'm sure they can explain at the phone store.
Buen Camino,
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Me. Getting an explanation in a phone store.

That brings back a Pamplona memory. Since cafe con leche has no real meaning in a Vodafon store, my Spanish was a total failure until some tri-lingual German pilgrims came in and provided assistance. Recharging in Hospital del Orbiga was easier, as hand signals and smiles (plus cash) worked very well.

One of the curious things about Vodafon was that they could not tell my fluent translator in Arco the balance available on my phone. A computer must be keeping track, but no human was able to retrieve that information. Like I said, "curious."
 

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