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VodafoneEdit

Vodafone
Vodafone has opened 4G/LTE on its own prepaid offers (but not its MVNOs) with speeds up to 500 Mbit/s. They cover 90% by 4G/LTE in 2016. As with all MNOs in Germany, their offers are higher priced than their MVNOs, but they may give you a better service, 4G/LTE and have more service and top-up points.

In 2016 Vodafone opened its prepaid plans for EU roaming without surcharges. This means that you can take any Vodafone plan or those of its MVNOs and use the included or added allowances for roaming at domestic German rates. Note that unlike in other Vodafone countries, Switzerland and Turkey are not included in their roaming zone at domestic rates and charged much higher.

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid card is called "CallYa" and is available at their stores (store locator) and many more outlets for free without credit, 9.95 € with 10 € credit or 14.95 € with 15 € credit. If you have a German mail address (or know someone who has), you can order online and have a "Freikarte" (= free SIM without credit) sent to you by mail.

Note that certain stores (Saturn/MediaMarkt, for instance) and some merchants on eBay don't sell actual Vodafone starter packets, but sell Mobilcom-Debitel starter packs instead. The outer packets look very similar to Vodafone starter packs, but have a Mobilcom-Debitel logo on the upper left of the packet. They offer the exact same tariffs as a regular Vodafone SIM, can be topped up with the exact same vouchers as a regular Vodafone SIMs, but don't participate in Vodafone promotions.

SIM card registration Edit

All SIM cards need to be registered and verified, before you can use them. This can be done in their branded stores at purchase. That's why it's recommended to buy them there. Vodafone is not so strict as Telekom when it comes to an address. They take hotel or B&B addresses too. Keep yours handy.

Unfortunately, some Vodafone stores follow an unofficial policy of charging 10 € for the registration or apply a 55 € minimum balance to the CallYa plans. So stay polite, shop around or use the other way called WebID. There you do the verification through a video chat. But be aware that only ID documents of about 60 countries can be registered this way so far (for list open: Welche Dokumente brauche ich für Online-Ident bei CallYa?) every day 7am-11pm.

Recharge vouchers are for sale all over the country in supermarkets, service stations and kiosks amongst others starting at 15 €. To check balance, dial *100#.

Data feature packsEdit

Voice plans with data for 4 weeks (= 28 days):

  • CallYa Talk&SMS: no included volumes, data must be added (see below) - free
  • CallYa Smartphone Special: 1.25 GB (+ 100 MB) LTE data, 200 mins or SMS to all networks: 9.99 EUR
  • CallYa Allnet-Flat: 2.5 GB (+ 100 MB) LTE data, unlimited texts and voice to all networks: 22.50 EUR

()= If you are able to circumvent the German geo-restriction of the Mein Vodafone app in the Play or App Store, another 100 MB per month are given out for free for app use on the Special and Allnet-Flat plans. Users can check how to install geo-restricted apps from this manual.

Speed is a max. of 500 Mbit/s on LTE, when volume is used up, it will be reduced to 32 kbps. To all plans these LTE data add-ons valid for 4 weeks (28 days with auto-renewal) can be added:

  • 200 MB: 2.99 EUR
  • 500 MB: 5.99 EUR
  • 1.25 GB: 9.99 EUR
  • 2.5 GB: 19.99 EUR
  • 4 GB: 29.99 EUR

To activate go online or text the data size of the pack (e.g. '1 GB') to 70888 or use the Tarifmanager by callling 22044. To cancel any of the data packages, visit wap.meincallya.de before the renewal date.

Every plan can be activated once and combined with other plans. If you run out of data within a plan period, you can activate any other plan as long as it has not been booked in that period. Another way is to activate additional 250 MB or 600 MB for one-time usage, valid for 7 days. You can activate this option multiple times, it's non-recurring and it can be added at any time, even if you still have enough data volume:

Activation can also be done by sending the data size of the pack (e.g. '250 MB') to 70888.

Vodafone Flex Edit

In summer 2017 Vodafone issued a new fully customizable plan by app called Vodafone Flex. You need to transfer a regular Vodafone SIM using their special app called CallYa Flex available in Play Store for Android and AppStore for iOS. The advantage of their rates is that you can adjust every 28 days according to your consumption:

Data + 50 mins/SMS + 150 mins/SMS + 400 mins/SMS
400 MB 4.99 € 5.99 € 7.99 €
750 MB 6.99 € 7.99 € 9.99 €
1.5 GB 9.99 € 10.99 € 12.99 €

You can reset data and mins/SMS anytime ahead of the renewal. 4.99 € are charged for any data reset and 1.49 € for voice/SMS reset. All other add-ons from regular plans can't be used. All allowances are valid in the EU/EEA too on 4G.

This plan gives good data rates for big volumes with the reset like 4.5 GB for 19.97 €. But be aware that you can only pause this plan by being low on credit or changing back to a regular Talk&SMS plan (see above) as there is no free base plan on Flex.

Data-only SIM: WebSessions Edit

Aimed at tablets, routers and modems, Vodafone sells data-only SIM cards called WebSessions without voice. In March 2016 4G/LTE was opened with speeds up to 50 Mbps. You need to buy a special SIM card "WebSessions Freikarte" either online for free. Or get it in an Vodafone store (locator see above). They may be harder to find than regular Call ya SIM cards. These data SIM cards can be topped up online by credit card or using regular Vodafone top up vouchers available everywhere. The vouchers can be redeemed through a link on the WebSessions start page.

If you use a non-Vodafone USB dongle, you need to download Vodafone's Mobile Broadband Software to your computer and choose WebSessions as tariff. The first time you connect to the internet, you will be redirected to the WebSession start-up page where you can choose a package:

  • WebSessions Basic: 200 MB: 4.99 €
  • WebSessions S: 1 GB: 14.99 €
  • WebSessions M: 3 GB: 24.99 €
  • WebSessions L: 5 GB: 34.99 €

All packages are valid for up to 30 days or until used up. Then you can book another bundle. There are no data outside of these bundles.

SIM sizesEdit

  • mini, micro, nano SIM

Restrictions (VoIP, Messaging) Edit

There are no restrictions using VoIP services like Facetime or Skype (effective 2015). Vodafone doesn't officially allow them, but they don't block them either (like Deutsche Telekom/Congstar used to have)

EU roaming Edit

Vodafone was the first German provider that allowed allowances of all prepaid plans and top-ups to be used without surcharges in all over the EU/EEA, mostly on 4G/LTE Vodafone and partner networks. Note, that roaming in Switzerland is charged extra at very high 4 € per MB.

More infoEdit

  • APN for CallYa talk & data SIM: web.vodafone.de
  • APN for WebSessions data-only SIM: event.vodafone.de

otelo Edit

Otelo

Otelo is a subsidiary of Vodafone and uses its network on 2G and 3G only up to 21 Mbit/s, no 4G/LTE so far.

Availability Edit

Their starter packs are available online on their website to be sent to a German postal adress or offline in the electronic stores of EP: Electronic Parter, Euronics, Saturn, Media Markt. Furthermore at the check out of some supermarkets, Rossmann and some service stations. They sell three different prepaid starter packages:

  • Handy-Karte: 4.95 € with 5 € credit and another 5 € bonus for the first top-up.
  • Surf SIM: 4.95 € with 3 € credit for data-only
  • Surf Stick: 29.90 € including the Surf SIM and a USB 3G dongle, currently a locked Huawei E303

Top-ups can be made with cash cards sold at the shops mentioned above or Vodafone CallNow vouchers, even more widely available.

SIM card registration Edit

Registration is made online here by entering your personal data. Verification is through Online ID of WebID every day 7am-11pm over a video chat. It's only available for about 60 countries so far. So if your country is not on this list (open: Welche Dokumente brauche ich für Online-Ident bei CallYa?), better stay away.

Handy Karte Edit

Handy Karte is their tariff for phones including voice, text and data. For data you need to book a package. They offer these bundles:

  • Smartphone 800 for 7.99 € per 28 days including 750 MB, 300 mins/SMS
  • Smartphone 100 for 4.99 € per 28 days including 100 MB, 100 mins/SMS

Data is up to 21 Mbit/s and will be throttled for overuse to 64 kbit/s. You can upsize this bundle by weekly add-ons called Extra Data:

  • 150 MB: 1.99 €
  • 500 MB: 5.99 €
  • 1 GB: 9.99 €

Take care: add-ons are for a week only and don't renew, while the base monthly "Flat" auto-renews. To purchase or cancel call 12430 from otelo for free or do it online on your personal account called Mein otelo.

Surf SIM (and stick) Edit

This tariff line can't be switched to a Handy Karte and is data-only without voice nor text. A bundle needs to be booked for connection. At the first data connection, you will be redirected to their main page to choose a bundle:

  • 500 MB for 9 minutes: 0.19 €
  • 500 MB for 99 minutes: 1.99 €
  • 1 GB for 30 days: 9.99 €
  • 3 GB for 30 days: 19.99 €

Data are at max. 7.2 Mbit/s and will be cut off after having reached the quota. You will be then redirected to the selection page again. No international roaming on these data plans.

EU roaming Edit

The included allowances of talk & data SIMs, not the Surf SIM, can be used for roaming in the EU/EEA without surcharges (see Vodafone above) at domestic rates.

More infomation Edit

  • APN for Handy Karte talk & data SIM: data.otelo.de
  • APN for Surf SIM data-only SIM: event.otelo.de

LIDL Connect Edit

Lidl connect

In October 2015 LIDL changed partners: Now LIDL exclusively sells their starter packs under the new label LIDL Connect as a MVNO on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G (up to 32 Mbit/s, see coverage above). Rates are pretty similar to the old Lidl Mobile tariff. For SIM cards purchased before October 2015 at Lidl's, see FONIC Mobile in the FONIC section below.

Availability Edit

Since 2015 their new starter packs are available exclusively in all Lidl discounter stores (store locator). They are not on display, but have to be asked for at the checkout desk. They are sold at 9.95 € starter price containing a 10 € credit. A triple-size SIM card is given out. Try to get the "Classic" line that is their default rate that can later be switched to any other line (but the "Internet stick" tariff).

Top-up by credit card online (but some foreign cards may not be accepted) or vouchers sold at Lidl discounter stores starting from 5 € or any Vodafone cash card called 'Call now' (for min. 15 €). To top-up by voucher, type *100*<voucher PIN>#. To check credit of your account, type *100#.

SIM card registration Edit

Your SIM needs to be registered, before it connects to the network. Registration is made online here by entering your personal data. Verification is through Online ID of WebID every day 7am-11pm over a video chat. It's only available for about 60 countries so far. So if your country is not on this list open: Welche Dokumente brauche ich für Online-Ident bei CallYa? better stay away as it's the only way.

Data feature packages Edit

There is no data use outside of packages. So get one of their monthly bundles, either as combo pack or a data-only bundle, all valid for 28 days now:

Package Price Data Calls / SMS Refills (for 14 days)

Combo packs: Data & Calls & SMS bundles

Smart XS 4.99 € 250 MB 100 mins/SMS 100 MB: 0.99 €
Smart S 7.99 € 1.25 GB 300 mins/SMS 500 MB: 2.99 €
Smart L 12.99 € 2 GB 600 mins/SMS 1 GB: 4.99 €
All-Net Flat 19.99 € 3 GB unlimited 1.5 GB: 6.99 €
Data-only packages
3.99 € 300 MB -
6.99 € 750 MB -

To activate a package, go to your personal account called "Mein Kundenkonto", use their app or call customer service at 0172 22220 (at 0.49 € per call). The combo and data-only packages auto-renew after 30 days, if you have enough credit. Add-ons stop when depleted or their base pack has run out and won't auto-renew. When having reached the included data volume, speed will be throttled to 64 kbit/s otherwise.

For more data after combo pack is used up, so-called "Speed Buckets" data add-ons can be booked on every running pack. These are valid for 14 days only.

Data-only SIM Edit

Lidl offers two more good data-only packages on a special SIM. It's available:

  • as SIM-only: Surf-Karte for 9.99 € with 10 € credit preloaded
  • with a 3G USB dongle (unlocked Huawei E3531): Internet-Stick for 29.99 € with 10 € credit

These two data-only plans are offered for this SIM:

  • daily rate: 24 hours, 1 GB - 1.99 €
  • monthly rate: 30 days: 5.5 GB - 14.99 €

The daily rate is not charged, on days when no data are used, the monthly rate will not auto-renew. Note, that the on the data-only SIM international roaming is blocked. It will only work in Germany.

EU roaming Edit

All allowances of Lidl Connect SIMs can be used for roaming in the EU/EEA without surcharges. This doesn't apply to their Data-only SIM on which international roaming remains blocked.

More informationEdit

  • APN: web.vodafone.de
  • Tethering is banned, but works anyway
  • VoIP is banned, but works anyway on all devices
  • Website: http://www.lidl-connect.de

EDEKA mobil Edit

Edeka
EDEKA mobil is the MVNO of the big supermarket chain in Germany on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G only with speeds up to 32 Mbit/s (no 4G/LTE yet, see Vodafone).

Availability Edit

This brand is only available in EDEKA supermarkets all over Germany, one of Germany's biggest retailer (store locator). Starter sets have to be asked for at the cash register and come at 9.99 € with 10 € balance preloaded. A triple sized SIM is given.

For top-ups EDEKA sells cash cards for 15 or 25 € or by credit card online. Balance and SIM card remains valid for at least 1 year after the last top-up. Check balance by *102#.

SIM card registration Edit

Your SIM needs to be registered before it connects to the network. Registration is made online here by entering your personal data. Verification is through Online ID of WebID every day 7am-11pm over a video chat. It's only available for about 60 countries so far. So if your country is not on this list, (open: Welche Dokumente brauche ich für Online-Ident bei CallYa?) better stay away as it's the only way.

Data feature packsEdit

There is no data outside of packages. They offer these combo or data-only packages valid for 28 days now:

Package Price Data Dom. Calls / SMS

Combo packs: Data & Calls & SMS bundles

Smart S 6.95 € 400 MB 200 mins/SMS
Smart M 8.95 € 1.25 GB 300 mins/SMS
Smart L 14.95 € 2.2 GB 300 mins/SMS
Data-only packages
Internet-Flat S 4.95 € 300 MB -
Internet-Flat M 9.95 € 1.5 GB -
Internet-Flat L 19.95 € 4 GB -

Calls between Edeka mobile customers are free and not debited for the combo allowances. All packages auto-renew after 30 days. Packages can be booked online on your personal account 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:

  • 250 MB: 1.95 €
  • 750 MB: 5.95 €
  • 1.5 GB: 9.95 €

Add-on packs are all valid for 14 days after activation and will not renew.

EU roaming Edit

The included domestic allowances of all their packages can be used all over the EU/EEA for roaming without surcharges.

Settings and more infoEdit

  • APN: data.access.de
  • Tethering or hotspot use is not possible through data.access.de, use web.vodafone.de instead
  • Hotspot use = tethering is not possible through all Apple devices (running on iOS)

Fyve Edit

FYVE

Fyve use the Vodafone network on 2G and 3G only (max. 21 Mbps), no 4G/LTE, which is pretty good in terms of coverage.

Availability Edit

Online orders (http://www.fyve.de) are only delivered to German postal addresses for a 2.50 € fee. Starter-packs are offline available at service stations (like Shell, Esso, Agip, Jet) and at the shops of The Phone House (https://www.phonehouse.de/). Starter-pack costs 10 € whether for miniSIM or microSIM, this includes 10 € credit. Starter packs contain a combo mini- and micro-SIM. Nano SIMs are only available online.

To top-up any Vodafone refill voucher (so-called "CallNow cash card") can be used. They are widely available in kiosks, supermarkets or service stations all over Germany.

SIM card registration Edit

Your SIM needs to be registered before it connects to the network. Registration is made online here by entering your personal data. Verification is through Online ID of WebID every day 7am-11pm over a video chat. It's only available for about 60 countries so far. So if your country is not on this list, (open: Welche Dokumente brauche ich für Online-Ident bei CallYa?) better stay away as it's the only way.

Data feature packsEdit

Online or by app you can customize your plan and add domestic voice, SMS or data. It's valid for 30 days and can be changed every month. Here are their monthly data options:

Package Price Data
Surf-Flatrate M 5 € 150 MB
Surf-Flatrate L 10 € 500 MB
Surf-Flatrate XL 15 € 1 GB
Surf-Flatrate XXL 20 € 3 GB

Data can only be used when booked on plans before. All packages automatically renew, if there is a sufficient balance on the account. The packages can be cancelled or changed every month online, by calling 22922 or by app.

After using up all high-speed data volume, speed is reduced to GPRS. All allowances are valid in the EU/EEA too while roaming abroad.

EU roaming Edit

The included domestic allowances of all packages can be used for roaming in the EU/EEA countries without surcharges.

More infoEdit

  • Tethering is allowed (at least you are allowed to use a 3G stick)
  • APN: web.vodafone.de

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile

Lycamobile from Britain is the main competitor of Lebara mobile on the ethno market. In Germany it's operating a MVNO on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE yet. Lycamobile is not recommended for EU roaming so far, as it's the only provider in Germany that doesn't give out domestic data packages in other EU countries.

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 without credit. Registration and verification is done in their stores by showing your ID document.

There and at service stations, supermarkets and kiosks, you can find Lyca's reload vouchers. You can try to top-up online on your account by credit card, because some (but not all) international cards are accepted. As a last resort you can also use PayPal or PaySafeCards or swap credit from other Lycamobile SIM cards even of a different country for a surcharge. Balance check is by *131#.

SIM card registration Edit

Your SIM needs to be registered before it connects to the network. Registration is made at some points of purchase in their stores and online in English by entering your personal data. Verification is through Online ID of WebID every day 7am-11pm over a video chat. It's only available for about 60 countries so far. So if your country is not on this list, you need to do it at the point of purchase.

Data feature packs Edit

0.19 € per MB is charged, if no data bundle is booked or all data used up. These domestic monthly data bundles (no EU roaming included) are available:

dom. Data Price Activation
500 MB 7.99 € *139*11500#
1 GB 9.99 € *139*11000#
2 GB 12.99 € *139*12000#
3 GB 14.99 € *139*13000#
5 GB 19.99 € *139*15000#
10 GB 29.99 € *139*15100#

Lycamobile will automatically renew your bundle once it expires. To cancel the auto-renewal dial *190# before the expiry date and follow the instructions or call Customer Service for free on 322 before the expiry date. Be aware that data packages can't be used for EU roaming which is unusual for German providers. The 10 GB is discounted to 19.99 € for its first purchase.

Speed is up to 7.2 Mbps and throttled after having reached the quota to 56 kbit/s. Only one of the bundles above can be booked per month. For more data, they offer add-on packages, which can be added to the running packages above. Note that extra volume is only valid for the running time of the base package and won't roll over:

  • 500 MB: 6 EUR, activation: 115002
  • 1 GB: 9 EUR, activation: 110002
  • 3 GB: 14.99 EUR, activation: 130002
  • 5 GB: 19.99 EUR, activation: 150002

For activation of the add-on packages text number to 3535. A new base bundle can only be activated 30 days past the old one.

EU roaming Edit

Lycamobile customers may now able to use certain bundle allowances while roaming in EE/EEA. This is applicable for these selected monthly bundles only:

  • All New Flat: 5 GB in Germany or 2.25 GB in the EU, unlimited calls - 19.99 €, 9.99 € when purchased online with new SIM card, activation: *139*49201#
  • All New Plus: 7 GB in Germany or 3 GB in the EU, unlimited calls - 24.99 €, 12.49 € when purchased online with new SIM card, activation: *139*49202#
  • All New Extra: 15 GB in Germany or 4.5 GB in the EU, unlimited calls - 39.99 €, activation: *139*49204#

Otherwise, EU roaming is only available at the high standard default rate of 0.19 € per MB and not taken from the package.

Technical settings Edit

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

More information Edit

  • Website in English
  • Lycamobile's website claims they will keep a number active 180 days, since it was last used and credit stays valid for 90 days.
  • VoIP is allowed except using the Lebara Talk app
  • Tethering seems not to be allowed and effectively blocked. They are known to sniff and kill tethering connections.

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