Use Cell phone in Europe: How much does it cost? (Guide for travelers)

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Who hasn’t wished to travel to a country in Europe at least once, one of the most visited continents around the world, because of its beautiful countries? So if you are traveling soon and need to know how to use your cell phone in Europe, you are in the perfect place because we will be talking a lot more about it in this article. 

In addition, we will help you learn about each of the alternatives with which you can connect to the Mobile Internet in Europe. As well as, tell you based on the information, which we consider the best options. So if you want to know all this, read on!

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Can I use my cell phone in Europe?

To know if you will be able to use your cell phone in Europe you should check different things. Such as the network frequency of the operator you will be connecting with, also if your cell phone is unlocked and the coverage of the country you are going to. 

The network frequency is the representation of the speed, at which the devices transmit and receive data. With this network frequency, it is calculated how fast your device will be when connecting to the local operator’s network in Europe. So next we’ll show you the network frequencies, so you can check with your phone:

TechnologyBands
5G bandsn1 (2100), n78 (3500)
4G bandsB1 (2100), B3 (1800), B7 (2600), B8 (900), B20 (800), B38 (TDD 2600)
3G bandsB1 (2100), B8 (900)
2G bandsB3 (1800), B8 (900)
Table 1: Network frequencies in Europe. Source: kimovil.com

As mentioned above, you should also make sure that your cell phone is unlocked so that it is possible to connect it to the network of an operator. Finally, the operators with the best coverage in Europe are Vodafone and Orange. Knowing this could help you be confident that you will be able to use your cell phone when you are in a European country, and also choose the best alternatives to stay connected to the International internet

What are the options for using a cell phone in Europe?

Currently, there are numerous options that will allow you to make use of your cell phone while you are in Europe. Therefore, we are going to tell you a little bit about each of the options that you can have, their advantages, disadvantages, and budget. 

eSIM for traveling abroad

As a first option, we will tell you about the new virtual way to stay connected to the internet on your travels, the eSIM. This digital SIM allows you to activate a cellular plan from your carrier without having to use a physical nano-SIM. This eSIM is very easy to purchase through online stores, and we recommend that you do it through Holafly’s website. Here are the different plans that Holafly offers for its eSIM to Europe

Days of useAmount of dataPrice (USD)
7 days3GB$27 USD
15 days5GB$34 USD
20 days8GB$44 USD
30 days10GB$49 USD
Table 2: eSIM data variant values for Europe.
Source: Holafly

After reviewing the features of Holafly’s plans for Europe, we will talk about the positive and negative points of this International eSIM

Advantages

The eSIM you find in the Holafly online shop allows you to connect to the internet in Europe with advantages such as

  • High-speed connection in almost every country in Europe.
  • You can keep your WhatsApp number in your language, without any problem.
  • The eSIM is very easy to activate through a QR code. 
  • You’ll be able to share data with other devices.
  • No contracts or purchase clauses.
  • In case you have a problem with this eSIM, Holafly and its team will give you 24 hours a day attention, in the virtual chat of the store. There is also assistance via WhatsApp and email.
  • You’ll be connected to the best operators from Europe. 

Disadvantages

The eSIM offered by Holafly also has some disadvantages which are: 

  • With the eSIM you will not be able to make calls.
  • It does not include text messages. 
  • The eSIM plan is for data use only.  
  • Not all cell phones are eSIM compatible, so we recommend that you check that your cell phone is compatible before purchasing one. 

International SIM Card

The second option you can count on to use your cell phone in Europe is a SIM card, which is very easy to use and acquire with Holafly. Here are the features of the plans: 

Days of useAmount of dataPrice (USD)
30 days8GB37.72 USD
30 days12GB48.81 USD
Table 3: Values of the data variants of Holafly’s European SIM card.
Source: Holafly

To learn more about these SIM cards, here are their advantages and disadvantages so that you can compare them with other alternatives. 

SIM card advantages

So that you can connect to the internet in Europe with all the guarantees you need to take a look at the advantages of the Holafly SIM card for Europe:

  • If you happen to be going to countries like Italy, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, or Switzerland, Holafly gets your SIM card to you wherever you are within 48 hours on average. If you need it urgently, you can receive it within 24 hours for an extra charge of $5.11 dollars.
  • It’s very easy to insert and activate on your cell phone. 
  • You’ll have support and technical help available 24 hours a day with Holafly. 
  • You keep the number of your line, so you can use WhatsApp without any inconvenience.
  • Cellular internet coverage for 48 countries in Europe.

SIM card negative aspects

On the other hand, Holafly SIM cards also have some disadvantages, such as: 

  • It does not include SMS, received or sent.
  • No incoming or outgoing calls.
  • You can’t share data with other devices with this SIM card. 

Pocket WiFi for Europe

In case you are traveling in a group and everyone needs an internet connection, Pocket WiFi is an alternative that you can count on during your trip. The pocket wifi is a device that shares the internet signal with several devices at the same time. Its great advantage is the possibility of sharing the internet with many devices. However, the downside is that it tends to be an expensive alternative, as renting one of these can range from 40 to 170 USD depending on the days of use. 

Free WiFi in Europe

Europe is a large continent where communications have advanced impressively. That is why it is very common to find in European countries free wifi spots; however, the quality will depend a lot on the country you visit. Therefore, if you decide to make use of this option to stay connected, you should know that it is not a very safe alternative, since anyone can connect to the network. 

Can I use my phone service in Europe?

Continuing with other alternatives to using your cell phone in Europe, you can also use your phone service in European countries. Almost all operators worldwide have the option of international roaming for their users, so if you are interested in knowing if you can use this option in European countries, you can contact your local operator. 

However, something you should consider when purchasing this service is that if you do not control your data usage, messaging, and calls you could end up with very expensive bills, so we recommend you be careful with it. Below we will talk about two very famous operators with which you can use your service in Europe if you are a user of them. 

Using my cell phone in Europe with Telstra 

If you are a user of this Australian operator, then you can enjoy International Roaming to Europe. With them, you will have the option to pay as you go, so to use data, you will have to pay $3 per MB. As mentioned before, depending on the days you are there, using this option could be a bit expensive.

Using my cell phone in Europe with AT&T

On the other hand, if you are an AT&T user, then you can also activate international roaming. Compared to Telstra, the cost of data usage with AT&T is a bit cheaper, as you will have to pay 2.05 USD per MB. In addition, this company offers its users other plans when traveling, which could be more aligned to different needs. 

Local Cellular operators in Europe

Finally, in case your trip was rushed, and you did not have time to purchase any of the other alternatives in advance when you arrive at a European airport, you can purchase connectivity services with local operators. Although this is a very feasible option, you must consider that you will not have an Internet connection until you acquire a local SIM card or eSIM, so you must take this into account. Among the most famous local operators in Europe are Vodafone, Orange, and O2. 

How much does it cost to use my cell phone in Europe?

Using your cell phone in Europe will always have some cost; however, it will depend a lot on the alternative you choose to maintain your connectivity. So to help you, we have summarized some costs of the different alternatives, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs:

Service Internet tariff in Europe
eSIM card Europe10GB for 30 days for 49 USD
SIM card Europe12GB 30 days at 48,81 USD
Telstra carrier roaming$3/MB
AT&T Roaming in Europe$2.05 /MB
Pocket WiFi$40 to $170 USD for 7 days
Public WiFiFree
Table 4. Rates of the different options to connect to the internet in Europe

Finally, we would like to give you our recommendation so that you are always connected with the best services. After comparing costs, advantages, and disadvantages, we have come to the conclusion that getting a SIM card or eSIM is the best alternative. Besides, you can get it effortlessly with online stores like Holafly. 

If you want to read more about how to stay connected during your travels, we recommend you to read the following articles:

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