Discover the alternatives to reduce your call charges when using your mobile abroad, as you can see in our previous article, international roaming prices are exorbitant. To save money, you can subscribe to the “world” options offered by French operators, or you can simply buy a prepaid card from a local operator at your holiday destination. Check www.simoptions.com if you wish to know further more information about French SIM cards.
For occasional use, opt for a “Travel” package
Among the Orange and SFR options catalogue, there are a few offers reserved for subscribers who wish to call or surf from their mobile abroad.
However, Bouygues Télécom and Free Mobile do not sell “world” options and only charge by the unit (minute, text message or MB). In this case, it is better to refer to the second part of our article to discover the prepaid offers available abroad.
At SFR, you can subscribe to the Voice and Internet Package. Valid for 7 days, it includes 30 minutes of calls (received and made) and 20MB of mobile Internet for 15€ (currently on sale at 9€). Customers who want more communication time will prefer the 25€ pack (currently 15€).
Orange (and therefore Sosh) also offers a Travel Pass with 30 minutes of calls (received and sent), 10 SMS and only 2MB of 3G for 9€ for 7 days.
Warning: at SFR you cannot subscribe twice to the same pack over the same billing period. The Orange Travel Pass is renewable but only at the end of the 7 days.
If your needs are more oriented towards 3G, SFR’s Internet Pack includes 40MB of data for 19€. This is half the price of the unit price per MB in “roaming” (0.475€ per MB with the pass against 0.84€ per unit).
On the Orange side, the DOM and Europe Internet Pass is even more advantageous with a 50MB package for 15€, i.e. 0.30€ per MB instead of 0.84€ per unit. The Pass allows you to save €27.
International roaming contracts are not the same in Tunisia and Spain. Orange and SFR therefore do not offer the same options. At SFR, the Internet and Voice pack is not available in Tunisia. SFR is limited to the Voice Pack only, including 30 minutes of communication for 22€ (valid for 15 days).
Compared to the per-minute price (€1.20), SFR customers opting for the Pack therefore save €14.
For Orange or Sosh subscribers, the choice will be between:
– The Travel Pass at 15€: 30mn of communication, 10 SMS and 2 Mo of 3G data (valid for 7 days)
– The International Internet Pass at 25€ : 50Mb of 3G (valid for 7 days).
For example, the Internet MB in “roaming” in Tunisia is €13.31 compared to €0.50 with the Pass. It’s simply 26 times cheaper! In the end, the 50MB per unit would be charged €665.50 at the nominal rate….against “only” €25 with the Internet Pass.
From Mexico, SFR markets another Voice Pack invoiced at €45 for 30 minutes of calls to France. This package saves 42€ on call volume since the call minute to France goes from 2.90€ to 1.50€.
From Mexico, Orange subscribers will be more interested in the “25 minutes Europe” travel pass at €10 (valid for 14 days). The minute then comes back to 0.40€ against 2.90€ at the contractual rate, i.e. a saving of 62.50€.
If you need to surf the Internet during your holidays in Mexico, don’t forget the International Pass (50MB of data for 25€). As for Tunisia, the economy will be very important!
For major use, take a local prepaid card!
Whatever your operator, and if you surf a lot in 3G from your smartphone, forget the French operators. Upon arrival at the airport, buy a prepaid SIM card to use a local operator’s network.
Warning: using a foreign SIM card requires unlocking your mobile phone. Remember that unlocking your mobile phone is mandatory on request and free of charge after 3 months of subscription with your operator.
Orange Spain, Vodafone, DigiMobil… as in France, there is no shortage of offers. At Orange, we found the Delfin offer including the SIM card, 100MB of 3G data and 50 SMS for the modest sum of 10€.
For the same price at Vodafone, the SIM offer “Gatuita’ con Navegación y SMS gratis includes 100MB and 100 SMS. The texts are only valid for a Spanish mobile phone (so not very interesting for travellers). But compared to the “Travel” passes of French operators, prepaid offers contain twice as much data for €5 less.
If you only want to have data, the virtual operator DigiMobil is for you! For only 15€ (including 10€ for the SIM card), the prepaid offer “Naveg@ Internet Mobil” includes 500MB to surf in 3G. At this rate, you would have had 10 times less data with the Orange Travel Pass!
Mobile internet is not very expensive in Tunisia: it will only cost you 10 Dinars or about 5€ to benefit from 700Mb of 3G. You will need to buy a prepaid Carta+ card (5 dinars) that you will recharge with a “Flexi” internet package valid for 7 days (5 dinars).
It’s hard to make the 700 Mega-Bytes of mobile Internet more competitive than €5…including in France!