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Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

Germany

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Basics Edit

There are now four coming down to three network operators in Germany:

  • Telekom Deutschland (formerly known as T-Mobile),
  • Vodafone
  • o2 (owned by Telefónica) now merging with
  • E-plus (acquired by Telefónica) - see below.

Update 4/2015: E-plus was acquired by Telefónica in 2014. In 2015 E-plus and O2 are joining forces to become one single network. Starting in April 2015 Telefónica opens free national roaming on 3G only between their two networks E-plus and O2. 2G and 4G/LTE of the operators remain seperate for a time.

All other offers mentioned below are MVNOs of one of the 3 or 4 network operators above. MVNOs are particulary popular for prepaid in Germany and are mostly cheaper than the MNOs.

Coverage and speedEdit

2G and 3G: GSM up to EDGE speed is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 2100 MHz like in most of Europe. Almost the entire country is covered by 2G. 3G/UMTS up to DC-HSDPA+ speed is available in most of the populated areas with some blank patches left in the countryside. Deutsche Telekom used to have the best coverage nationwide, followed by Vodafone. Eplus and O2 are joining forces in 2015 to challenge the others.

4G (as of 3/2015): LTE has been rolled out on three different frequency bands so far: 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz.

  • Telekom: on 800 MHz band in the countryside and 1800/2600 MHz in cities, not given out on prepaid yet.
  • Vodafone: on 800 and 2600 MHz, given out for prepaid with a surchage, not on its MVNOs.
  • o2: on 800 and 2600 MHz, not given out for prepaid yet.
  • e-plus: on 1800 MHz in city centers only, given out for prepaid without surcharge on all tariffs and its MVNOs.

Make a network scan, if you want to use it at one particular place and choose the network accordingly. O2 and Eplus LTE networks will stay seperate for the time being.

AvailabilityEdit

The most convenient way to purchase a SIM card for a tourist is to go to one of the big supermarket, drugstore, petrol station or electronic market chains and look for the providers described below. MVNOs are mostly cheaper than MNOs.

  • Telekom: congstar, Lebara mobile, ja!mobil, Penny Mobil
  • Vodafone: Fyve, klarmobil, EDEKA mobil, Lycamobile
  • e-plus/BASE: ALDI Talk (= Medion mobile), blau, ortel mobile, Whatsapp SIM
  • o2: FONIC, LIDL mobile, NetzClub

Most SIM cards can be used for phone calls and text messages too and data-only SIMs are rare in Germany. The standard rate is around 9ct per minute for a domestic call (to mobile or landline) and about 9ct for a domestic SMS.

Survey of MVNOs Edit

To obtain a good deal, data packages must be booked on the SIM card after activation. As weekly rates are hard to find, there is basically the choice of:

  • daily packages for short-time heavy users (available from 500 MB to 1 GB per day)
  • monthly packages for other users (available from 100 MB to 10 GB per month)

Take care that the default rate is often charged very high at around 20-50c/MB while data in packages are between 0.3 and 2c/MB. So buy packages right from the start, shut off data before and enable only when the purchase has been confirmed (see here).

SIM übersicht-1

Activation and registrationEdit

By law, all SIM cards need to be registered first to be activated. Registration is often not done in the shops but online or by phone.

But this may pose a problem: Remember, you don't have a working phone or internet access yet! Additionally, there are few open Wi-Fis in the country. Phone activation can be tricky too, because of the language. Online registration is usually in German only, but possible with the help of an online translator. Look for the words registrieren or freischalten on their website and keep phone and SIM numbers ready.

Mostly foreign addresses are not accepted, so use any German address instead, as your personal data will not be verified. But you need to give a valid German address: postal code + location + street name + house number must be consistent and may be automatically checked in a database. Registration can take some minutes up to a few hours, until your SIM card finally connects with the network. You may need to switch off and on your device to connect.

Tethering and VoIPEdit

Tethering is usually allowed with all the shown offers below, except the free ad-sponsored SIM of Netzclub. Some providers don't supply a profile for the iPhone but don't block it otherwise. VoIP calls are officially allowed only by E-Plus and O2 and some of its MVNOs. Other operators like Vodafone still ban them in their T&Cs without consequences. Only Telekom (and thus its MVNOs) has actively blocked VoIP in the past.

Topping upEdit

German SIM cards can be topped up in many ways, but only few of them are suitable for visitors as the others require German bank accounts or German-issued credit cards.

When you are in Germany:

  • You can buy top-up vouchers locally called Ladebons in many stores with a PIN to enter. The vouchers of the 4 network operators are most widely available. You can use Telekom vouchers for Congstar and ja!/Penny mobil, Vodafone vouchers for Fyve and Edeka, Eplus vouchers for Aldi/Medion, ortel and Whatsapp and O2 vouchers for Netzclub. Lidl and Fonic vouchers are interchangeable, but not with O2. For blau, Klarmobil, Lycamobile and Lebara, you need special vouchers which are less widely distributed.
  • You can go to one of the three drugstore chains (Rossmann, Müller, dm) or to a "real" cash and carry market to top up most brands and pay at the cash register with Mastercard, VISA and even AmEx.

When you are not in Germany (trying to keep an existing SIM card alive or topping up before arrival from abroad):

  • You can top up with most international credit cards on the websites of MVNOs Lebara and Ortel mobile only. Ortel also accepts PayPal and Paysafecards.
  • All other providers can be topped up without any surcharge using PayPal only on the third-party website of e.g. www.prelado.de which can be switched to English. This loophole is also the most convenient way to recharge from abroad to keep a SIM card alive of most brands. Be aware that they don't accept non-German issued credit cards, but only PayPal. Even PayPal may only be accepted, if you have a positive balance on your account.

More informationEdit

The following list shows only the most important players on the German prepaid market. Many other providers compete for special segments and audiences. The German prepaid-WIKI has a more or less updated extended survey (in German only, use Google Translate): www.prepaid-wiki.de. The following operators are sorted according to network.

Deutsche Telekom network (formerly T-Mobile)Edit

Deutsche Telekom has still the best coverage and speeds in the country according to tests. It used to be market leader until Telefónica bought E-plus. Telekom is the most expensive provider and the most restrictive network what 4G/LTE and VoIP calls are concerned: 4G/LTE is not available on prepaid yet and VoIP is actively blocked. As Telekom focuses with its own brand mostly to contract costumers, better use one of their MVNOs instead for prepaid.

congstar Edit

Congstar

Maximum Transfer Speed Edit

up to HSDPA (7.2 Mbit/s), congstar uses Deutsche Telekom network which is still the best in terms of speed and coverage, but doesn't allow prepaid on its 4G/LTE yet.

Default Data Rate Edit

none, you need to buy a data packet

Data Feature Packs Edit

  • congstar Surf Tagesflat: 0.99€ / day in 24 hours. You only pay for the days when you use data connection. Maximum of 25 MB per day, then reduced in speed to 64/16 kbps. Activation: send SMS with Start Tagesflat to 22011
  • these monthly flats:

Surf Flat

Data

Price

For activation: SMS to 22011

Option 200 200 MB 7.90 EUR Start 200MB
Option 500 500 MB 9.90 EUR Start 500MB
Option 1000 1 GB 12.90 EUR Start 1GB
Option 3000 3 GB 19.90 EUR Start 3GB

For activation send free SMS with code to 22011. After depleting the data quota, speeds are reduced to 64 Kbit/s downlink and 16 Kbits/s uplink.

For the monthly flats upsize options can be booked even several times per month: 200 MB extra data for the options 200 and 500 and 500 MB extra data for the options 1000 and 3000 for 4.90 € respectively by texting the word "speed" to 7277.

All regular packages can be unsubscribed by swapping the word Start with Stop in the SMS.

Availability Edit

  • order online: http://www.congstar.de to be sent to a German postal address.
  • According to their website, cards are available offline at the shops of Deutsche Telekom, the drugstore chains of Rossmann, dm and Müller, the supermarkets of extra, real, Kaufland, Netto, Penny and many service stations and kiosks. Some of these stores do not have any Congstar products in stock.
  • The starter pack costs 9.99€ with mini/micro or nano SIM and 10 € preloaded. Try to buy a "Prepaid-Karte" and not the "Smart-Tarif" as it requires a German bank account.
  • Cards can be reloaded with vouchers bought in the shops named above or any prepaid voucher of Deutsche Telekom widely available.

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 it also has voice. It's sold online or at the stores named above, but can be sometimes hard to find.

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

It can be loaded with the monthly flats 1000 and 3000 (see above, not the other ones) or a daily "flat" which is the default rate: 500 MB in 24 hours in 3G high speed for 2.49 EUR, then throttled to 64/16 kbps. This daily "flat" is not available for the regular line listed at the top of the section.

SIM sizes Edit

mini, micro and nano SIM are available

Tethering Edit

is allowed

Settings Edit

APN: internet.t-mobile

More Information Edit

  • website (in German only): http://www.congstar.de
  • for online purchase, payment must be made by direct debit (using any SEPA bank account). Credit cards and non-EU accounts are not accepted.
  • Telekom actively blocks VoIP

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 are operating on the good Telekom network in 2G and 3G only and are managed by Congstar which is the 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 the discounter store chain of Rewe called Penny. Like in other discounter markets, the SIM cards are not on display but have to be asked for at the check out cash register. Both starter packs are for 10 EUR with 5 EUR credit preloaded in the tariff line shown below.

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

Registration Edit

Starter packs can be registered online or by phone:

Both sites are only in German, so you may use Google Translate. Phone lines are only open Mon-Sat 7-21h and cost 0.20 - 0.60 € per call.

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. It has voice and text too.

Data Feature Packs Edit

Default rate is the daily rate: 1.95 € for 500 MB on a calendar day (0-24 hrs). Speed up to 7.2/1.4 Mbps, using more volume 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, these monthly rates are available:

  • Surf Flat 500: 500 MB, 9.95 €, (officially only allowed for smartphones)
  • 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 7.2 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 6250. Monthly packages will renew if there is enough credit and not deactivated as shown above.

Tethering Edit

is allowed, but VoIP, peer to peer and Blackberry use are officially banned

SIM sizes Edit

mini, micro and nano SIM are available

Settings Edit

APN: internet.t-mobile

More information Edit

  • Telekom actively blocks VoIP

Lebara mobile Edit

Lebara logo

Lebara mobile from Britain is the main competitor of Lycamobile on the ethno market. In Germany it is operating a MVNO on the good Telekom Deutschland (T-Mobile) network in 2G and 3G.

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 online switch to English or by calling 5588 from Lebara.

Data feature packs Edit

Internet use is only possible by subscribing to a data bundle. These monthly data bundles are available:

Data

Price

Activation

500 MB 9.99 EUR text DATA500 to 55255
1 GB 12.99 EUR text DATA1000 to 55255
3 GB 14.99 EUR text DATA3000 to 55255

After sending the activating code, confirm by sending JA to 55255.

Speed is up to 7.2 Mbps, throttled after the quota to 64 kbit/s. Package will renew itself after one month if there is credit. To unsubscribe text HALTDATA500, HALTDATA1000 or HALTDATA3000 to 55255 at least 24 hours before expiration. Packages can only be booked once per month.

Settings Edit

  • APN: internet.t-d1.de (on iOS it can be set only via installing an app which sets up a profile)

More information Edit

on their Website in English

Tethering: Edit

Allowed according to http://www.mobipassport.com.au/Germany-SIM-p/germany-lebara.htm but VoIP is blocked.

Vodafone network Edit

Vodafone used to be the no. 2 network in Germany competing with Telekom before Telefónica merged E-Plus and O2. It has a good coverage and speed throughout the country at slightly lower rates than Telekom. Vodafone gives out 4G/LTE only on its own brand for a surcharge and not on its MVNOs so far.

VodafoneEdit

Vodafone
Vodafone has now opened LTE on its first own prepaid offers (not MVNOs). Though it comes with a substantial surcharge and at a reduced speed of up to 21.6 Mbps. They cover 80% with LTE in 2015.

As with all network operators in Germany, their offers are higher priced than their MVNOs, but they may give you a better service and have more service points.

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid card is called "CallYa" and is available at their stores (store locator) and many more outlets for 9.95 € with 10 € credit. Recharge vouchers are for sale all over the country.

Data feature packsEdit

Voice plans with data (2G and 3G only) for 4 weeks

  • unlimited calls to Vodafone, unlimited domestic texts and 250 MB - 10 EUR
  • unlimited calls to Vodafone and 100 mins to other domestic networks, unlimited domestic texts and 400 MB - 15 EUR
  • unlimited calls and text to domestic network plus 500 MB - 25 EUR

Speed is a max. of 14.4 Mbps, when volume is used up, it will be reduced to 32 kbps. You can purchase 250 MB extra for 5 EUR (max speed 14.4 Mbps) or the two below mentioned add-ons.

To all of these plans 4G/LTE can be added by the two available 4G add-ons valid for 4 weeks:

  • 4G including 500 MB extra - 10 EUR (max. speed 21.6 Mbps)
  • 4G including 1000 MB extra - 15 EUR (max. speed 21.6 Mbps) 

All packages and add-ons can be booked and canceled by calling 22044, if not, they will renew automatically after one month. Only the extra data on the add-ons is on 4G and when used up, LTE will be cut off.

SIM sizesEdit

  • mini, micro, nano SIM

Settings and more infoEdit

  • APN: web.vodafone.de

EDEKA mobil Edit

Edeka
EDEKA mobil is a MVNO of a big supermarket chain in Germany on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G only (no LTE, frequencies and coverage see Vodafone).

Default data rateEdit

  • 0.24 EUR per MB outside of packages

Data feature packsEdit

They have three monthly packages on offer:

  • 150 MB for 30 days cost 4.99 €
  • 500 MB for 30 days cost 9.95 €
  • 3 GB for 30 days cost 19.95 €

All packages renew themselves after 30 days. Packages can be booked online on their website in the member's area or by calling 22922. Same ways to cancel packs. When included volume is used up, speed will be throttled to 64 kbps. Or you can buy data add-ons: 150 MB for 1.95 €, 500 MB for 5.95 € or 1 GB for 9.95 €. Add-on packs are all valid for 7 days after activation, will not renew and can only be booked on the 500 MB or 3 GB monthly rate.

Promotion: Until at least 31/5/2015 Edeka mobile gives out the first 500 MB package when buying a new starter pack for free instead of 9.95 €. This is for the 1st purchase of the data pack only and will auto-renew into a chargeable package after one month, if not stopped.

AvailabilityEdit

Their starter packs are available online on their website to be delivered to a German postal adress or offline in all Edeka supermarkets and Reichelt in Berlin Store locator. They are not on display, but have to be asked for at the checkout desk. They are free, meaning for 9.95 EUR price with a 10 EUR credit. The online purchased cards come already activated, offline packs need to be registered online here "freischalten" (in German only).

SIM sizesEdit

  • Combined mini/microSIM and nano-SIM available.

Settings and more infoEdit

  • APN: data.access.de

Fyve Edit

FYVE

Fyve is using the Vodafone network on 2G and 3G only which is quite good in terms of coverage.

Maximum Transfer SpeedEdit

  • depends on data package:
    • Surf-Flatrates L, XL and XXL - up to HSDPA (7,2 MBit/s),
    • Surf-Flatrate M - up to UMTS (384 KBit/s)

Data Feature PacksEdit

Data can only be booked on packages. All packs automatically renew if there is a sufficient balance on the account. The flatrates can be cancelled or changed every month online or by calling 22922.

  • Surf-Flatrate M: 150 MB in 30 days for 5 €
  • Surf-Flatrate L:  500 MB in 30 days for 10 €
  • Surf-Flatrate XL: 1 GB in 30 days for 15 €
  • Surf-Flatrate XXL: 3 GB in 30 days for 20 €

After using the high speed data volume, speed is reduced to GPRS. The Flatrate M can be upsized by the add-on "SurfON Paket" for another 150 MB and 5 € only by calling 01805 543012. The calling costs are refunded on the Fyve account.

AvailabilityEdit

  • Online orders (http://www.fyve.de) are only delivered to German addresses for a 5 € fee.
  • Starter packs are offline available at service stations (Shell, Esso, Agip, Jet) and at the shops of The Phone House (https://www.phonehouse.de/).
  • Starter pack costs 9.95 € whether for miniSIM or microSIM, this includes 1 month of the "Viel-Surfer-Paket" (150 MB) plus 5.00 € credit or 1 month of the "Flatrate-Paket"
  • Reload: Any Vodafone refill voucher ("call ya") can be used. They are widely available in kiosks, supermarkets or service stations.

SIM sizesEdit

  • Starter packs contain a combined mini- and micro-SIM. Nano SIMs are only available online.

TetheringEdit

  • allowed (at least you are allowed to use an 3G stick)

APN and more infoEdit

  • APN: web.vodafone.de

klarmobil.de Edit

Klarmobil.de logo

Klarmobil is a reseller of all German networks. But every SIM is on one network only and cannot be changed. They have now discontinued all other offers for prepaid on different networks but Vodafone.

Their only prepaid offers "Handy-Spar-Tarif" and "Internet Dayflat" with numbers beginning 0152, 0162 and 0174 are on Vodafone network. Actually, the "Internet flat" is the only tariff worth mentioning for prepaid. The other prepaid tariffs are overpriced, but the "Internet flat" gives the cheapest day rate on a Vodafone network for data right now.

Default data rate Edit

Mindblowing €0.49 per MB (in 100 KB units). So don't use data before booking a package.

Data feature packs Edit

  • "Internet-Flat 500": 500 MB in 30 days, then throttled to GPRS Speed for 9.95 €. No upsize possible.

Alternatively, a starter pack on Vodafone network can be activated as "Internet dayflat". This can not be changed to or from the "Handy-Spar-Tarif". Activation online, by phone or fax only. The "Internet dayflat" is for tablets and modems, but has voice and text too.The "dayflat" has (in contrast to its name) 3 available rates which are only on the Vodafone network:

  • 500 MB in 60 mins for 0.95 €
  • 1 GB in 24 hrs for 2.45 €
  • 3 GB in 30 days for 24.95 €

Take care: Booked packages do not renew and will end after the period or when the included volume is exhausted. Then you will be on their expensive default rate (see above).

Availability Edit

Online on: http://www.klarmobil.de to be sent to a German address only. They have more options online, but only postpaid for contract. Klarmobil on prepaid is sold offline in "real" supermarkets, "Müller" drugstores and the two electronic market chains "Saturn", "Media Markt", "Euronics" and in the the shops of "mobilcom-debitel". If you want to be sure to get the right package, try to go to an electronics market and let them configure it there. In other stores you are left to yourself. Take care, that you will need special Klarmobil vouchers to top up sold for €15, €30 and €50 here: click on "Aufladepunkt suchen" and put in a location below "Standort" . The vouchers of other network operators won't work.

SIM sizes Edit

You have either the choice of a regular SIM card, a micro-SIM or a nano-SIM when ordering online, in shops hybrid SIM cards are available

APN and more information Edit

  • APN for Vodafone network on "Handy-Spar-Tarif":  web.vodafone.de
  • APN for Vodafone network on "internet dayflat": event.vodafone.de

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile

Lycamobile from Britain is the main competitor of Lebara mobile on the ethno market. In Germany it is operating a MVNO on the good Vodafone network in 2G and 3G only.

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 online in English or by calling 323.

Default Data Rate Edit

0.19 EUR per MB charged if no data bundle is booked or used up.

Data feature packs Edit

These monthly data bundles are available:

Name

Data

Price

Activation

Data Flat 500 500 MB 9.90 EUR text 11500 to 3535
Data Flat 1 GB 1 GB 12.90 EUR text 11000 to 3535
Data Flat 3 GB 3 GB 14.99 EUR text 13000 to 3535
Data Flat 5 GB 5 GB 34.99 EUR text 15000 to 3535

Speed is up to 7.2 Mbps, throttled after the quota to 56 kbit/s. Per month, only one package can be booked, which can not be extended in volume.

Settings Edit

  • APN: data.lycamobile.de
  • Username: lmde (lowercase L, not capital i)
  • Password: plus

Tethering Edit

Seems to be not allowed. I can't find official information, but I bought a prepaid SIM card with 20€ credit and activated the Data Flat 3 GB. Data works on my phone but I can't share it with my computer. My 3G router doesn't work with it.

More information Edit

on their Website in English

O2 network Edit

O2, managed by Telefónica, will grow from Germany's smallest network to its biggest after the merger with E-plus, what the number of subscribers is concerned. Some MVNOs may be dropped or moved and users may face some disruptions in the merging process. The shops of O2 and E-plus/Base will be united too and from April 2015 O2 costumers can use the E-plus 3G network nationwide. This gives the former smallest provider a reasonable coverage on 2G and improved 3G in the countryside. But unlike on E-plus, 4G/LTE is not given out for prepaid customers so far.

FONIC (with LIDL mobile) Edit

Maximum Transfer SpeedEdit

Fonic

2G up to EDGE (220 Kbit/s), 3G up to HSDPA (7,2 Mbit/s). FONIC uses the network of O2 Germany, which is not the best in coverage but gives still good performance in the cities.

Default data rateEdit

€ 0.24 / MB (in 100 kb units).

Data feature packsEdit

  • Day Flat = Tagesflat (per calendar day = 0:00h - 23:59h) = 1.99 € (after 500 MB per day, speed drops to 56 Kbit/s). There is a price cap of 25 € per month, so if you use it for 13 days, the remaining days are free. For subscription text START TAGESFLAT to 36 642 (free).
  • Month Flat = FONIC Classic Internet with 500 MB = 9.95 € - lasts 30 days (after 500 MB, speed drops to 56 Kbit/s). For subscription text START HANDYINTERNET to 36 642 (free).

You will receive a confirmation SMS and you need to reply JA to that to confirm. This will be confirmed again, then another SMS that your request is being processed, finally a confirmation that the option is active along with the end date or a message that you don't have enough credit. The whole process can take some hours on the o2 net. Warning: If you use the internet before getting final confirmation, it will be charged at the standard rate per MB (see above). Staying active, the monthly flat renews automatically if you have sufficient credit and the daily flat will remain your default rate. Text STOP TAGESFLAT or STOP HANDYINTERNET to 36 642 to prevent them from renewing.

When you have exceeded the data quota in the running time of the package, you get a SMS info and speed will be reduced to approx. 64 kbit/s. Unlike with Lidl mobile, there is no upsize possibility for the package.

AvailabilityEdit

FONIC SIMs are available online for 9.95 € but for registration you need to have a German bank account. Bought offline this is not required. Starterpacks are sold at the drugstore chains of Müller and dm, the cash'n'carry stores of Real and the petrol stations of Jet amongst others. Top up vouchers can be found there at LIDL (see below) and Rossmann. Be aware that the vouchers of FONIC and LIDL are interchangeable, but O2 vouchers called Loop or Tchibo vouchers can't be used. FONIC and LIDL cards can be reloaded by bank transfer from abroad too. This may take a few days and is described here (in German): http://www.prepaid-wiki.de/index.php5?title=%C3%9Cberweisung_FONIC

ActivationEdit

The SIM needs to be activated and unlocked before use. First of all you need to register, either over the phone or on the fonic.de website (look for the "Freischalten" link in top right corner). iPhone users should disenable FaceTime to prevent it from sending SMS. It then may take up to a couple of hours for the activation to take effect. You will receive a welcome SMS from FONIC when this has happened. Then you can use the PIN on the back of the FONIC credit-sized card to unlock the SIM. The unlock wont work until the phone number has been activated.

SIM sizesEdit

SIMs in a starter packs are normally standard size but with perforations to break out the micro-SIM if required. If you want a nano SIMs, you need to buy and register a standard/micro SIM first, then order a new nano-SIM card from here. You will be sent a nano card (to a German address only) with mini and standard adaptors for a charge of 10 € which is inconvenient if you need a nano SIM.

TetheringEdit

Allowed (free)

APN and more infoEdit

  • APN: pinternet.interkom.de
  • more information (in German): www.fonic.de

LIDL mobile Edit

Lidl

FONIC has developed LIDL mobile to be sold exclusively at the LIDL discounter supermarkets in Germany. They are on display at the cash register / checkout desk. Be sure to buy the Classic line and not the Smart line, as Smarts require a German bank account.

Default data rateEdit

Generally all the FONIC details mentioned above are valid for LIDL too. Here are the major differences:

  • Starter pack costs 9.95 € (sometimes reduced to 4.95 €) with 10 € preloaded.

Data feature packsEdit

  • The daily flat is not a calender day, but real 24 hrs for a 500 MB and 1.99 €.
  • The monthly flat comes in three sizes:
    • Smartphone-Internet-Flatrate S with 150 MB in 30 days for 3.95 €
    • Smartphone-Internet-Flatrate with 500 MB in 30 days for 6.95 €.
  • Both of theses monthly packs can be upsized: another 150 MB in the small pack for 1,49 € texting START LIDL SURFUP 150 and the larger pack with another 500 MB for 4.99 € texting START LIDL SURFUP 500 to 54356 respectively.
    • Monatsflatrate with 5 GB in 30 days and max. 500 MB per calendar day, then reduced to 64 kBit/s and not upsizable for 14.99 €.
  • To activate the packages text START TAGESFLAT for the daily flat, START HANDYSURF 150 for 150 MB, START HANDYSURF for 500 MB and START MONATSFLAT for 5 GB to 54356. Be aware that it may takes some hours until the request is processed and you surf on the default rate in the meantime (see FONIC above).
  • To deactivate change START to STOP in the text messages to 54356.
  • You can buy Lidl as well as Fonic top up vouchers. While Fonic starts at 15€ minimum, at Lidl's you can get 5€ denominations.
  • Like Aldi, Lidl now offers an EU roaming package for cheap data roaming outside Germany in all EU countries, Norway and Switzerland. For 150 MB in 1 week 4.99 EUR are charged. This is one of the cheapest roaming data packs on the German market well below the EU price cap (compare with Aldi offer above). To activate, text "START LIDLEU150MB" to 54356 and wait for confirmation SMS. It doesn't renew itself: when used up by time or volume, it can be booked again. For more volume, better buy a local SIM card in the respective country.

More informationEdit

NetzClub Edit

Logo

NetzClub is a free ad-sponsored SIM card with a 100 MB high speed volume per month without charge. As a subsidiary of O2, Netzclub uses O2 Germany's network, which has not the best coverage but is still good in performance mainly in the big cities,

Speed: Edit

up to 7,2 Mbit/s. After reaching 100 MB a throttle is activated at 32 kbit/s (half GPRS speed).

Availiability: Edit

Order and registration are only possible online. The SIM card will be sent to a German address free of any charge. The SIM is not sold offline in any stores. So you must have a German postal address to enjoy the offer. Furthermore, you have to be willing to accept some ad mails to the given email account and some advertisement SMS will be sent to your number as well. This can amount to 30 SMS or mails per month but is normally much less. This is how this service is paid for after all. If you don't want junk ads, consider other offers instead!

SIM sizes: Edit

The SIM sent out by mail is a hybrid micro- and mini-SIM. Nano-SIMs can't be ordered with a new subscription but only as a replacement SIM for 10 € extra.

Recharge and upsize: Edit

There is no need to have credit to use the free 100 MB data per month. To top up use O2 vouchers called "Loop" from 15 € or Tchibo cashcards from 10 €. To use bank transfer (from 0,01€), see this site (in German): [[1]]

When the 100 MB free data quota is used, Netzclub sends out a SMS offering the "Surf-Pack" giving you 500 MB extra volume per month for 6.95 € (After reaching the 500 MB of the "Surf-Pack" a throttle is activated at 64 kBit/s). For buying this, you have to have credit and subscribe it by texting START SURFPACK to 22233. This may be a bad deal in the long term: the monthly surfpack overrides the free offer in the future and continues every month as long you have enough credit. To discontinue you have to call costumer service 0176 888 93939 (9c/min) or simply be low on credit.

Validity and refund: Edit

As long as you receive advertisement mails and SMS' your unused credit has an unlimited validity, which is unique for German pay as you go prepaid cards.

If you choose not to use the card anymore you can have the left credit transferred to a German bank account.

Tethering: Edit

Tethering and VoIP are not allowed in the T&Cs, but not actively blocked.

APN and more information Edit

E-plus network Edit

E-plus (often called BASE) used to be the price breaker and most innovative network in the country until it was bought by rival Telefónica (with its brand O2) in 2014. It will be merged to one network from 2015 on. National roaming with O2 on 3G only started in April 2015. 2G and 4G/LTE networks are still seperate. The names E-plus and Base as well as some MVNOs will be dropped in the process. Coverage is good on 2G and now improved on 3G with roaming on O2. 4G/LTE is only available in city centers, but open to all brands without a surcharge.

WhatsApp SIM Edit

Whatsapp

WhatsApp SIM is an innovative joint venture between E-plus and the popular social messenger app WhatsApp. It is targeted at WhatsApp users for social messaging and VoIP calls through this app.

Maximum Transfer Speed
2G up to EDGE (220 Kbit/s), 3G up to HSPA+ (42,2 Mbit/s) and roaming with O2, 4G LTE (70 Mbit/s), but limited to 7.2 Mbit/s. WhatsApp uses the network of German carrier E-plus, which has a fair coverage and very good speeds in the cities.

Default data rateEdit

This SIM gives all data consumed through the WhatsApp application for free up to 1 GB per month. It will not be debited on your data consumption and includes WhatsApp VoIP calls too. For overuse, speed will be throttled to 64 kbit/s. You need to top up at least €5 within 6 months to use this otherwise free service.

Default rate for other data outside of package is €0.24 per MB. So buy a package, if you use more than Whatsapp.

Data feature packsEdit

They only sell one package for all other uses than WhatsApp:

  • 10€ for 600 units in 30 days: that can be 600 MB of data, 600 domestic minutes, 600 domestic texts or any mixture of it. This gives a mathematical rate of 1.7ct per MB/min/SMS.

There is no way to upsize this package and overuse will be charged at the default rate, which is high for data. This package can be booked on your personal account or by calling 1155. It will auto-renew if there is credit and not stopped on your account or by calling 1155.

Availability Edit

The starter pack is available online to be sent to German postal address or offline at many service stations like Shell or post offices for 10€. The starter packs include a first data package of 10€ which can be discontinued before start and 5€ bonus credit, giving a total of 15€ credit.

It needs to be registered online here before use. For topping up, any e-plus voucher widely available can be used.

SIM sizesEdit

Combined mini and micro SIMs as well as nano SIMs are available.

Technical Settings Edit

  • APN: internet.eplus.de
  • Username: eplus
  • Password: gprs

More information Edit

  • tethering is allowed
  • if you want to use only the basic pack for WhatsApp, be sure that all data (incl. backround data) is shut off
  • Website in German: http://www.eplus.de/WhatsApp

ALDI TALK (a.k.a. MEDION mobile) Edit

Aldi talk

Maximum Transfer SpeedEdit

2G up to EDGE (220 Kbit/s), 3G up to HSPA+ (42 Mbit/s) roaming with O2, 4G LTE (70 Mbit/s), but limited to 7.2 Mbit/s. It uses the network of e-plus/BASE giving a fair coverage and very good speeds in the cities.

Default data rateEdit

€0.24 / MB (without package).

Data feature packsEdit

  • Monthly packages (30 days)
    • Unlimited Data Plan S (after 150 MB: GPRS speed): € 3.99
    • Unlimited Data Plan M (after 500 MB: GPRS speed): € 6.99
    • Unlimited Data Plan L (after 1.5 GB: GPRS speed): € 9.99
    • Unlimited Data Plan XL (after 5 GB: GPRS speed): € 14.99
Activation: online, by ALDI Talk app or dial *121*004# to activate, *123# to check status of activation, *122# to cancel data pack after the present plan expires. If you do not dial this code, ALDI will automatically try to activate a new data plan after expiration of the present one.
Upsize: The plans S, M and L can be doubled in high speed volume for 3 € for the running time of the package by calling 1155, online or using the ALDI Talk app.
  • Daily Package: 24 hours data plan (after 1 GB throttled to GPRS speed): €1.99
The day flat is activated by using a different APN (see below). Thus, monthly and daily flats can be used simultaneously by switching to the appropriate APN.

AvailabilityEdit

Starter packs are exclusively available in any Aldi Store, Germany's leading discount supermarket chain. They are not on display in the shops. You have to ask at the cash register (checkout) for it. SIM cards are available for €12.99 with €10 balance preloaded. Reloads can be made with ALDI Talk vouchers from ALDI stores or any e-plus vouchers widely available by typing *104*<voucher PIN># While eplus vouchers start at 15€, you can 5€ denominations at Aldi's.

SIM sizesEdit

Aldi Talk starter packages (including those purchased at Aldi stores) come with combination standard and micro SIM card sizes.

BillingEdit

ALDI talk charges slightly different call rates than the other providers shown. A domestic call to landlines or mobiles and a domestic SMS is billed with 11 cents [min] (instead of 9c elsewhere). This doesn't need to be a disadvantage: "Community calls" (meaning Aldi to other Aldi numbers) are charged with 3 cents per min only and all calls are charged from the 2nd minute by the second (60/1) instead of by the minute (60/60) like other providers do.

TetheringEdit

Allowed (free).

EU-Roaming PackageEdit

ALDI offers this add-on for cheap data roaming outside of Germany in all EU countries, Norway and Switzerland. For 150 MB in 1 week 4.99 € are charged. This package can be booked online or by ALDI Talk app. When expired (by volume or time) it does not automatically renew, but can be booked again. This is one of the cheapest prepaid roaming options in Germany on the market quite below the EU price cap on data (compare to Lidl offer below). For small data volume out of Germany, it can be a valid option. For bigger packages, buy a local SIM card in the respective country instead (see WIKI).

Technical details and more infoEdit

  • APN for monthly packages: internet.eplus.de
  • APN for daily packages: tagesflat.eplus.de
  • Username: eplus
  • Password: gprs
  • more information (in German): www.alditalk.de

blau Edit

Blau

2G up to EDGE (220 Kbit/s), 3G up to HSPA+ (42 Mbit/s) roaming with O2, 4G up to LTE (70 Mbit/s). blau uses the network of Eplus which has a fair coverage nationwide and a good performance in the cites

Default data rateEdit

€0.24 / MB (in 10 kb units).

Data feature packsEdit

  • day flat = Tagesflat = 24 hours data use €2.40, max. 1 GB UMTS/HSDPA then reduced to GPRS/EDGE. To activate switch to the special APN (see below).
  • "Internet-Flat"  = lasts for 30 days, UMTS/HSDPA will be used up to a specified data-limit, after reaching that limit, there will be a downgrade to GPRS/EDGE. All packages can be subscribed and unsubscribed by calling 1155 or by visiting blau.de web site.
    • Internet-Flat 100 MB € 4,90
    • Internet-Flat 1 GB € 9,90
    • Internet-Flat 3 GB € 14.90
    • Internet-Flat 5 GB € 19.80
  • All monthly flats can be reset in volume as often as you like within the running time of the package. When the initial traffic is used up, a SMS is sent out which needs to be confirmed with "JA" to double the initial volume: another 100 MB or 1 GB for 3 € and 3 GB or 5 GB for 9 €.

AvailabilityEdit

Blau is an online operator and posts the SIM card to German addresses only, though you can request billing to a credit card, which can be any address (and does not have to be German). Starter packs containing a SIM card are also available from a large number of retailers for 9.95 € with 10 € preloaded: at the petrol stations of Aral, the supermarkets of Norma, Kaisers, real and Netto, the electronic market chains Saturn and Media Markt or at the stores of Base and newly at O2 stores too. There, reload vouchers can be bought too. Only blau vouchers can be used; e-plus, ALDI or O2 vouchers will not work.

SIM sizesEdit

Combination Standard/Micro SIM is sent out by default; an option to select a nano SIM (at no extra cost) is presented when ordering via the web-site.

TetheringEdit

Allowed

Technical detailsEdit

Starter Pack with SIM card can be activated by blau.de/freischalten web site or by calling 1155 (German only). After visiting web site, there are 3 steps for activation, after these steps SIM card is activated between 30 min. - 1 hour.

APN Settings for monthly flats:

  • APN: internet.eplus.de
  • User name: eplus (also working: blau)
  • Password: gprs (also working: blau)

APN Settings for dayflat / Tagesflat:

  • APN: tagesflat.eplus.de
  • User name: eplus
  • Password: gprs

Thus daily and monthly flats can be used simultaneously, switching APNs.

More informationEdit

Website in German: www.blau.de

Ortel Mobile Edit

Ortel

2G up to EDGE (220 Kbit/s), 3G up to HSPA+ (42 Mbit/s) roaming with O2, 4G up to LTE (70 Mbit/s), but limited to 7.2 Mbit/s. Ortel mobil uses the network of Eplus which has a fair coverage nationwide and a good performance in the cites.

Ortel Mobile is a product of the defunct Eplus Group aimed at the ethno market against Lebara and Lycamobile. It is one of the very few MVNOs in Germany which can be topped up by international credit cards, PayPal and even Paysafecard directly on their website. The website is available mostly in English.

Default data rate Edit

The usual overpriced 0.25€ / MB (in 10 kb units).

Data feature packs Edit

  • 1 GB: 30 days, € 9.90. Activation: text "DATA1000" to 77300
  • 3 GB: 30 days, € 14.90. Activation text "DATA3000" to 77300
  • 5 GB: 30 days, € 19.90. Activation: text "DATA5000" to 77300

Speed is up to 7.2 MBps, VoIP is officially only allowed with the 5 GB pack, but possible on other packs too. When included volume is used up, speed will be throttled to 56 kbps. The data pack can be upsized online on your account: For the 1 GB pack, you get another 1 GB for €3, for the 3 or 5 GB pack a reset for 9 €.

All monthly packages auto-renew if there is credit and not stopped. This can be done online on your account.

Availability Edit

  • Online from Ortel to be sent to a German postal address only (normally takes 2-3 working days)
    • for free: without credit
    • for 9.95 €: with 10 € credit and another 10 € bonus on the first top-up
  • at their vending partners in Germany like Shell service stations or "real" supermarkets and generally in inner cities at small shops targeting immigrants and migrant workers for 9.95 € with 7.50 € credit. Take care, there are two starter packs: one with a smartphone option prebooked and the other without. Take the one without.

Top ups with Eplus vouchers sold everywhere or online on your account by international credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Some non-European and UK-issued credit cards may not be accepted. Use PayPal or a Paysafecard voucher instead.

Registration / Activation Edit

Made online, see here: Euro4. For management (booking and cancellation of packages) an Ortel online account should be opened too.

SIM sizes Edit

Hybrid Standard/Micro/Nano SIM is sent out

EU Roaming Option Edit

Ortel mobile offers one of the cheapest EU roaming packages called Cross. It gives out 750 MB data, 300 minutes outgoing calls and unlimited incoming calls for €20 per month in all of the EU/EEA countries plus Switzerland. More info here: Euro4.

Technical details Edit

  • APN: internet.eplus.de
  • Username: Eplus
  • Password: Internet

More info Edit

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