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best sim card austria

The 10 Best Austria SIM Cards in 2022

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

best austria sim card

Traveling to Austria and looking for a Prepaid SIM Card? We will tell you how good the coverage in Austria  is, which providers you can choose from and where you can buy the cheapest SIM card for Austria.

Travelers can order the right prepaid SIM card for Austria from home online to save time and effort during their vacation. The overview below shows all interested SIM cards for Austria that have internet data and/or credit for making calls.

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Are you looking for an alternative to SIM Cards? We compared the best Pocket WiFi’s.

Three - Pay As You Go Sim Card for Austria

Founded in Hong Kong, but mostly known for its operations in the United Kingdom, Three has evolved to be one of the major internet service providers around the world. Today, Three provides mobile internet service to more than 130 million customers. With the SIM Cards offered by the Three and the Go Roam program, you can browse through the internet in more than 70 countries worldwide. The full coverage can be found here.

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Orange - The European Prepaid Data Sim Card

If you are traveling to Austria, it is definitely worth taking a look at Orange. Orange is the one the major mobile internet companies and its network has been recognized as the best across Europe several times now. Originally known as France Telecom, Orange now has over 250 million customers and is known for its generous Europe SIM Card package. You will be able to use the mobile internet not only in Spain but all across Europe. See below the details.

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Cellhire - International Mobile Sim for Austria

Cellhire might be less known than the other companies mentioned here but they are the leading supplier during events (FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and many more). With the headquarters in the United Kingdom and many across offices across the glove, Cellhire has itself established as a major internet provider. The Austria SIM Cards offered by them provides a great value.

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OneSimCard - International SIM Card for Austria

When it comes to international SIM Cards, we definitely cannot overlook OneSimCard. This international mobile service providers offered Prepaid SIM Cards for more than 200 countries worldwide. They allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service in Austria and would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

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KeepGo - Roaming SIM Card for Austria

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T.  The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use internet in Austria, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling to Austria several times per year.

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Mobal - Austria Sim for Calls & Texts

Mobal was founded by an international traveler who became frustrated by the insane roaming costs abroad. Their focus is providing service to American travelers going to Europe. Nonetheless, they offer a wide range of Talk & Text only SIM cards that allow you to connect anywhere you want to go.

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O2 - Mobile Internet Provider in Austria

O2 is a subsidiary of Telefonica UK Limited and employs more than 6700 employees and 450 retail stores worldwide. Just recently, O2 has been awarded as the prize of the Best Network Coverage in 2019 (second time in a row). This mobile network operator is famously known for its blue color and the bubbles. Besides that, they offer great value on their Prepaid SIM Cards for Europe and Austria. Perfect for holiday or business trip abroad to save roaming charges.

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FAQ - SIM Card Austria

SIM Card for Austria - is it necessary at all?

You should clarify in advance whether it makes sense to have your own SIM card. In our opinion, even if you are only in Austria for a few weeks, a local SIM Card will always be beneficial.

Roaming fees have been abolished within the EU since mid-2017. However, this is limited by the so-called fair use regulation, which can be set differently by each provider. It is intended to prevent cheap mobile phone contracts from being purchased from other EU countries and then to use them permanently in your home/holiday country.

For example, it is possible to limit foreign use to a certain number of days per year. You have to ask your mobile service provider what the limit is exactly.

If you don’t want to order a new SIM card, you can book a mobile phone tariff with minutes or MB for free use within the EU if your local internet service provider has any offers. If the free minutes or the data volume are used, fees are incurred for further use abroad. Be aware: Roaming charges are expensive!

Prepaid SIM Card or Roaming?

Most mobile operators offer their customers so-called “roaming packages”, which can be booked for a certain time in addition to the existing tariff. A distinction is made between active and passive roaming, but a roaming package usually includes both:

Active roaming means that you are making an outgoing call, i.e. calling someone yourself. Passive roaming occurs when you are called in Austria yourself. Even though active roaming is significantly more expensive, the costs for passive roaming should not be underestimated.

Incidentally, the savings are huge if you want to use get a local SIM Card for Austria. Roaming costs are still so high here that accessing e-mails or Facebook can make the bill skyrocket.

If you plan to use your cell phone regularly, roaming is usually significantly more expensive than buying a temporary SIM card. The Austrian prepaid card market is extremely inexpensive. It is not necessary to identify yourself when buying a prepaid card online.

Fortunately, the prices for mobile phone tariffs and prepaid cards in Austria are so low that a prepaid SIM is usually the better choice for stays of several days. Besides, you are not tied to the network of your existing mobile phone provider but can buy a prepaid card from the provider that offers the best reception in your holiday destination.

A notable disadvantage of the Austrian SIM Card solution is that you cannot be reached by phone using your old number. While you can easily make calls on the outside, you have to tell your friends the new Austrian telephone number at which you can be reached in Austria.

Conclusion: For stays of several days, it usually pays off to buy a prepaid card for the holiday due to the low prices. A prepaid card is particularly recommended if you don’t want to live without the mobile internet.

Which Network is the Best?

There are currently three network providers in Austria: A1, T-Mobile and “Drei”. Some of these providers have other brands that access their network. In the case of A1 that would be BOB and YESSS !, T-Mobile has Tele.Ring and Ge-Org.

Technically, a distinction must be made between two different network types, both of which have different advantages and disadvantages: GSM and UMTS. The older standard GSM has significantly lower transmission rates and can, therefore, send less information at the same time. While this is not a big problem with traditional voice calls, Internet access via GSM is extremely slow. The big advantage of GSM lies in its distribution and range – GSM networks can cover much larger areas than UMTS. So if the main requirement is to be easily accessible wherever possible, a good GSM network is mandatory.

In return, UMTS enables significantly better transmission rates, but the expansion and range are significantly worse than with GSM. This background knowledge is particularly interesting because the provider “Three” does not have its own GSM network, but borrows that from T-Mobile. While the reception in Austria’s cities is consistently good with all providers, we recommend the A1 network in rural areas and especially in the mountains. It does not matter whether you choose a prepaid card from BOB, YESSS (the two discounters) or A1 yourself. Currently, we would also recommend “Three” but be aware of the problems in the GSM network in the rural & alpine areas.

You can find the individual network coverage of the providers directly on the provider pages, by entering your holiday destination you get a more precise insight into how good the reception is in this region.

Advantages of SIM Cards for Austria

Some European mobile phone tariffs do not include roaming. This means that such cards generally do not allow phone calls and internet use outside of the local country. If you have such a tariff, you need a separate SIM Card for Austria. Even if you plan to stay in Austria only for a short time, you can benefit from an Austrian SIM card.

Just like in this country, cost control is one of the most important advantages of prepaid cards. If you like to “turn your head off” on vacation, a prepaid SIM card in Austria avoids the risk of possibly making excessive calls or using the internet above the data limit. It is impossible to exceed the previously loaded credit. Financial horrors after returning home are therefore not possible.

Making Calls in Austria

After the roaming charges within the EU have been abolished, you can make calls and surf within any country in the EU at the domestic tariff of the card provider.

Requirements for the Austrian SIM Card

Every smartphone or tablet will also do its job in Austria. It doesn’t have to be quadband capable. Furthermore, the size of the SIM card must match the slot in your cell phone or tablet. If you are familiar with the matter, take a look at the device yourself. All others please consult the manufacturer’s website or the manual.

Your cell phone must be open to all network operators. Providers often lock cell phones that are bought through them. If this is the case, the cell phone can only be used with SIM cards from the corresponding provider. Clarify in advance whether this applies to you before you buy the Austrian prepaid card.

Where can I buy a SIM Card?

The bad news is: The shops of Austrian providers generally only deliver to Austria. However, there are several ways to get a prepaid card easily. One possibility is to buy the prepaid card in advance online and have it sent directly to your hotel and back home.

In theory, it is easily possible to buy a SIM card for Austria directly on site. However, both purchase and the collection of personal data for the activation of the SIM Card take time – which tourists generally do not want to spend on such formalities. Travelers who order a SIM card for Austria online reduce their travel stress and can calculate their costs beforehand.

Free WiFi!

In some Austrian cities with a lot of tourism, public, free WiFi is offered, which can be used after a short registration. The Starbucks coffee chain and the McDonalds restaurant also offer free WiFi for their guests. Skype users should take a look at SkypeWifi – here Skype credit can be used to pay for commercial WLAN providers, which is usually much cheaper than the other available tariffs. Besides, free WiFi access is also being offered in more and more hotels. It is advisable to inquire when making a reservation.

Which provider did you choose and why? Let us know in the comments.

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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate