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Offering Spanish Sim cards ("pay as you go")?

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#1
Added November 2014:

Hi there,

At the end I have removed the SIM card from the store since it was just too much work (paperwork that needed to be done) on my side for each order + I found out that it is not recommended by the Spanish post office to mail sim cards internationally from Spain.

It is easy to get yourself once you get to Spain. They sell these everywhere. Sorry!

Buen Camino!
Ivar


------


Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar

[This post has been edited since the process of sending out the SIM Card just got easier]
 
Last edited:

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Camino(s) past & future
('14 Nov-Dec Ponferrada-SdC )
#2
Ivar, to buy through your store would be my preference. I could trust you understand the type of service needed, cost would be sensitive to pilgrim pockets, we could have our communications up and running as we got off the plane, and it would make it easier for me to finally make my donation to your site....what is not to like??? Thank you for placing this need under your wings!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
('14 Nov-Dec Ponferrada-SdC )
#3
What are the chances a Spanish sim card could be in my California hands by 20 November?


Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) A contract is made with this information, it is scanned and emailed back to the pilgrim
4) Pilgrims signs, scans it and send it back.
5) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#4
I'd order one Ivar. Even though I speak a bit of Spanish it would be easier to have it organised before leaving home. For first timers who don't speak Spanish it would be a really good thing. I assume you would organise something reasonably priced and easy to top up.
 

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
#5
Outstanding idea, Ivar.
I just ordered one last week. I know they are available on arrival in Spain, but it is so nice to have the card and number before hand. One less thing for the jet-lagged mind to worry about. ;)
 

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barber1586

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, (September 2014); Camino Primitivo (August 2016)
#6
Hi, Ivar. :)

I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately, as I fly out of the States on Wednesday, it comes too late for me. I hope the plan works well for you and others.
 

Rachael

I love to laugh.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: March-April (2013)
Vezelay to Le Puy, Via Podensis, Camino Frances (March-June 2015)
#7
I would absolutely order one. I'm not leaving until September 2015, and I won't arrive in Spain until sometime in October 2015, but I would love to do this through you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (fall 2018)
#9
Great idea. I hope it works out. I definitely would buy one. One less thing to deal with after arriving.
 

SkuratO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Portugués ( Sept.2014)
#11
That would be so great, Ivar!
Unfortunately, I' ll be in Porto in a week, so may be next time. Hopefully there will be places with wi- fi that are really- really have a descant speed. Will see..
Buy for future Camino walkers, especially with unlocked phones,- awesome offer!
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 : Leon to Santiago
May 2015 : Porto to Santiago
#13
Will these simcards work in Portugal also?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Salvador (2014)
Camino Primitivo (2014)
Camino Muxia (2014)
Camino Fisterra (2014)
#14
I would have jumped at the chance, but I'm thinking that I'm flying out to start my Camino on 21 September so it's cutting it rather fine to get it posted over to NZ. Another idea is to get it posted to an address in Spain and pick it up there.
Mary
 

krazeekuban

Coordinator Valley of the Sun Chapter/APOC
Camino(s) past & future
May/June(2012) Camino Frances. Sept/Oct Camino Frances, Santiago/Finsterre 2013. 2013 Pilgrim Office Amigo Volunteer. Oct 2014 Camino Ingles , Pilgrim Office in Santiago Vol Sep '15, Camino Portuguese Oct '15,volunteer Sept 2015 Ribadiso muni albergue
#16
I use a unlocked cell phone, got my Sim card at the Chamartin train station in Madrid, Orange Mundo. Never had any problems and i will use again this month, it is still active since it has been less than one year since I last used it. Great the Ivar is helping so many though.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past? Not enough.
Future? Sure!
#17
Hello Ivar,

That's a great idea!

I'm leaving Switzerland 21th of September.
We will be in Santiago (heading to Astorga) around 11:00

Any chance to get one?

Regards, Jacques-D.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#18
Hello Ivar,

That's a great idea!

I'm leaving Switzerland 21th of September.
We will be in Santiago (heading to Astorga) around 11:00

Any chance to get one?

Regards, Jacques-D.
I don't think there is enough time.. I still do not have it for sale.. need to get a few things organizes first.

Great to hear such good feedback. Will post the sim card as a product soon in the store.

Thanks all!
Ivar
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2014
#20
I don't think there is enough time.. I still do not have it for sale.. need to get a few things organizes first.

Great to hear such good feedback. Will post the sim card as a product soon in the store.

Thanks all!
Ivar
Ivar is there anywhere I can get on asap ? I am starting on the 20th from St jean - thank you Annie
 

JoeNYC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep. 2014
#25
Annie- I'll be 3 days behind you. I recall reading on this site someone say they thought that the albergue in Roncevalles had some for sale. That will be the first place I check. Otherwise, I'm sure we'll find a place in Pamplona.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#26
Annie- I'll be 3 days behind you. I recall reading on this site someone say they thought that the albergue in Roncevalles had some for sale. That will be the first place I check. Otherwise, I'm sure we'll find a place in Pamplona.
Wait till you get to Pamplona and go to El Corte Ingles in the electronics department, they have all carriers to choose from.
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#28
Thanks. Probably do me good to "go dark" for a while. :)
You'll only be in the dark for a few days, it's well worth it to get SIM cards from a phone store, that way you can choose data and voice options.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#29
Thanks. Probably do me good to "go dark" for a while. :)
You don't have to go totally dark, just maybe "dim" -- if you have a smart phone you can use it on wi-fi (where available) and make calls via Skype or send and receive email until you get a SIM card. Just be sure to turn off 3G/4G or cellular data until you get the card.
Buen Camino,
Jim
 

Alyssa

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2014)
Norte, Finisterre, Salvador, Primitivo (2015)
#30
Ivar, this would make it so much easier. Great idea!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles from Ferrol; Camino Portugues from Valenca do Minho; Camino Frances from O Cebreiro - October 2014
#31
Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) A contract is made with this information, it is scanned and emailed back to the pilgrim
4) Pilgrims signs, scans it and send it back.
5) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar
This sounds great to me. I am leaving on October 7. I'm in NY. What are my chances of getting one?
 
Camino(s) past & future
('14 Nov-Dec Ponferrada-SdC )
#34
Spanish sim card out of the mail in one week .... I can do Looking at the small print and then placing my order --- thank you Ivar! m
 

hunsta

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
May 7th 2015
#35
As I fly into France and not Spain this would be perfect for me. Now as I arrive around May 4th2015 when should I order one as I believe it deactivate s if unused for 120 days is that correct.
Great idea. Great service. Great site.
Gracias
 

smj6

Siempre hay que ver el positivo
Camino(s) past & future
Oct/Nov 2016 (Via Podensis/ Frances)
May 2018 (Via Francigena?)
#36
Wow, I'm impressed with your speed, Ivar. You posted your first comments on 7 September - testing the water - and less than 10 days later you've set up the process for us to get Spanish sim cards before we arrive in Spain. I'm hoping to walk the Camino Frances next September/ October, and will definitely opt for getting this sim card through you. Thank you for all your support.
Suzanne :)
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#37
As I fly into France and not Spain this would be perfect for me. Now as I arrive around May 4th2015 when should I order one as I believe it deactivate s if unused for 120 days is that correct.
Great idea. Great service. Great site.
Gracias
If you leave in May 2015, I guess you could wait a little. I read on the Lebara site that....
http://help.lebara.es/#tab:homeTab:crumb:7:artId:1507

SIM Lifecycle
Your Lebara SIM card will remain active as long as you top up, at least, once every two months.

• If you have top up credit available, your SIM card will remain active for 4 months (120 days) from your last top up. However, you will not be able to receive calls during the fourth month. At the end of this duration, you will have a grace period of 15 days to reactivate your SIM card by topping up: If you do not top up during the 15 day grace period, your SIM card will be permanently deactivated and your number will be lost;

• If you have zero credit (zero balance), your SIM card will remain active for 2 months from your last top up, however you will not be able to receive calls during the second month. At the end of this duration, you will have a grace period of 10 days to reactive your SIM card by topping up: If you do not top up during the 10 day grace period, your SIM card will be permanently deactivated and your number will be lost;

• If your Lebara SIM card has expired, you will have 30 days to transfer the existing balance from your expired SIM to a new Lebara SIM card, otherwise the credit will be lost forever;

• If you are not going to top up or use your SIM card for more than 80 days, you can request from customer services for your SIM card to be temporarily frozen for up to 180 days. Your Lebara SIM card can only be frozen if it has been removed from your phone. Once removed, email customer services with the below details and request for your Lebara SIM card to be frozen:


So, in theory you could go online and add the minimun "top off" amount (€10) every 120 days and keep the card alive.. but it does not make much sense if you are not using it until may 2015.

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
#38
Yes, but you would be "Roaming" (=it will be more expensive to use)
Right now you'll pay roaming. Either 2015 or Jan 1st 2016 EU roaming disappears. At least that's the EU plan. I can't remember the exact date.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Ingles from Ferrol; Camino Portugues from Valenca do Minho; Camino Frances from O Cebreiro - October 2014
#39
Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar

[This post has been edited since the process of sending out the SIM Card just got easier]
I just wanted to say that I ordered one of these SIM cards. It was sent from Santiago on 19 September, and I received it here in NY by regular post today, 23 September - in just 4 days!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#40
I just wanted to say that I ordered one of these SIM cards. It was sent from Santiago on 19 September, and I received it here in NY by regular post today, 23 September - in just 4 days!
That's a great turn-around time. I'd just like to re-iterate Ivar's instructions in his original message here regarding the registration process for the SIM card and the submission of the scan of your passport main page -- that's the national passport, not the pilgrims' passport or credential. This is a necessary process which applies not only to SIM cards purchased from Ivar, but from any other source prior to arrival in Spain. This can add several days to the registration process, especially if you don't have the means to scan your passport. The net effect is to strongly remind people to get started on the process well in advance of your departure date if you want to have a working cellphone as soon as you hit the ground in Spain.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#41
That's a great turn-around time. I'd just like to re-iterate Ivar's instructions in his original message here regarding the registration process for the SIM card and the submission of the scan of your passport main page -- that's the national passport, not the pilgrims' passport or credential. This is a necessary process which applies not only to SIM cards purchased from Ivar, but from any other source prior to arrival in Spain. This can add several days to the registration process, especially if you don't have the means to scan your passport. The net effect is to strongly remind people to get started on the process well in advance of your departure date if you want to have a working cellphone as soon as you hit the ground in Spain.
Instead of scanning your (national) passport you can also take a photo of it with your phone. As long as it is easy to read, this is fine.
 
#42
Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar

[This post has been edited since the process of sending out the SIM Card just got easier]
I just read the info @ the online store. Noting to avoid "last minute" what is the turnaround time? I'm leaving on Oct 17. Thanks!
 

Bajaracer

Camino Frances 2013 Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013) Jun-Jul SJPDP to Finisterre
#44
I just read the info @ the online store. Noting to avoid "last minute" what is the turnaround time? I'm leaving on Oct 17. Thanks!
I just wanted to say that I ordered one of these SIM cards. It was sent from Santiago on 19 September, and I received it here in NY by regular post today, 23 September - in just 4 days!
Order it now, should take less than a week.
 

Gil A

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances
2014 Camino Frances
2015 Camino Portugues
2017 Camino Portugues
#46
Hi all,

I know many of you are interested in spanish sim cards for your mobile/tablet while walking (I know, I know.. not all of you :)) , for making local calls or getting mobile internet access while walking.

I have been trying to find a way how I could offer this in my forum store http://www.santiagodecompostela.me/ and I think I have found a way.

I have been in talks with a mobile phone store in Santiago, and we are talking about a collaboration. They will offer the cards and do the paperwork, and I will send these sim cards out. I am writing this to see if there are sufficient interest for this before I start. Dues to spanish law, all pay-as-you-go numbers need to be tied to a person/address. For those of you that have gotten a number in spain before, you know that you need to show your passport and sign a paper saying that this is your phone number.

If I decide to do this online, we need to do the same, but via the internet (email). The process would be the following:

1) A pilgrim buys the card in the store.
2) He/she need to send me by email a scan of his/her passport + address. This is forwarded to the mobile store here in Santiago.
3) I mail out the sim card by mail with instructions.

This process is a bit tedious, but there is no way around it.

The simcards would be issued with http://www.lebara.es/ . This is a mobile provider that used Vodafone antennas (=same coverage as Vodafone Spain).

Does this sound interesting? ...or is it easier for you to get a card once in Spain?

Greetings from a rainy Santiago,
Ivar

[This post has been edited since the process of sending out the SIM Card just got easier]
It sounds interesting. We walked in March this year with an orange sim that we got in Pamplona. Next year we plan to start in march in Lisbon. would the sim card work in Portugal?
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 may
#48
As I fly into France and not Spain this would be perfect for me. Now as I arrive around May 4th2015 when should I order one as I believe it deactivate s if unused for 120 days is that correct.
Great idea. Great service. Great site.
Gracias
Hi Hunsta,
I am planning on starting from SJPP on about 29th April 2015 might see you along the way
Jenny
 

hunsta

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
May 7th 2015
#50
Camino(s) past & future
2015 may
#51
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 2015
Camino Frances April 2017
Camino Frances April 2018
#52
The link to the for the Sim Card in the Fourm store does not seem to work. Also I don't find the sim card when I go directly to the store. Is the a problem or is it just me?
 

evanlow

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
#53
This would be great for first time pilgrims. I hope it doesn't take too much out of you though, hopefully most of the processing can be done by the provider.

For those who are familiar it is probably easier to just go to the supermarket/store direct.
 

ivar

Administrator
Staff member
#54
The link to the for the Sim Card in the Fourm store does not seem to work. Also I don't find the sim card when I go directly to the store. Is the a problem or is it just me?
Hi there,

At the end I have removed the SIM card from the store since it was just too much work (paperwork that needed to be done) on my side for each order + I found out that it is not recommended by the Spanish post office to mail sim cards internationally from Spain.

It is easy to get yourself once you get to Spain. They sell these everywhere. Sorry!

Buen Camino!
Ivar
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#55
...
At the end I have removed the SIM card from the store since it was just too much work (paperwork that needed to be done) on my side for each order + I found out that it is not recommended by the Spanish post office to mail sim cards internationally from Spain.
...
Hi Ivan,
Sorry you find it necessary to discontinue selling the SIM cards, but as you say, they are available just about anywhere once you get to Spain. For those in the US (and I think in Canada) who want to pre-purchase SIM cards and have them up and running when you hit the ground, here's a couple of alternatives:

http://www.simsforspain.com/
I used the SIMS for Spain "Orange Mundo" card on our 2013 Camino, and was very pleased with the coverage everywhere along the Camino Frances.

http://www.cellularabroad.com/spainSIMcard.php
I have used a cellular abroad card on other European travels and can recommend them. I see they offer the same "Orange Mundo" plan that I used in Spain.

In either case, purchase the card well in advance because Spain does require pre-registration with I.D. information, including your passport number. This can take several days. You can do after arrival in Spain, but your phone will not be operational until you complete the process.

The Orange Mundo voice rates back to North America can't be beat, but their text message rate is a bit high IMO. If you buy a card after you reach Spain, compare the rates carefully -- they can very from provider to provider, as well as between the various plans within each provider's service schedule.

Jim
 


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