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cameronjpu (Offline)
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Join Date: 05 Oct 2010

Default 24-08-2011, 00:25

And now for Daniel's reply. Below are all his words:


I had a Carrefour SIM card that I purchased in their store (Prat de Lobregat) which is about 5 km from the Barcelona airport, on the left side of the road . It might be hidden from view coming from the airport, although it's a huge building. Look it up on Google maps to see which exit you need to take (on the right), then go under the highway and turn left.

I paid 1 Euro per usage day, had pretty good 3G coverage (except out in the mountains, deep inside the Pyrenees nature reserves we visited, and in some towns up there, where it was somewhat slow).
My SIM card was activated within 1 minute and I had to look up the APN un the manual provided with the SIM. Note that you need to enter it with the appropriate case (Upper/Lower, just as it appears in the manual). If, after 3 minutes of your card being activated, you're still unable to browse, just check that you entered the APN correctly. It takes 10 seconds.

If you bring an iPad 2 or iPhone 4 -I recommend bringing with you a SIm card cutter that you can purchase in eBay for a couple of Dollars. Usage is extremely simple (it was my 1st time). The Spanish cellular providers don't always have microsim cards.

Your 3GS needs to be SIM Free to use SIM cards that are not from your "natural" cellular provider.

If you arrive in the Barcelona airport, you won't find a store there to purchase the SIM card, but in Barcelona there are many stores from which to purchase, either directly from the cellular providers, or in a chain called "The Phone House".
Remember that the Spanish don't speak English very well and many of the stores people aren't technical at all, so they won't be able to support you with something they aren't familiar with.

Last, you need to know the APN info for the various cellular providers there, without this info (that needs to be entered into the 3GS, many times manually) – you won't be able to browse, even though your SIM card will be activated.
See the attached which I prepared for more info on this.

Further, in order to readily have the APN info, follow these instructions:
Install APN Changer using the browser on iPhone or iPad to visit the following URL: OpenAppMkt Changer and then, from OpenAppMkt, install APN Changer.

You also need to read this.

And an alternative site to the APN changer (but it neeeds an on line, eg WIFI connection) is Unlockit - APN Changer for your iPhone.

Hope this helps.

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wisniak (Offline)
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Join Date: 12 May 2009

Default 24-08-2011, 05:35

Thanks, Cameron

I concur that the Carrefour people (in my case - the Prat branch) had no idea on how to install the SIM in my iPad or how to config it (ie - enter the APN settings).

But in my case they were very fast and helpful while purchasing and activating the SIM.

Since I had an iPad, I had to cut to size the regular SIM to microsim size, using a cutter I had previously purchased on eBay. The actual cutting process was straightforward.

Since I don't switch SIM cards on my iPad, I'm embarrassed to say it took me a couple of minutes to remember where the slot was, this was the greatest delay in the process.

After that I quickly found the APN in the manual provided with the card.
I was not able to browse, so I asked the sales person to verify that the SIM was indeed activated (and it was, I know this because I saw the 3G icon).

I then rechecked that I had properly entered the APN, and indeed, it was incorrectl (lowercase rather than uppercase). No user/password were required.

After correcting the APN, I was able to browse using 3G and had no further issues throughout the trip.

The only thing (apparently unrelated to Carrefour) was, as I wrote, that deep inside the various nature reserves we had no cellular coverage, neither with the iPad or with our own cellular phones (non-Spanish SIM cards).

The sales person was helpful in pointing out that if I paid only one more Euro, I would have a full month usage.

I do agree with Cameron that it is better to go to a specialist store, where they do this stuff for a living.
In my case it was not an option since we did not go straight to Barcelona from the airport, nor was there any The Phone House branch along our 1st day route.

And in our case our flight was 5 hours late, so this basically was the only viable option I had.
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carrefour movil

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