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

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France is one of the most visited countries in the world. So if you are traveling to this country soon, you must be wanting to know everything about it. From the tourist places, its food, language, and very important, if you will be able to use your cell phone in France. 

Each country is different and has its own criteria to be able to use a cell phone, so we will be talking a lot more about the requirements that your cell phone must meet to work it in France. Also, we will talk about all the alternatives to remain connected to the internet in the country of love. 

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Can I use my cell phone in France?

The first thing you should know about France is that this country uses GSM (Global System for Mobile) for telephone communications. So in order to use your phone in the country, it must be compatible with the above-mentioned system. 

Likewise, you should also check the network frequencies available in France, below you will find a table with the specifications. For your cell phone to work, it must be compatible with the network frequencies of the country you are visiting, in this case, France. 

TechnologyBands
5G bandsn1 (2100), n28a (700), n78 (3500)
4G bandsB1 (2100), B3 (1800), B7 (2600), B20 (800), B28B (700), B28a (700)
3G bandsB1 (2100), B8 (900)
2G bandsB3 (1800), B8 (900)
Table 1: Network frequencies in France. Source: kimovil.com

Also, another factor that you should consider and check your cell phone for, is that it is unlocked from the factory because if it is locked, you will not be able to connect it to other operators’ networks. Finally, something that we also recommend you to check and to verify is the coverage of the operator with which you will connect in France. Among the operators with the best coverage are Orange and Bouygues Telecom. 

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

Nowadays, you can find many alternatives to stay connected to the internet and use your phone in France. Below we will be talking about the most famous alternatives, such as eSIM and SIM cards, international roaming, local operator services, Pocket WiFi, and even free internet. Read on to learn more about each alternative. 

eSIM for traveling abroad

The eSIMs are gaining more and more fame, due to the ease of using them, activating them, and above all acquiring them. These are basically virtual SIM cards, and you can purchase them very easily through online stores, such as Holafly. Here is the information about Holafly’s eSIM data plans for France. 

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 France.
Source: Holafly

We would also like to tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of these eSIMs so that you can learn more about them. 

Advantages

As we mentioned before, the eSIM for France is a device, which is becoming more and more popular among international travelers. These are the main advantages of this virtual SIM card:

  • You’ll have a high-speed connection on 4G LTE networks.
  • You can keep your WhatsApp number in your own language.
  • Furthermore, you’ll have help and technical assistance available 24 hours a day from the Holafly team.
  • You can easily configure this eSIM, thanks to the QR code that you’ll receive on your email.
  • You’ll be able to share data with other devices. This is good news if you travel with more people, or have other devices such as laptops. 

Disadvantages

After knowing the advantages of the eSIM for France to use your cell phone in France, it is now necessary that you know the negatives aspects of the eSIM:

  • It’s not a toppable eSIM.
  • It has a specific expiration date, not extendable.
  • Furthermore, it’s an eSIM for cellular data only.
  • It does not have its own number, so it is not possible to make calls or SMS.
  • Not all cell phones are compatible with eSIMs. Here is the list of cell phones with virtual eSIM to have internet in France:

Huawei Mate 40 Pro. Google Pixel 3, 3a. Google Pixel 4, 4 XL, 4a, 5. Oppo Find X3 Pro, Reno 5A. Motorola Razr (2019). Motorola Razr 5G.iPhone XS, XR onwards, includes iPhone SE 2 (2020). Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra onwards. Galaxy Fold, Fold 2 onwards. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 onwards. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip onwards. Huawei P40, and P40 Pro.

International SIM Card

Did you know that Holafly does not only sell eSIM cards? So in case your cell phone is incompatible with the eSIMs, then let me tell you that this virtual store has a physical SIM card that provides cellular data in France. Here are the prices and variants of this prepaid SIM card:

Days of useAmount of dataPrice (USD)
30 days8GB38.10 USD.
30 days12GB49.31 USD.
Table 3: Values of the data variants of Holafly’s SIM card for France.
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

If you prefer to purchase a traditional SIM card for your trip, then Holafly has the solution for you. You can also purchase one easily through the online store. Here are the advantages:

  • In addition to France, this SIM card is suitable for use in 47 other countries in Europe.
  • It includes a phone number, and you can use this number to receive calls.
  • Support and technical help 24 hours a day through the online store chat. In addition, there is also support via WhatsApp and email.
  • You keep your WhatsApp number in your language, without any inconvenience.
  • You insert the SIM card upon landing, activate data roaming, and you have internet!
  • Not only that, but you can share data with more cell phones, tablets, or smartwatches.

SIM card negative aspects

Although there are several advantages of the Holafly SIM card for France, there are some negative things you should consider before buying this physical SIM card. Here are some of the points against it:

  • You cannot make calls or send SMS.
  • You can only use cellular data with this device.
  • In some areas of France, the connection speed may drop to 3G.

Pocket WiFi for France

Pocket WiFi devices are devices that you can rent to stay connected to the internet. While this is an excellent option for those traveling in a group, it can be a costly option. For France, you could spend up to 170 USD depending on the company you rent it from. In addition, if you lose the device you will have to pay high a high penalty. 

Free WiFi in France

It’s no secret that free WiFi is quite common in many countries. Especially when it comes to European countries. Free WiFi is much more common, as you can find it in hotels, restaurants, malls, and much more places. 

However, be aware that being on a free network may not be the best idea. There can always be problems with being on such networks, so if possible, try to have a connection that is your own from the moment you start your visit.

Can I use my phone service in France?

Another option to get internet in France is to use international roaming with your local service. This involves signing up or activating this service with your domestic operator and still using your SIM card in France. You will be able to activate data, send messages and make long-distance calls, but at a special rate for each service.

The way to activate the international roaming option will depend on each operator. Here we will talk about how to use your phone in France with world-famous operators, in case you are a user of one of them. 

Using my cell phone in France with Telstra 

Foremost, we have Telstra, an Australian telecommunication company. In case you are a Telstra user, you should know that you will be able to use the international roaming activation on your trip to France and use your cell phone. As for Telstra, the extra cost you will have to pay for data usage is 3 USD per MB. This service can be a bit expensive if you are not careful with your data usage on your trip. 

Using my cell phone in France with AT&T

AT&T is one of the most famous telecommunications companies in the world, and it is available in different countries. So if you are an AT&T user you can also enjoy international roaming, with which you can use data, make calls and send messages as if you were at home. 

With AT&T, you will be able to use data at a price of 2.05 USD per MB. However, in case you use calls and messages, these will also have a cost. 

Local Cellualr operators in France 

This is still one of the most common ways to have internet and use your cell phone in another country. When you arrive in France, what you can do is get a prepaid cellular data SIM card, which you will find in physical stores of French operators. The most common phone companies in France are SFR, Bouygues Telecom, and Orange. 

However, this option is not very feasible in case you want to use your cell phone upon arrival in France, as you will have to wait until you buy your SIM card from an operator. 

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

To finish this article, we would like to give you a summary of the costs that you might incur during your trip to France to use your cell phone with each of the alternatives already mentioned: 

Service Internet tariff in France
eSIM card France10GB for 30 days for 49 USD
SIM card France12GB 30 days at 49.31 USD.
Telstra roaming in France$3/MB
AT&T Roaming in France$2.05 /MB
Pocket WiFi for France$45 to $190 USD for 7 days
Public WiFi in FranceFree
Table 4. Rates of the different options to connect to the internet in France

After researching each of the alternatives, and comparing their advantages and disadvantages, we have come to the conclusion that the best option you could have to use your cell phone in France is with an eSIM or SIM card, and these are very easy to acquire with Holafly. So if you are considering acquiring one of their services, don’t think twice and visit their website today!

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