People can buy this prepaid SIM card for France in many places. Since you are probably a foreign traveler, you will need to show your passport or any other identification card. You can recharge your package in any official store, authorized distributors or in most supermarkets. You just send an SMS to with the recharge code 10 numbers and you will be able to continue enjoying your package. SFR offers some other packages that will help you to stay connected at the lowest prices. Note: Data will be cut once the limit is reached.
The order of this listing does not represent any kind of ranking or recommendation. There are other MVNOs too, but they don't offer good data rates so far. On the other hand you get your number, before you depart and your card is activated to use your service as soon as you arrive. Triple-cut mini, micro, nano SIM are available. The bonus of that is that the card will work straight away and has 5 EUR credit. If you buy from anywhere else, you will have to send in a copy of your ID and it can take several days to be able to access data.
Be warned that Orange Boutiques may be crowded and you can't just grab an item off the shelf and activate it yourself. It may take an hour or more of waiting before you get assistance to set things up. If you don't know French, it can be a bit daunting as it seems every menu presents options you can purchase. It is definitely over-complicated, just as every French site. To add credit to your SIM, buy one of the classic recharge vouchers " Les recharges classiques " from a tabac shop, magazine shop, or grocery store the big ones like Monoprix, Franprix, etc.
These are common everywhere, including airports and train stations at CDG international terminal, you can buy them at the Relay newspaper stand at the RER-B station. To add credit, dial then find the " recharger " option and enter the digit code. If you plan on going to a boutique to buy a SIM, you can purchase these packs there too. It is recommended that you load the recharge options page on your phone beforehand so you can show them exactly what you want. Some stores have employees who are not familiar with the packs or may not even know that data is available for pre-paid so it is helpful to show them the site, particularly if your French is not very good.
To obtain your free password you need to dial They offer different recharge schemes that give data for a certain period and validity of the SIM for a longer period:.
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It's sold for Orange Holiday is available for purchase on location in France or online with worldwide shipping through other official resellers including Orange USA via Amazon. If you still got an old active Mobicarte or need a refill for an existing Holiday SIM, they offer now two different recharges Orange Holiday:. This plan is for mobile phones and may or may not work on other devices. VoiP services will fail to initialize properly. As for VPN, it may or may not work. Supposedly you are to be notified by SMS as soon as it is activated but users have never received this in the 5 years they had their plan.
The safest way to confirm an option is by looking at your account online.
A guide to French mobile operators, SIM cards and mobile numbers
Mobicarte SIM card credit expires, if no recharge is applied during this period. After registering your SIM for the first time and topping it up with credits, the SIM number will stay in operation for max. You can check the expiration date online when you create an account, but you will probably also get an SMS stating the expiration date.
If you'd like to keep your number active, add a minimum 10 Euro recharge before the expiration date and it'll be extended another 6 months. Expiration of recharge credits depends on the amount. Topping up further extends existing credit to match the new credit. Also, recharge codes have a time limit before they must be added up to 2 years, read the ticket.
The page must be accessed over cellular and not WiFi. It is possible to achieve tethering on Android devices by using the WiFi hotspot in conjunction with a proxy app, e.
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The use of a 3rd party tethering app on an Android phone, or a jailbroken iPhone may just get you around this. Even apps like FoxFi are hit or miss with being able to use other devices through a hotspot Facebook worked, but not other apps. Orange prohibits the use in a phone. It's not clear, if this ban can be circumvented and how. When you were able to use this SIM in a phone, please add here how see next paragraph.
For the meantime a mobile hotspot is recommended, if you still want to use your phone. SIM cards are available from Orange Boutiques throughout France see locator above , but not every boutique may have it in store. They will want to know on what device you will use it and what SIM size you require. At the time of purchase in the boutique, you will need to provide a passport or driving licence which is a requirement under French law.
It takes on average 24 hours to fully update the system with your details and during that time you will not be able to top-up.
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However at least 2 GB will work as soon as you walk out of the shop and the rest will be added soon. To obtain a recharge you must again visit the Orange Boutique or some Bureaux de Tabac or Relay and ask for a rechargement for the pochette. There may be some faffing about whilst they work out amongst themselves exactly what you want, but show them your SIM or documentation with your Orange internet number and they will soon get there.
Often they will print out a sheet of paper for you which contains a telephone number for you to ring to activate the top-up and a digit top-up number. Topping up is also possible online once your new SIM card has been fully registered go to the ' mon espace ' section on the orange. This seems to be possible now for at least some non-French credit cards as well. It's also possible to top-up using vouchers for the standard prepaid phone service called Mobicarte.
You can then convert the account balance online to Pochette packages. The Orange site is far from user friendly, so this is not recommended unless you are well versed in French. Top-ups are often available on eBay and may well prove to be a good option for you to save messing about in shops upon arrival. But you will pay a premium for this option in so much as you will be paying extra for the time of the seller to obtain the vouchers etc.
Note, you can also buy pre-activated SIM cards on eBay. However for email, browsing and almost everything else it works just fine.
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On the other hand, tethering is not restricted and VoIP is allowed. It seems the data SIM card stays valid for one year, vs. If topping up with one of the data packages above, the validity is extended by 12 month counted from the end of the validity of the package.
Currently it's a Huawei E also called Airbox. This allows you to set up WiFi for multiple devices, i. Cost is Authentication: the blurb inside says you need to provide authentication, i. If you buy from an Orange boutique, they should activate it for you. If you get it from elsewhere, then you will have to mail off copies of your ID docs.
The device is locked to Orange France and won't be of much use elsewhere, unless you get it unlocked, but for less than 1 EUR you will be able to purchase an unlock code on eBay. In order to top-up by phone, call from a mobile or landline.
Free from Orange lines, a fee may be charged from others. You will be immediately asked by a female voice in French to enter your Orange number. This is the telephone number assigned to your SIM and normally begins with 06 or You will then be presented with two options, the first to top-up by credit card. Ignore this, the second option is to top-up using vouchers.
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