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Old 14.05.2012, 21:48
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Inexpensive Prepaid SIM Card for iPhone?


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.

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