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Dinara 03-03-2016 09:02

Internet all over the Europe
Hello everyone.

Sorry if I've put the thread in the wrong place. Anyway. My quiestion is as follows.

What simcard is the best solution for travellers in Europe who need to have Internet connection throughout the day on their phones. I have been searching by myself for a while and came to the conclusion that most companies make accent on offering solutions for those who do phone calls. What I need more is the Internet on my mobile phone, fast, good, and stable. I am going to use wifi router and supposedly need around 1gb or more.

What simcard would you recommend me?

Dinara 03-03-2016 09:11

A small update. I dont want to buy a sim card in each and every country. I need one that will work in all or most European countries. Is there something for me? Who knows?

peterdoo 03-03-2016 14:35

You can find a very good overview on the following page:


Dinara 03-03-2016 15:02

Already found it. Thanks!

bukzin 26-03-2016 15:40


Originally Posted by Dinara (Post 48476)
Already found it. Thanks!

Which of the options out there looked good to you?

Which one did you choose?


wolfbln 27-03-2016 13:50

Always remember that roaming rates in the EU will be changing twice in the next couple of months, because of the new EU roaming rules.
These "roaming SIM cards" featured on the WIKI are good for the moment. But roaming prices will probably fall by 30th of April 2016 and most EU roaming surcharges will (hopefully) be over by mid 2017.

Right now various operators react very differently to the new EU guidelines: E.g. in Germany Telekom will go down to 5ct/MB for roaming on most of its plans while it's competitor Telefónica (Eplus, O2) has announced, that they will keep on charging 23ct/MB for many plans on roaming.

When the situation about the new rates starting in May 2016 becomes clearer, the data WIKI will be revised on Europe. As a rule of thumbs: For low data volumes (like up to 200-300 MB) and calls and SMS, it will be easier and cheaper to stay on roaming of an EU-issued SIM. For higher data consumption, you'd still better buy a local SIM or (if travelling several countries) one of the "roaming SIMs" featured on the WIKI.

peterdoo 03-04-2016 22:52

It seems that most prepaid platforms are not able to distinguish between having a domestic bundle active or not in order to apply different roaming price. Therefore most operators seem to set prices for prepaid roaming from May on somewhere at the EU provided surcharge amounts without adding any domestic base price.

I do not think that O2 Germany will be able to charge 0,23 € / MB in EU-roaming as almost all their prepaid tariffs include domestic allowances which means that O2 is not allowed to charge more than a surcharge which in Germany is not allowed to reach 0,06€/MB.

The regulated prepaid roaming price differences between the different EU operators seem to be minimum. The Spanish operators Orange and Movistar managed to surpass the allowed amounts applying the rounding up, strictly forbidden by the EU regulation. Vodafone UK seems to have one of the better offers on its PAYG/prepaid with free incoming calls:
EU(except UK) to EU call: 4p/min
EU(except UK) to EU SMS: 1p
Incoming calls in the whole EU: free
Data in the EU (except UK): 4p/MB

On the other hand, the existing alternative prepaid roaming offers (daily/weekly allowances) unfortunately seem to stay unmodified in most of the cases also after the April 30th.

peterdoo 05-04-2016 22:24

Vodafone Germany also revealed its new roaming prices:

The interesting part are the prepaid tariffs, e.g. the Smart one:
200 minutes or SMS and 750 MB allowance inside Germany (9,99 EUR/28 days) usable without surcharge also in the whole EU/EEA. At least that is how most people understand the mentioned pricelist. It is not clear from there whether the incoming calls are free or charged at 1,36 ct/min.

Should this data show as correct, I think that many special roaming solutions like Toggle Mobile, Lycamobile, Travelsim, etc. will completely lose their importance inside the EU.

wolfbln 07-04-2016 18:57

Unfortunately, it hasn't proven as correct. Vodafone had some "communication issues". Summing up all tariffs/plans for EU roaming are between roughly 6ct/MB and 24ct/MB. All providers try to push the rate up to the legal limit (some may even go beyond).

What is missing is a roam like home plan possibly for a surcharge. A package with the usual allowances that you use at home (may be for a reasonable surcharge) to be used abroad. That's what customers expect. Now, the heavily advertised reduction of roaming fees will not prevent shock bills (500 MB can still be sold for 115€), nor does it offer any new choices for regular users. Only some light users will benefit, if they happen to be on the right plan.

In a few days I will start a new thread here. I'm still hoping that some EU providers will eventually coming up with new, improved packages. Some EU packs simply don't make sense anymore. They are now more expensive than the default per-MB rate. So from end of April let us collect offers of EU roaming packages from EU operators that users can take abroad to other EU countries. I cannot believe that there will be no better ones than before. The best offers will be published on the prepaid data WIKI. Having said this, you still can't avoid buying a local SIM in your destination country, if you want to use >300 MB at a reasonable rate.

rfranzq 07-04-2016 19:42


Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48574)
In a few days I will start a new thread here. I'm still hoping that some EU providers will eventually coming up with new, improved packages. Some EU packs simply don't make sense anymore. They are now more expensive than the default per-MB rate. So from end of April let us collect offers of EU roaming packages from EU operators that users can take abroad to other EU countries. I cannot believe that there will be no better ones than before. The best offers will be published on the prepaid data WIKI. Having said this, you still can't avoid buying a local SIM in your destination country, if you want to use >300 MB at a reasonable rate.

It seems that fear of the demise of the need for this forum for Europe are premature.
While I currently do not foresee a visit to Europe in the near future it looks like it will
be quite interesting in the cellular data market for the foreseeable future.

wolfbln 11-04-2016 23:27

Now, there's more hope: Vodafone Germany has now announced to slash (almost) all roaming surcharges in the EU from April 30th for prepaid plans.

This seems to be the first Vodafone network to do so and probably the first provider. Up to now we only had some providers like Three UK that included some, but not all EU countries in their "roam like home" plans.

Vodafone gave some ambiguous announcements in the last days and there was some confusion over the week end, but now final details have been released. They as follows:

You can use the included domestic (German) allowances of their CallYa Smartphone prepaid plans without any surcharges in all EU (plus EEA) countries from April 30th. Their base plan called "Smartphone Special" includes 750 MB and 200 mins/SMS valid for 28 days sold at 9.99€. These allowances can now be used abroad too without additional fees. Starter SIMs are available for as low as 3€ on with 10€ credit preloaded, enough to book a first base plan. German SIM cards are still freely available. They need to be activated online on any given German address. According to Teltarif info the add-on packs of 2 GB for 19.99€, 750 MB for 9.99€ or 250 MB for 4.99€ can be used likewise abroad, but this is not yet confirmed.

Some known restrictions:
- Switzerland is not included - it' not part of the EU, but some provider include them
- Voice calls and SMS only within the roaming country and to Germany. This is a drawback for non-Germans, but all data is inlcluded and VoIP calls and tethering possible
- network selectin is mostly restricted to Vodafone networks and partners, but partly in 4G/LTE depending on country in up to 50 Mbit/s

Most of these price cuts I would have only expected after the next roaming rule change due in June 2017. So there is hope, that other providers will follow before. This is the first major operator to go to 0 for surcharges for prepaid in all of the EU/EEA, most will charge 6ct/MB, some even 23ct/MB from May 2016.

So I'll need to revise my disappointed post from some days ago. If we are lucky, roaming surcharges will fall sooner in Europe. As the situation is still very confusing, I'd like to collect more offers like these, to be added in the update of the prepaid data WIKI as valid "roaming SIM" options.

peterdoo 21-04-2016 13:33

Not everything is getting better. The well known Vodafone Italy SIM is changing the Vodafone Smart Passport conditions from June 12th on:

Instead of 50 minutes + 50 SMS + 500 MB it will have
60 minutes + 60 SMS + 200 MB per day at the unmodified price of 3 EUR/day.
From there on each started 100 MB block costs 2 EUR up to max. 1 GB per day.

Also all the old SIMs got automatically booked an option Vodafone Exclusive which deducts 1,90 EUR from the balance each month if not cancelled.

wolfbln 22-04-2016 20:17

Yes, I agree. But the "special offers" for roaming are very scrarce up to now. Nobody found a bargain or an improved roaming package of any provider (outside of the new regulated rate) so far on the other thread.

May be I can come forward with some good news. I found it very surprising that Vodafone in Germany is the only Vodafone company in Europe to scrap roaming surcharges on prepaid while other national Vodafone providers are still charging a lot for roaming on prepaid.

In the Netherlands I found hidden on a page:

YOU bundels:
Heb je een YOU S, YOU M, of YOU L bundel? Of een Talk or Text of Online Only BloX? Dan betaal je geen toeslag. Je belt, sms't en internet straks dus net zo voordelig in Europese landen als in Nederland. Tijd voor een tripje!

That's in English: You bundles: Do you have a YOU S, M or L bundle? Or a Talk & Text or Online Only Blox. Then you'll pay no surcharge. You call, text and use internet in Europe just as cheap as in the Netherlands. Time for a trip!

You bundles are Vodafone's prepaid combo plans in the NL, the online only Blox is a 1 GB pack at €10 on 4G/LTE. Unfortunately, Vodafones PR policy is a mess. What does this mean? Can you use the included allowances of the combo plans and data add-ons without surcharges on roaming as suggested? Or is "voordelig" a reference to the new Euro rate? It's a huge difference, if you sell 1 GB at 24ct/MB (=€240) which will be still possible, 6 ct/MB (=€60) which will be on some regulated rates or for €10.

Their forum seems to suggest the same:
Je hebt Vodafone YOU met een S/M/L bundel, een Online Only, een Talk or Text BloX of het Internet Dagtarief
Je kunt gewoon roamen uit je Vodafone YOU bundel zonder extra kosten

in English: You can just roam on your Vodafone You bundle without additional costs.
Astonishing is the country list further down the page: Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, San Marino and Monaco belong to the EU zone with Vodafone NL, with Vodafone DE, they don't for prepaid.

I understand that Vodafone has to do something in Germany and the Netherlands, the two markets where they are loosing customers rapidly now. But their roaming rates are a guessing game. Germany and the Netherlands are countries where you can still buy and ship SIM cards from/to abroad without (prior) registration. So many customers (and eBay merchants) will be interested to sell it Europe-wide. And in these two countries many users are still on expensive roaming plans. In Germany and the Netherlands Vodafone sends out free SIM cards by mail (within the country only).

wolfbln 22-04-2016 22:11

UPDATE: Vodafone NL just confirmed me that roaming charges will be scrapped:
Q: Does this mean, that you can use the package allowance without surcharges for roaming in the future?
A: that is exactly what it means. This only goes for YOU customers who have an active YOU S, M or L bundle, or a Talk or Text or Online Only BloX. Roaming will be charged from those bundles then. When the bundle is used up, the roaming surcharge will be charged. Kind regards, Jackie

So we have 2 Vodafone networks at least in Europe scrapping roaming charges from the end of the month. NL is a bit cheaper than DE, but very few SIM cards on the internet so far. For DE sellers give high discounts on CallYa SIM cards, but they need to be registered online (on a German address).

peterdoo 22-04-2016 23:45

That is very good news!

For data both should be OK. One has to keep in mind that the phone number for receiving calls is either from Germany or from the Netherlands. The calls included in the bundles are probably in both cases only to the SIM home country and to the current roaming country.

wolfbln 24-04-2016 19:42

And more good news is coming from the Netherlands. The first MVNO has gone down to domestic rates for EU-roaming. Tele2-attached *blieb has just published very good rates: 500 MB for €6 and 1 GB for €10 in all over the EU/EEA with Switzerland included for a change. Tele2 needed to react to Vodafone that scrapped all EU roaming surcharges on YOU combo packs and Blox add-ons on prepaid.

Unfortunately, in Germany the "discount" providers don't seem to react to Vodafone that will do the same here. I really can't imagine Vodafone scrapping all roaming surcharges and AldiTalk or Lidl Connect are still charging 23ct/MB.

The other side of the story is, that only single operators will offer EU roaming for domestic rates. Luckily, Dutch, Polish or German SIM cards are still freely available for users in other countries. This may change until the year (and transition period) is over.

I'm just rewriting the EU chapter for the 30th of April game changers. I think we will have some offers for everyone to be bought online and others in most countries that can be bought on location giving EU roaming at domestic rates, that's roughly 1-2ct/MB for data in packages. Halleluja!

As soon as the chapter is finished, I'll link it here for discussion what more to add. And of course, I'm still hungry for more offers. Even TravelSIM has gone down to 7ct/MB in packages (19ct/MB PAYG rate) for the EU, still overpriced .... but hey! Finally, we are moving in the right direction.

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