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?



I used to be with Orange here in the UK, for many years until I finally had enough.

Every time I tried to contact customer services I would have to hold for 5-15 minutes while being told that they had an “Unusually high number of calls to deal with”. After a while this was just not acceptable. And all their customer services were outsourced to India. Now I have no problem with this, but if you are going to outsource, make sure that your operators understand basic conversational English.
Things may be different for US customers, but personally I’d avoid Orange like the plague.
Stick to the O2 or Vodaphone. Personally I’m now with O2 and couldn’t be happier.

Jennifer Woodard

Too bad it’s not in Spain. To avoid the sky high charges, I tend to get a local pre-paid SIM and just use that while I’m abroad. But that doesn’t solve the “staying in the touch” part. Now that I’m living in Spain but most of my life is back in the U.S., I plan on using Vonage.

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