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Deutsche Telekom (formely T-Mobile) Edit

Telekom

Deutsche Telekom is the previously state-owned, incumbent provider. It's still the biggest telecommunications company in Germany with the best network. For a time it was called T-Mobile like in the US, but has reverted to its old name in Germany. While it caters mostly for postpaid, it still offers prepaid that used to be called Xtra Cards. Note that their rates are the highest in the country and are sold often cheaper by its subsidiary Congstar and MVNOs, not to mention its competitors.

In 2015 they opened all prepaid products for 4G/LTE unlike all of their resellers.

Availability Edit

The magenta-coloured Xtra Cards used to be sold all over the country. In September 2015 they changed name and portfolio. They can be ordered online and sent to a German postal address, in their stores called 'Telekom shop' (locator) and many other kiosks, service stations, electronic market chains, post offices and other outlets. Basically, they now offer two product lines for prepaid:

  • MagentaMobil Start for voice, text and data
  • Data Start for data-only

While the new voice & data card is available all over, you may have to look for their data-only card either online or in Telekom shops. Both starter packs are for 9.95 € including 10 € credit and come in all three sizes. SIM cards should be activated in Telekom Shops at the point of purchase showing your ID. Some shops may be picky about the address. So think of one (hotel, B&B, etc.) before. All SIM cards sold elsewhere need to be activated online through a video ID. For this you need to have a stable internet connection through a WiFi and your passport and address ready. Voice & data lines can't be switched with the data-only line.

Recharges called "Xtra Cash" are sold in most supermarkets, kiosks, service stations and even at ticket machines all over the country. Minimum amount for top-up is 15 €. SIM cards and their credit stay active for 2 years after the last top-up.

SIM card registration Edit

Telekom is the most restrictive brand in Germany when it comes to registration of you SIM card. You can (theoretically) have it registered in one of their T-Punkt stores or by video ID. Both ways they insist on a certified address. This means your passport (without address) is not sufficient, German passports are affected too, but any national ID card containing an address may easily pass. If you want to register a SIM on Telekom network bring along something official with your name and home address like a driving license or an utility bill. Otherwise, try Lebara (see below) instead for their network, that is known to be much more open to foreigners.

MagentaMobil Start (for voice, SMS and data) Edit

Their new voice and data SIM card has been opened for 4G/LTE. It comes with a base rate and includes all calls within the Telekom network and to one specified domestic landline number. For data you can choose among these tariffs below in up to 300 Mbit/s on 4G/LTE all valid for 28 days:

Package Data Voice Price Add-on
XS 2.95 € HandyDayFlat: 0.99 €

25 MB for 24 hours

S 100 MB 4.95 €
M 1 GB 100 mins 9.95 € SpeedOn:

M: 500 MB: 7.95 €

L: 750 MB: 9.95 €

XL: 1 GB: 12.95 €

L 1.5 GB 100 mins 14.95 €
XL 1.5 GB unlimited 24.95 €

For data you can book their Handy DayFlat: this is their pre-enabled default rate. 0.99 € for only 25 MB within 24 hours. Having reached included volume, speed will be throttled to 64 Kbit/s or you can buy another package for the same price.

All packages auto-renew after 28 days and can be booked online on http://pass.telekom.de or by calling customer service at 2202 (for free). Beyond the included data volume, your speed will be throttled to 64 kBits/s. Or you can add one of their SpeedOn packs to M-XL plans for extra speed for 28 days. The SpeedOn add-ons don't auto-renew, but are once-off.

From 2016 on you can use their Telekom WiFi Hotspots for free with unlimited data. Telekom and partner FON have the biggest "WLAN"-hotspot network in the country with more than 1.5 million hotspot points. To get access data, just text 'open' to 9526.

Data Start (data-only) Edit

Their data-only product is aimed at modems, tablets and routers. It contain text or voice at a higher price and can't be switched from a voice SIM card. It has been opened to 4G/LTE up to 300 Mbit/s. When you insert the SIM in your device, http://pass.telekom.de appears and you can choose one of their three data options:

  • Flat S: 500 MB for 24 hours: 2.95 €
  • Flat M: 750 MB for 7 days: 9.95 €
  • Flat L: 1 GB in for 30 days: 14.95 €

Packages don't auto-renew. Data will be throttled to 64 kbps, when having used all volume. But you can buy a new package on their website anytime. That's where you can check your data consumption too.

EU roaming Edit

All allowances can be used at domestic rates for roaming in the EU and EEA. In Switzerland data in domestic German packages is included, but not voice or SMS.

Technical info Edit

  • Tethering is allowed and supported
  • VoIP used to be banned and blocked, but on their new SIM cards and plans it's now open

More info Edit

congstar Edit

Congstar

Congstar is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom and a cheaper alternative to access the Telekom network, but remains still more expensive than most of its competitors. They stay on 2G and 3G only so far, no 4G/LTE yet. EU/EEA consumptions are at domestic rates.

Availability Edit

The new starters are labeled with "prepaid wie ich will" = prepaid the way I want it. Try to get a starter pack with no plan pre-enabled. The ones with a plan require a Germany bank account and are called Surf Mix or Smart Mix. Mini, micro and nano SIMs are available.

They can be ordered online to be sent to a German postal address, but for online purchase, payment must be made by direct debit to a German bank account. So better buy it offline at the shops of Deutsche Telekom (called T-Point), or other sales outlets. The purchase at a T-Punkt stores has the advantage to have it (theoretically) registered there.

The starter pack costs 9.99 € with mini/micro or nano SIM and 10 € preloaded (= 5 € from the start, another 5 € after activation). Credit cards and non-EU accounts are not accepted; not having one of these, buy in stores by cash.

Congstar prepaid cards can be topped up with their own vouchers bought in the shops named above or any prepaid voucher of Deutsche Telekom for Xtra Cards even more widely available. To check your balance dial *100#.

SIM card registration Edit

Congstar as a subsidiary of Telekom is the most restrictive brand in Germany when it comes to registration of you SIM card in their T-Punkt-Stores (see Telekom above). Unlike Telekom it also offers video verification through both WebID and PostID and in postal agencies through Post Ident. They register nationals of about 100 countries (for details see Vodafone for WebID and O2 for PostID).

Data feature packages Edit

Their default rate without a plan or package is expensive 0.99 € per 24-hour-day for 25 MB, then speed speed will be throttled to 64/16 kbit/s.

Congstar offers different packages with data in 2G and 3G up to 21.6 Mbit/s, but no 4G/LTE. You can choose between these plans valid for 30 days:

  • Congstar wie ich will: fully customizable plan of 0-500 minutes, 0-500 SMS or 0-1000 MB data. For data you can choose these packages:
    • 100 MB: 2 €, 100 MB extra: 4.90 €
    • 300 MB: 4 €, 200 MB extra: 4.90 €
    • 500 MB: 8 €, 300 MB extra: 4,90 €
    • Daten-Turbo: for 5 € more volume and speed will be doubled from 7.2 to 15 Mbit/s. This is a better option than to add extra volume.
  • Prepaid Smart Paket: Combo plan with 300 mins, 50 SMS and 400 MB: 8 €, 300 MB more: 4,90 €
  • Prepaid Surf Paket: Combo plan with 100 mins and 1 GB: 10 €, 500 MB more: 4.90 €
  • Prepaid Allnet Paket: Unlimited mins to all lines, 1 GB data: 20 €, 500 MB more: 4,90 €

After depleting the data quota, speeds are reduced to 64 Kbit/s downlink and 16 Kbits/s uplink.

All regular (not the add-on) packages auto-renew, if not cancelled or changed before in your personal account.

Internet Stick / Surf Card Edit

Alternatively, congstar sells USB dongles (= internet sticks) with an own tariff line and the same tariff without hardware as Surf Card. It can be used in phones too and also has voice. It's sold online or at the stores named above, but is often hard to find, especially without a modem.

The USB stick is a SIM-locked ZTE MF190 and sold with the SIM for 29.90 € including 10 € credit. The SIM-only "Surf Card" for 9.90 € with 5 € included. This tariff can not be changed to a regular line.

Default rate is a 24 hour daily rate for 2.49 € and 500 MB included. Beyond this quota, speed will be throttled form 7.2 Mbit/s to 16 kbit/s. You can add two monthly packages:

  • 1 GB: 12.90 €
  • 3 GB: 19.90 €

EU roaming Edit

All allowances can be used at domestic rates for roaming in the EU and EEA. In Switzerland data in domestic German packages is included, but not voice or SMS.

VoIP (Skype, WhatsApp calls...) Edit

Congstar has a strange dual policy about VoIP. On its voice tariffs with data packages it still actively blocks communications with OTT apps like Skype. If you plan to use VoIP services, you can only make it work using a VPN app like Cyberghost.

In contrast to that, on all data-only plans like the surf card packages VoIP is now officially supported and proved to be working.

More information Edit

  • Blackberry use and P2P are not allwowed
  • Tethering is allowed
  • APN: internet.t-mobile

ja! mobil and Penny Mobil Edit

Ja! penny

The REWE group, one of the biggest retailers in the country, sells ja! mobil and Penny Mobil with a very similar portfolio. Both operate on the Telekom network in 2G and 3G only and are managed by Congstar which is their official MVNO provider.

Availability Edit

ja! mobil is exclusively sold by Rewe supermarkets and Toom hardware stores while Penny Mobil can be only found in all branches of their discounter store chain called Penny. Like in other discounter markets, SIM cards are not on display but have to be asked for at the check-out cash register. Starter packs are for 10 EUR with 5 EUR credit preloaded in the tariff lines shown below. As as a starter get the Prepaid Start package, not Prepaid Smart package. Mini, micro and nano SIM are available.

Top-up vouchers can be found in every Penny, Rewe or Toom store or just use any Telekom voucher like their 'cash&carry' cards available everywhere.

SIM card registration Edit

Starter packs need be registered online by a video ID before connecting to the network:

These operators are managed by Congstar and offer WebID and PostID through video or Post Ident in an postal office for about 120 countries. So buy them only, if you are sure that you will be able to register them as there a no other ways.

During activation you have to choose a tariff line. For data choose "ja! mobil data" or "Penny Mobil data". All the options below are only for this line. It can't be changed later anymore but it has voice and text too.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is the daily rate: 1.95 € for 500 MB on a calendar day (0-24 hrs). Speed is up to 21.6 Mbps, using more data, speed will be reduced to 64/16 kbps. There is no charge when you don't connect to the web. This is the cheapest daily "flatrate" on the Telekom network available in Germany right now. Furthermore, a monthly rate is available:

  • Monats Daten Flat: 3 GB, 14.95 €
  • Speed-on: 500 MB add-on for Monats Daten Flat, 4.90 €, can be booked several times

Speed is up to 21.6 Mbps, then throttled to 64/16 kbps. Packages and add-ons can be booked online in your "service world" (= personal account) or by calling customer support at 6250. Monthly packages will renew if there is enough credit and not deactivated as shown above.

EU roaming Edit

You can use data all over the EU/EEA and Switzerland at domestic German rates.

More information Edit

  • APN: internet.t-mobile
  • tethering is allowed, but VoIP has been blocked in the past

Lebara mobile Edit

Lebara

Lebara mobile from the UK is the main competitor of Lycamobile on the ethno market. In Germany they operate a MVNO on the good Telekom network in 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE yet.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold online to be sent to a German postal address or offline at many outlets (store locator) for free. Registration can be made at the point of purchase switch to English by showing your ID.

To top-up you can buy one of their special vouchers or add 10€, 20€, 30€ or 50€ by credit card online. Check balance by *141#.

Activity period is only about 6 months, e.g. if you don't use the card for 6 months or longer, it will be deactivated.

SIM card registration Edit

Lebara mobile remains the most accessible brand on the Telekom network when it comes to SIM registration. You can get it registered by showing you ID card or passport and ANY address in many (but not all) of their resellers stores. These special stores are called 'Lebara Registration Partner' and can be found through this locator.

Otherwise, you can register it showing your ID document to a webcam over the internet what Lebara calls Online ID and is shown here. Note, that they are only able to register citizens of about 60 countries by their passport and 30 countries by the national ID document which are specified on this list. For other countries you need to go to a Registration Partner (see above).

Data feature packs Edit

Data by default is 0.19 € per MB. Better add one of these data bundles each valid for 28 days:

Data

Price

Activation

500 MB 7.99 EUR DATA500
1 GB 9.99 EUR DATA1000
3 GB 14.99 EUR DATA3000
5 GB 19.99 EUR DATA5000
10 GB 29.99 EUR DATA10GB
20 GB 49.99 EUR DATA20GB

After texting the activation code to 55255, confirm by sending JA to 55255. Speed is up to 7.2 Mbit/s, throttled after the quota to 64 kbit/s. Package will renew itself after 28 days, if there is credit. To unsubscribe text 'HALTDATA<size in MB>' to 55255 at least 24 hours before expiration. All packages can only be booked once per month, but these add-ons are can be added to all packages:

  • 100 MB: 1.99 €, activation: PLUS100MB
  • 1 GB: 4.99 €, activation: PLUS1GB
  • 3 GB: 9.99 €, activation: PLUS3GB
  • 5 GB: 14.99 €, activation: PLUS5GB
  • 10 GB: 19.99 €, activation: PLUS10GB

Add-on data is valid for the rest of the running time of the base plan. To activate text code to 55255.

EU roaming Edit

Roam like at home is applied to all allowances in the EU/EEA. Switzerland is excluded.

More information Edit

  • APN: internet.t-d1.de (on iOS it can be set only via installing an app which sets up a profile)
  • Tethering is allowed according to this site, but VoIP is likely blocked (see Telekom above).

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