Off topic: Buy a prepaid mobile phone card from the country you're visiting
Thread poster: Mats Wiman

Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
Nov 16, 2004

I have posted this message on the Oxford thread http://www.proz.com/topic/23460?pg=e

I and my wallet has for long been irritated by the fact that if I want to call my son who is at Trafalgar Square my call from Picadilly Circus will be transferred via Stockholm, costing some 3-5 times more than it would cost if the call was kept within the national net.
That is how the "clandestine agreement" between the world's mobile phone operators work!

But there are solutions. I did not succeed in organising it for the ProZ.com mods meeting in Sitges in Februar but now I found a way.
After spending ours with Vodafone, that only had to offer "We don't, We can't, We won't" or on a website that took minutes if at all to load @ £ 10 minumum I gave up and called the competition.

Orange has a £ 6.99 "Pay as you go" prepaid card that you could order at
http://shop.orange.co.uk/shop/sim_connection_pack (did not work for me)
If that doesn't work, you can call +44-800-801080-"Press #2" 8-23 Sundays 8-17 (Pay as you go sales)

The delivery address has to be in the UK so I gave them the address of the guest house I'm staying at.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT POINT: Your phone must not be locked to any operator or network (other than Orange of course) because then the card won't work.

I can't tell you the break-even point for this investment but I guess you have to stay for more than two days.

It would be extremely helpful for many of us if members in various countries could find the same info for us foreigners (I have started in Sweden) in their respective countries.

Best

Mats J C Wiman
Übersetzer/Translator/Traducteur/Traductor > swe
http://www.MatsWiman.com
http://www.Deutsch-Schwedisch.com
http://www.proz.com/pro/1749
(Proz.com moderator, deu>swe, Swedish)
Träsk 201
SE-872 97 Skog
Schweden/Sweden/Suède/Suecia
Tel:+46-612-54112 Fax:+46-612-54181 Mobile:+46-70-5769797
MatsWiman@tele2.se


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Charlotte Blank  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:52
Czech to German
+ ...
Excellent idea, Mats! Nov 16, 2004

If anyone is heading for the Czech Republic, one of the cheapest ways to get a prepaid card is buying a SIM-card from Oskar (the smallest Czech provider, but the most clever one!). This Oskarta costs 500 crowns (around 15 Euros) which can be used fully for telephoning, sms etc. within six months. If you don't use them up within this period you have another seven months within which you must recharge your account with at least 250 crowns but you will not loose the rest you had before, it will appear on your account as well. For more information have a look at www.oskarmobile.cz, part of this website is also in English.
As for the other two providers, Eurotel and T-Mobile, they are charging a fee for activation of the SIM-card so you don't get the whole amount for calling and if you don't use all of the "kredit" within a certain time it will be gone forever.
The only thing is, that there are far more people having Eurotel than Oskar so you will pay about 7 crowns/minute for each call to that net (and to T-Mobile), whereas within Oskar it's only half that price.

HTH!

Charlotte

I forgot to mention that you can buy the "kredit-" cards almost everywhere (as for the SIM-cards, I think you have to go to one of their shops which are quite widespread). There is no registration whatsoever and no problem with roaming (though more expensive, but that's normal, isn't it?).

[Edited at 2004-11-19 09:03]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Prepaids from every kiosk Nov 16, 2004

IN Finland one can buy these cards on every corner, from at least three operators.
I always thought criminals use these prepaids everywhere they move, how else could they conceal their business?


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Really? Please tell us who. Nov 17, 2004

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

IN Finland one can buy these cards on every corner, from at least three operators.
I always thought criminals use these prepaids everywhere they move, how else could they conceal their business?


Hi,

I wonder if what you say is true. To my knowledge you must register in order to get these cards, at least you must in Sweden and the UK.
We can also "buy them from every kiosk" in Sweden in the sense that we can buy telephoning units for an existing (and registered card).
My plea is that you would mention the companies that sell these cards, like Charlotte did (see above) .

BR

Mats


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:52
Swedish to English
+ ...
UK and Sweden Nov 17, 2004

Mats Wiman wrote:

To my knowledge you must register in order to get these cards, at least you must in Sweden and the UK.
We can also "buy them from every kiosk" in Sweden in the sense that we can buy telephoning units for an existing (and registered card).
My plea is that you would mention the companies that sell these cards, like Charlotte did (see above) .

BR

Mats


Last time I was in the UK I just walked into my local mobile phone shop and bought a pre-paid Virgin SIM-card (£5 I think). It had the phone no. on it so I only needed to do was stick in my mobile. No need to register etc.
Sweden: I seem to remember that my mum was able to buy a pre-paid card (Telia I think) from OnOff the other year. She had to pay an extra SEK100 as a start-up fee, but no registration.

Could be wrong about Sweden, but you can def. buy pre-paid cards over the counter in the UK.

Regards,
Madeleine


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the info Madeleine Nov 17, 2004

You seem to be right about Sweden too. I talket to Telia and it is confirmed: Usama bin Laden could in fact buy a card for a 100 SEK (envelope containing the 07....... number + instructions) + an amount of units and walk out. Registration is voluntary.

Mats


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Michele Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 19:52
German to English
+ ...
prepaid Xtra Card in Germany Nov 17, 2004

This is obviously not so relevant for the upcoming Oxford powwow, but there are a number of such prepaid providers in Germany. My friends and family have always bought a prepaid Xtra card from T-Mobile. From their website (German, http://www.t-mobile.de/xtra/1,7206,10128-_,00.html ) I see their prices are currently EUR 39,95 for the card, which includes EUR 15 that you can use to telephone. The original EUR 15 is good for 1 year. You can choose various rate plans, which make it cheaper for you to make outgoing calls e.g. on weekends, nights, etc. But it costs nothing for you to be called at the number.

Once you have bought the card, you can reload it with "PhoneTime" (i.e. you are reachable AND can call out): 15 days for EUR 15, 365 days for EUR 30, 365 days for EUR 50. After every period of PhoneTime (i.e. you can make active calls) you have a period of MessageTime (92 days), wherein you can be reached at the number but cannot call out.

Clearly you have to be sure that your phone is unlocked to work with any SIM card. Also, you do have to "register" to get the XtraCard which means you fill out a form when you buy the card including name, address, etc. However, we never had to show any kind of ID, just filled out the application and it was accepted. (Not sure if this was correct procedure or not but the form thing was just a formality for us). So theoretically the Osamas of the world could abuse this also (at least that is my impression).

******************************************

In response to Mats' question: it appears you can order it online from the website I posted, but that they only deliver to Germany. I have no actual confirmation of this, but on the order form, it only allows entry of a typical German 5-digit zip code. For the record, here is the information they want to have:
Anrede: (title)
Name: (family name)
Vorname: (first name)
E-Mail:
Telefon:
Geburtstag: (birthday)
Staatsangehörigkeit: (nationality)
Address:

[Edited at 2004-11-17 15:07]


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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 19:52
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
+ ...

MODERATOR
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Michele Nov 17, 2004

Excellent link you gave (but it was damaged):
http://www.t-mobile.de/xtra/1,7206,10128-_,00.html

Could I order the card online?
Do they send it abroad?

Mats

What about France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Switzerland??????????

Mats

[Edited at 2004-11-17 14:26]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 20:52
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Yes, I checked Nov 19, 2004

Prepaid cards for all Finnish operators can be bought from kiosks, without any formalities. Just switch the new card into your phone and call. With the card comes of course a new number, so it's best to take a second phone along for incoming calls.
Prices are mostly 9,90 Euro, for which you get 20 Euro phoning time, to be used until June 05.
I really do not understand why it should be more difficult in Sweden, always thought we had the same system everywhere in the Northern states.


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:52
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
pre-paid cards in various countries Nov 20, 2004

Our company employees buy pre-paid SIM cards when they go to work onsite at customer sites.

I know that some of them have recently bought cards in Ireland, Germany, and in Israel.

Also possible in France:

http://www.futur-client.bouyguestelecom.fr/telephones/sansengagement/simseule/

http://shopping.kelkoo.fr/b/a/ss_Carte_sim.html

List of Prepaid SIM cards contacts for several countries:
http://www.telestial.com/prepaid_sim_cards.htm



[Edited at 2004-11-20 21:29]


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Ana Naglić  Identity Verified
Croatia
Local time: 19:52
Member (2005)
English to Croatian
+ ...
Croatia - work or holidays: pre-paid info Nov 29, 2004

You can get a pre-paid without registration in Croatia, too. Both operators charge the activation fee of approx. 40 euro, but 15 euro-credit is included. You have to get at least a 15euro credit 4 times a year.
Alternatively, T-com is owned by Deutche Telekom, and VIP has some discount agreement with Vodafone (which ownes some of their shares), so check with your local operator if they have some discount agreements with them.If you register, you get extra 3.5 euros on your credit.
If you don't want to use the SIM cards anymore, you may re-sell them, or give them to someone who might need them.


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