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Vodafone or Orange

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barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Hello everyone! Me again. Sorry for all the questions.

Is there a Vodafone or Orange vendor at the Madrid airport. If so, can you give directions? I will, of course, download a map of MAD.

I know there is a Vodafone in Pamplona, but how about SJPDP? And if I activate my new SIM card or flip phone in France, will there be a problem using it in Spain?

Finally, which is better, Vodafone or Orange (I know I asked this in another post)?

Thank you for any help.

Warmly,


Barry
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Both Orange and Vodafone SIM cards are available at a mobile store in the middle of the Madrid airport. I have always used Vodafone, and have been satisfied.
 

Juspassinthrough

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
I used a UK SIM recently (free roaming) but I noticed I connected to the Orange network more often than not. If you get a Spanish SIM, there are security requirements prior to activation, you’ll need your passport or National ID all taken care of at the shop. If you have an active EU SIM, nothing needs to be done. Remember to add +1 to your contact numbers. Hope this helps. Buen Camino
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I bought a SIM card from Vodafone at the airport in Porto, Portugal in June 2019. I told them that I was walking into Spain so they set up my phone to be able to roam. When I got to Spain the phone worked the same, but when I dialed the albergues I would get a message asking if I wanted to make the call in the country I was in. I would answer yes, and the call would go through. That was the only "change".

But if I didn't have the roaming enabled on my phone it would not have worked in Spain. So make sure you mention that you will be in France and Spain wherever you get your SIM card.

I tried searching for Vodafone and Orange in SJPdP and couldn't find either store. You may be best to buy your SIM card in Madrid. It appears that the Vodafone brand is not in France. Maybe someone from Europe can give you more information.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Reported often on SIM threads here is that a card bought outside Spain but inside the EU will work in Spain without roaming charges being added (due to recent EU regulations imposed upon the telecom companies). The problem you will have however is recharging the card in Spain if needed. It may work out best to use wifi for a bit or suffer some roaming charges from your home carrier until you can buy a card in Spain. Since you will be passing through Spain first before getting to SJPdP this isn't much of a problem but it could be for people landing in Paris and travelling maybe a week before they get to Pamplona.
 

Juspassinthrough

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
You may want to look at Three UK, I bought mine from Amazon. I got 3000 minutes, 3000 texts and 12 GB of data for a month, you can top up online. It’s a +44 country code but roaming in the EU is not extra. I used WhatsApp for calls home and some local calls too. Worked fine in 2017 and this past June. Cost was $22 USD. You have your number before you leave and it works the minute you land in Spain or France.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I have always used and always been happy with Vodafone.
I buy a SIM card for inside the country - each country has a SIM - I just use internet email and messaging for staying in touch with relatives back home.
Personally, I've never bought one for France, and have never needed it.
Just not worth having for only one/two days.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
I too have always used Vodafone. The assistant at the shop sets it up for you, seamless, no hassle, plenty of data for 20 Euro. Tell the assistant which countries you will visit, have your passport, and get it in the Madrid airport, for sure! If you need to call the USA, make sure you have enough minutes (for an extra charge), as the plan is mostly data. Don't forget that texts use minutes, so if your are texting a lot, even within Europe, you will burn the minutes fast. I have elderly parents that we called every few days, and the only way to connect with them was through the minutes and telephone! Make sure you say what you need did you get the right plan.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have used Vodafone for the last few years and never had a problem till this year. There were lots of places in the region of Castilla y León where Vodafone had no service and Movistar worked just fine. People in the small towns could occasionally point me to a corner where Vodafone could sometimes be picked up, but they always shook their head when I told them I had vodafone. I was on the Camino Olvidado when I had the most trouble. I may go back to Movistar. This may not be a problem on the more standard caminos.

I also find that my Vodafone SIM card eats through data at a much quicker rate than my Movistar cards ever did, but that could be something I am doing.
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Both Orange and Vodafone SIM cards are available at a mobile store in the middle of the Madrid airport. I have always used Vodafone, and have been satisfied.
Is the store far from T-4. I am so paranoid! I have 2 hours and 45 minutes before my Alsa bus leaves for Pamplona, but I'm afraid I will get lost finding the phone store.
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
I too have always used Vodafone. The assistant at the shop sets it up for you, seamless, no hassle, plenty of data for 20 Euro. Tell the assistant which countries you will visit, have your passport, and get it in the Madrid airport, for sure! If you need to call the USA, make sure you have enough minutes (for an extra charge), as the plan is mostly data. Don't forget that texts use minutes, so if your are texting a lot, even within Europe, you will burn the minutes fast. I have elderly parents that we called every few days, and the only way to connect with them was through the minutes and telephone! Make sure you say what you need did you get the right plan.
Thanks for your help! Do you know if the mobile store is close to T-4. I am catching my bus to Pamplona outside t-4 and want to be sure I have enough time to get the SIM card installed.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
Thanks for your help! Do you know if the mobile store is close to T-4. I am catching my bus to Pamplona outside t-4 and want to be sure I have enough time to get the SIM card installed.
Hmm, I am trying to remember. I know it is right on the path to the train station. If I remember right, the bus/train connections are close to one another, so you may just run into it. Maybe another member can recall its exact location? There are information booths as well, if you don't see it right away.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
Thanks for your help! Do you know if the mobile store is close to T-4. I am catching my bus to Pamplona outside t-4 and want to be sure I have enough time to get the SIM card installed.
Vodaphone is not actually in a shop, it is a booth along the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
The department store El Corte Ingles, close to the Pamplona bus station, has Vodaphone (at least the webpage says so). This page is partially in English and partially in Spanish.
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
I have used Vodafone for the last few years and never had a problem till this year. There were lots of places in the region of Castilla y León where Vodafone had no service and Movistar worked just fine. People in the small towns could occasionally point me to a corner where Vodafone could sometimes be picked up, but they always shook their head when I told them I had vodafone. I was on the Camino Olvidado when I had the most trouble. I may go back to Movistar. This may not be a problem on the more standard caminos.

I also find that my Vodafone SIM card eats through data at a much quicker rate than my Movistar cards ever did, but that could be something I am doing.
If you use a non Spanish SIM card in Spain it will pick up.rhe.best signal. Be that voda movistar etc.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I am catching my bus to Pamplona outside t-4 and want to be sure I have enough time to get the SIM card installed.
It can take some time, so if I were in your shoes, I'd get one in Pamplona - or as @Telboyo suggests, use a SIM from another European country, as there's no rosming, and it'll automatically use the strongest signal, so you're not locked in to one provider:
If you use a non Spanish SIM card in Spain it will pick up.rhe.best signal. Be that voda movistar etc.
There were lots of places in the region of Castilla y León where Vodafone had no service and Movistar worked just fine. People in the small towns could occasionally point me to a corner where Vodafone could sometimes be picked up, but they always shook their head when I told them I had vodafone. I was on the Camino Olvidado when I had the most trouble. I may go back to Movistar.
If you do, make sure you get a plan that allows you to recharge data. I had one that I couldn't easily add data to when it ran out. It was very frustrating and even the sales people in the store in Burgos had a hard time figuring it out. It turned out that they couldn't top up the data in my particular plan once it was gone, but I could buy 200mb at a time by deducting credit from my main balance, and it was not a cheap rate. Grrrrrrrrrrr.
I also find that my Vodafone SIM card eats through data at a much quicker rate than my Movistar cards ever did, but that could be something I am doing.
Could some tech whiz please enlighten the rest of us why this happens?? The Movistar SIM I had was doing this, too. Poof....15 gig, gone. For no obvious reason.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Vodafone, Movistar, Orange, Yoigo - it doesn't really matter, folks. Maybe in 5% it depends on the Camino you are walking (terrain) but otherwise Spain and its telecomunication providers are not from fourth world, come on...
Whatever SIM provider you'll buy it'll be OK most of the time. There's always a landline anyway! Chill out ;)

And for all those over the pond landing in EU outside of Spain - get your prepaid SIM there. Why? Use search option ;)
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
Maybe this will help. It is a store locator for electronics shops at the airport.
Note there is a category pulldown and one for specific terminals. Below that there are links that will show a map where in the terminal the shop is located.
Yes, I did that, but I didn't fly Vodafone. Mostly a shop called Tech & Fly. I think I can wait until I get to Pamplona. There's a Vodafone office there.
 

barryg

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June: Camino Frances from Pamplona
My granddaughter tells me that I can Facetime other iPhone users and that texts between iPhones go internationally when you are in WiFi. I also have Skype which allows me to call landlines in other countries, so I think I'm fine until I get to Pamplona. I can live three days without a darn cell phone! I . . .suppose
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
I came across this page that has LOTS of information on providers in Spain, their plans and costs, links to websites and locators to shops, card expirations and more.
https://prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com/wiki/Spain
 

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