Do not use mobile roaming in Germany

by Volker Weber

Since my last post was in German, let me explain what an international reader can take away from it.

Next time you visit Germany, don't let yourself being eaten up by roaming charges. Instead buy a prepaid GSM chip. The only thing you need is a dual band GSM phone. If you don't have that, ask a local friend to borrow one. Most people have at least one unused phone due to stupid tariffs that make you get a new one every two years.

I suggest you go into the Tchibo coffee chain (enter german ZIP code) and buy a chip for 20 EUR. Put it into the phone and you now have a German phone number that can receive calls free of charge. The chip includes 10 EUR of talk time. You will need 35 ct per minute calling any German number. So you have 30 minutes of airtime included. Incoming SMS are free, outgoing are 19 ct a piece. Calls to your voice mail are free.

If you need more you can buy additional airtime for 10, 20 or 30 EUR at the store. You can also buy airtime over the internet. You will receive a code by email that you need to enter into the phone.

Downside: Instructions will only be in German. You may need to ask somebody for assistance.

BTW: I did the same thing when I was in Scotland and it worked very well. For twenty pounds I made all the phone calls I ever wanted in two weeks.


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