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Can I use a UK sim card in a German phone?

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Hi Shenandoah ,

                             I just bought a 20 eurod dumb phone for Media Markt. Now all I have to do is get a sim and insert it. But how do I know what size to get? There appear to be 3. And is my phone unlocked? Hopefully , as it is a new phone. 

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2 hours ago, colincostello said:

Hi Shenandoah ,

                             I just bought a 20 eurod dumb phone for Media Markt. Now all I have to do is get a sim and insert it. But how do I know what size to get? There appear to be 3. And is my phone unlocked? Hopefully , as it is a new phone. 

It is unlocked.

Which one of these phones did you get? 

https://www.mediamarkt.de/de/category/smartphones-handys-578.html?sort=currentprice%2Bdesc&filter%5B0%5D=brand%3AALCATEL%20OR%20OK.%20-%20Eigenmarke%20OR%20CORN%20TECHNOLOGY%20OR%20NOKIA&filter%5B1%5D=currentprice%3A5.0-20.0

 

Have you decided which SIM to get?

All providers give you a triple SIM which contains all possible sizes:

src_triple_sim-karte.png.f0d6409fee5b265

 

If you do not use the phone often, you should get one that doesn't deactivate your SIM just because you didn't top up credit often enough.

Please see here for an article about SIM card validity: https://www-lte--anbieter-info.translate.goog/lte-news/prepaid-guthaben-gueltigkeit-uebersicht?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en-US&_x_tr_pto=wapp

The important thing is the table in section 4 of that article:

63751ceddf793_2022-11-1618_20_21-Prepaid

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 Wow! Such good advice.  To Panda Munich , I got a phone called OK.  I found this by following your 3rd link. From the photo , I can see what type of Sim card I need. A micro sim.

Then to HH Sailor , thanks for telling me about the breakout packages.  I had no idea.

Everything is a lot clearer now and the end may be in sight. Just one final embarrassing question. How do I get a number for my new OK phone?

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Colincostello,

 

Are you using the sim card from your Mother's old phone?  If so the number goes with the sim card as long as that sim card is still active.

 

If you are activating a new German sim card, the German phone number will be assigned or included with the sim card.  

 

S.

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1 hour ago, colincostello said:

 How do I get a number for my new OK phone?

The German mobile number comes with the German SIM.

 

The problem is that after buying it, you will have to activate this SIM or it will not work, i.e. you will need to identify yourself with your passport and your eAT as proof of address (or with your Anmeldebestätigung as the proof of address).

 

This identification can happen in one of 3 ways:

  • way 1: by the shopkeeper, in the small phone shop (not in a supermarket!) that sold you the SIM
  • way 2: by PostIdent in the post office
  • way 3: by VideoIdent, i.e. by using a smartphone (which you don't have, so unless you have a friend with a smartphone who can help you, we can forget about this way)

 

****************************************************************************************************************

 

Now to the important question:

Do you know German?

 

Option 1: you do not know German

If not at all, you have no choice but have to get a Lebara SIM in one of the many phone shops usually to be found around the central train station.

These ones are probably near you: https://www.lebara.de/en/partner/shopsuche.html

  • Canmobile (Inh. Dzahar Dadaev)
    Kopernikusstraße 19
    10245 Berlin
  • Phone4You (Inh. Sibel Öztürk)
    Wrangelstraße 54
    10997 Berlin
  • Phone Store (Inh. Abdelaziz Elkhodary)
    Boxhagener Straße 123
    10245 Berlin
  • Helin Tele-Internetcafe 2
    Karl-Marx-Straße 137
    12043 Berlin
  • VS Mobile (Inh. Veli Bayindir)
    Karl-Marx-Str. 143
    12043 Berlin
  • Handy Galaxy (Inh. Serkan Sürücüoglu)
    Karl-Marx-Str. 130
    12043 Berlin
  • Telewelt Günes (Inh. Isa Günes)
    Karl-Marx-str. 148
    12043 Berlin
  • Multi Shop 1 (Inh. Aurel Sorin Baciu)
    Sonnenallee 136
    12059 Berlin

The advantage of Lebara is that everything is available in English, see here for the FAQ: https://www.lebara.de/en/hilfe/faq.html

 

The disadvantage of Lebara is that you have to place a call at least every 90 days, i.e. use up some of the € top-up credit you have loaded on your SIM, or your SIM will be deactivated.

Also, Lebara uses the weaker O2 network - as long as you only use it in the city, there is no disadvantage, since there are plenty of O2 cell towers in city, but coverage will be worse in rural areas of Germany.
And now to the big disadvantage: Lebara charges - on top of 0.09€ per minute - a "connection fee" of 0.25€ per call.

 

SIM activation form (which the shopkeeper will have to fill in for you): https://de-videoident-customer-onboarding.lebara.com/

Here are the activation steps, though step 4 will not be a video call, but a direct identification of you by the shopkeeper (= he will confirm to Lebara that you are the person on your passport photo): https://www.lebara.de/en/hilfe/anleitung/sim-registrierung.html

 

Do not buy a monthly package, you don't need it, since you do not have a smartphone.

If, on the other hand you call a lot, you may want to look into booking one of Lebara's monthly package offers, they start at 9.99€ (for 28 days, so a bit less than a month): https://www.lebara.de/en/prepaid/hello-tarife.html

 

You can find out the cost per minute to call a non-German number here, just choose the destination country: https://www.lebara.de/en/minutenpreis-auslandsanrufe.html

For example, if you want to call the UK, it would cost you 0.05€ per minute if you call a UK landline number, or 0.22€ per minute if you call a UK mobile number:

637623efd77f3_2022-11-1712_44_45-Vereini

 

How to top up credit at Lebara: https://www.lebara.de/en/prepaid/guthaben-aufladen.html

 

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Option 2: you know German

In this case I would recommend that you buy a Congstar "Prepaid Wie ich will" SIM (do not get one of the other ones that Congstar sells, called Allnet, those come with monthly data packages that you do not need, since you bought a dumb phone and not a smartphone).

Congstar is a 100% daughter company of Deutsche Telekom, so you will get the same strong mobile D1 network like Telekom customers, i.e. ideal reception both in the city and in rural areas of Germany.

This SIM will be deactivated if you do not top up credit at least every 15 months.

 

Step 1: Buy the Congstar "Prepaid Wie ich will" SIM:

 

Step 2: Activate the Congstar "Prepaid Wie ich will" SIM:

I suggest you use PostIdent activation: https://www.congstar.de/prepaid/karte-aktivieren/

You legitimise yourself in person with a form and an identity document at a post office.
You will need:

  1. Identity card, passport or electronic residence permit
  2. a printer to print the PostIdent form with your details, which you will have to hand over at the post office.

 

Congstar price listhttps://www.congstar.de/fileadmin/files_congstar/documents/2022/Preislisten/Preisliste_congstar_wie_ich_will.pdf

For example, calling a UK landline would cost you 0.09€ per minute, calling a UK mobile number would cost you 0.22€ per minute:

637626e7da996_2022-11-1713_18_38-congsta

 

How to top up credit at Congstarhttps://www.congstar.de/prepaid/services/karte-aufladen/alle-auflademoeglichkeiten/

 

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 

Roaming = using your German SIM on trips outside Germany:

 

Both Lebara and Congstar have roaming activated by default, i.e. your SIM will also work if you take your dumb phone outside Germany.

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The amazon link to the congstar sim above looks like a rolling contract for eg 5€ a month. 

 

congstar Prepaid Starterpaket: Amazon.de: Electronics & Photo looks to be what kids#3 and #4 have, just a connection which you buy more juice for whenever you need it/run out, which is what I'm looking for. It does however refer to your linked item as the new version, whilst calling that a monthly rolling contract. It's a little confusing.

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3 hours ago, kiplette said:

The amazon link to the congstar sim above looks like a rolling contract for eg 5€ a month. 

 

congstar Prepaid Starterpaket: Amazon.de: Electronics & Photo looks to be what kids#3 and #4 have, just a connection which you buy more juice for whenever you need it/run out, which is what I'm looking for. 

The people at Amazon doing the classifications messed up.

 

My item, Congstar "Prepaid Wie ich will" (= "prepaid any way I like it") is not a rolling contract, but simple PAYG (pay-as-you-go) and the only option that Congstar offers with 0€ per month. 

Please see here for all variants Congstar offers: https://www.congstar.de/prepaid/prepaid-tarife-vergleich/

 

3 hours ago, kiplette said:

It does however refer to your linked item as the new version, whilst calling that a monthly rolling contract. It's a little confusing.

No, it links to the "Allnet" version, which does have a monthly fee:

SmartSelect_20221118-122640_Chrome.jpg.a

 

My item is "Prepaid Wie ich will": https://www.amazon.de/congstar-Prepaid-will-Micro-SIM-Nano-SIM/dp/B0732S576R

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