Talk and Surf Cheaply While Traveling in Europe

OrangeOrange, the mobile arm of France Telecom, is marketing affordable plans to make it easy for you to use your mobile phone while traveling to some European countries.

When traveling abroad, travelers who want to take their mobile phones along for connectivity feel the sting with high roaming charges while overseas.  This is especially true with data enabled smartphones, as many European carriers charge by the kilobyte, where in the United States we are used to paying a flat rate for data usage.

Orange is offering a voice plan called Favourite Countries, whereby customers are charged an upfront monthly fee of 4 Euros with no hidden or additional charges.  Then, usage charges accrue at a low per minute rate depending on which country you’ve chosen.  For example, Orange France customers will pay 0.37 Euros per minute vs. the normal rate of 0.59 Euros.  Currently this offer is valid in France and Romania.  Later this summer, it will be extended to the UK, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia, and Switzerland.

As for a data plan, Orange offers their Travel Data Daily plan which involves paying a flat up front fee for affordable data roaming.  The plan costs 12-15 Euros for 50Mb of daily Internet usage within the European Union.  The plan is being rolled out in the UK, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium, and Romania.

Orange, while perhaps unfamiliar to Americans, is a major European mobile carrier that has 172 million subscribers over 5 continents.

How do you stay in touch when traveling abroad?  Do you use pre-paid SIM cards or does this type of plan from Orange offer you the most benefit?

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