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Old 14.05.2012, 22:48
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Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Hi,

My wife and I will be hiking in Valais for a month this summer, and we'd like to be able to use our Verizon iPhone-4s's for occasional calling within Switzerland (and perhaps very occasional Internet data, but we're hoping to do any networking we need to do using WiFi). Apparently the iPhone 4s is dual-mode and can use European SIM cards (micro-SIMs, I understand). We definitely plan to carry the phones for their GPS capability (thanks to others on this forum for pointing out the availability of SwissTopo maps for the iPhone!), and it'd also be nice to have the Rega app available, should it become necessary. Never having tried to use these phones out of the US, we have a bunch of questions that I hope someone on this forum can help with. Does anyone here have experience with short-term Swiss use of a Verizon iPhone 4S, perhaps by friends visiting from the US? Here are some specific questions:

1. Might it be cheaper to forget about using the iPhones entirely, and buy a couple of inexpensive prepaid phones once we arrive in Switzerland (Geneva airport)? Would we find a reasonable selection in the airport, or would we have to range more widely? We'll start our hike in Chamonix, and I'm guessing there won't be a wide selection of Swiss phones in France!

2. I can find various companies that will sell me prepaid Swiss cards on line, but they seem pretty expensive. Is it significantly cheaper to wait until we land? Would we be able to buy a prepaid micro-SIM in the Geneva airport, do you think?

3. Is there a particular company you'd recommend for good coverage in Valais? We'll be doing the "Walker's Haute Route," from Chamonix to Zermatt.

We'd appreciate any and all advice you can offer.

-BSquared
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Old 15.05.2012, 09:23
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

if your iPhone is unlocked, then you can just stick a prepaid sim card in it and you're good to go. However if it's on verizon right now it's probably locked, so you should double check with them.

if it is unlocked, i think the cheapest option is to walk into a Migros electronics store and buy a prepaid sim card. You'll need to bring your passport with you and it costs something like 15/20 CHF (I can't remember the exact amount) and you get most of it as credit. That should be fine for a month since incoming calls are free and texts are like .10 CHF
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Old 15.05.2012, 10:31
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Aldi SIM Card is good, you go into a Aldi store with your passport, pay 20 sF (will be 20 sF credit on the card); in my opinion calling here is with this prepaidcard is cheap (for a prepaid solution)
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Old 15.05.2012, 12:05
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Yallo @5 CHF with 5 CHF credit for me is the cheapest option.
The salesman generally displays the 10 or 20 CHF sim card but on request and with a little unwillingness they show you the 5 CHF Sim card...
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Old 18.05.2012, 12:50
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Prepaid from Coop Mobile. 15 Fr. with 15 Fr. credit. It is micro SIM ready(for iPhone and & Co.).
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Old 10.03.2018, 09:47
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Hows Lycamobile? also lebara , saw some cheap data plans
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Old 10.03.2018, 22:54
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

I've been using lycamobile with their swiss S plan. 20 chf/month, unlimited data, 500 minutes, 500 sms. The service is fine when I'm in switzerland but is hit or miss when we travel to other countries, for example when in france, voice is 'like home' service (they text me to let me know) but data is roaming. When we go to other countries in Europe we generally have difficulty getting service.

Their customer service answers when you call, and they tell what sounds like helpful information. It typically doesn't help me, though. For example, I called before we went to budapest and they told I would have service there, but would have to manually select several options. I took notes, did what they said, could not get service. Naturally, this means I was also unable to call them to get help in order to get service.

Since I use the phone almost exclusively in switzerland, it's fine. Not great, maybe not even good, but fine.
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Old 11.03.2018, 06:02
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

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I've been using lycamobile with their swiss S plan. 20 chf/month, unlimited data, 500 minutes, 500 sms. The service is fine when I'm in switzerland but is hit or miss when we travel to other countries, for example when in france, voice is 'like home' service (they text me to let me know) but data is roaming. When we go to other countries in Europe we generally have difficulty getting service.

Their customer service answers when you call, and they tell what sounds like helpful information. It typically doesn't help me, though. For example, I called before we went to budapest and they told I would have service there, but would have to manually select several options. I took notes, did what they said, could not get service. Naturally, this means I was also unable to call them to get help in order to get service.

Since I use the phone almost exclusively in switzerland, it's fine. Not great, maybe not even good, but fine.
How’s the data speed? Roaming available in Germany/Austria?
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Old 11.03.2018, 06:43
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

Surprisingly, the data speed is generally good. I am usually connected LTE, though I have seen 4G and even 3G at times. While in Switzerland, I have had no unexpected problems with data (we've taken a few trips to the mountains and naturally I lose signal there).

I've not yet taken it to Austria so I can't comment there. We went to Koln for Christmas and I'm pretty sure I had roaming and the 'like home' text message.
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Old 11.03.2018, 10:32
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Re: Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?

At the airport the newspaper shop (Kiosu??) sells Lycra prepaid cards. As you exit the baggage hall, turn left and head in the direction of the rail station. It is just after the florist. Maybe 50m.

During office hours there is the Post Office. Turn right coming out of the baggage hall and continue towards the end, probably 100m.

What I would do is,
1. Contact Verizon and tell them what you are doing and ask if they have a package that will give you the connectivity you need. In particular make sure it will apply to both France and Switzerland. If their package isn’t interesting ask them to unlock the phone. (You should ask them to do this anyway)
2. Buy a Simcard from an international provider like Lycra. As you will be in at least two countries you don’t want to be fiddling and buying roaming packages with a card that is tied to one Swiss network. Again make sure it it available in both FR/CH. Go online, they could send you the SIM to your home address, before you leave.
3. There are no cheap iPhones in Switzerland. Even a used iPhone 5s will cost you at least CHF150. IPhone 7 CHF450. See http://shop.vendre.ch/acheter/téléphones-apple-cheapest for example.
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