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best sim card europe

The 11 Best Europe SIM Cards in 2022

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

best europe sim card
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Whether you are traveling to Europe for leisure, for business reasons or you are simply a digital nomad moving across borders, we all rely on mobile internet nowadays. The risks that come along with freely available public WiFi are not worth taking considering the possible data breaches. That’s where the SIM cards and mobile internet comes into play.

In any case, a Prepaid SIM card for Europe usually comes loaded with large data packages and sometimes even with Calls & SMS. Which one should you choose?

We researched which service provider offers the best solution for mobile Internet in Europe. The ‘best’ for us is the one that offers a large data volume with fast 4G LTE network and good network coverage at the lowest price per GB.

It would be great, of course, if you could use this SIM card with EU roaming in other countries – more on that later.

Three - Pay As You Go Sim Card

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 Europe, 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. See below the details.

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Cellhire - International Mobile Sim for Europe

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 Europe SIM Cards offered by them offers great value.

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OneSimCard - Europe Prepaid Sim

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. You can save 85% roaming charges when using their Europe SIM Card outside of your home country. Furthermore, they allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service abroad and maybe would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

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KeepGo - Europe Roaming Sim Card

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T. With its offices in Israel, Netherlands and the USA, KeepGo provides products across many segments such as Broadband Internet, Smart Wearables, GPS Tracker and more. The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling across several times per year.

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Mobal - Europe 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 - Leading Mobile Internet Provider in Europe

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. Perfect for holiday or business trip abroad to save roaming charges.

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

FAQ - Prepaid SIM Card for Europe

Data usage - how many GB do I need?

It really depends on your personal usage of the smartphone. For example, we work online on-the-go quite often – Text, audio and video – and also like to stream ‘privately’ a movie. In addition, we sync most of the data on Google Drive, which can already account for about one third of our mobile data volume.

If you are planning to only send a few online text messages from time to time, for example WhatsApp messages on your smartphone, check emails and surf a bit in the web browser, then you will have a hard time to even use 2GB during a two-week holiday trip in Europe.

How many GB exactly you need varies greatly. We noticed that there is a constant average growth of data usage per month. Over the years, the monthly data consumption has risen just by the fact that the applications and websites are becoming more complex and require more data during normal surfing.

In the list above, you will see that some SIM Card for Europe will not have that much data volume available. Either it’s enough for your personal data usage or you can apply new credit to recharge the SIM Card. Please contact the mobile provider in that case.

Roaming in Europe

The EU law “Roam Like Home” has been in place since June 2017. This means that as an EU citizen on holiday or on business trips within the EU, can now use their domestic mobile internet abroad without having to pay roaming charges. 

In reality, however, it is still the case that the various EU countries have to cope with significant price differences. Mobile operators are faced with competitive advantages and disadvantages – due to the local currency, the economy and the construction and operating costs of their networks. Although the EU prescribes maximum prices which, according to a given plan, will gradually decline over the next few years, it also gives countries opportunities to circumvent the regulations.

Exceptions to EU roaming

Countries with very low prices may apply for exemption if the internet roaming of oversea customers would cost too much. Even under “Roam Like Home” the providers can limit their offer abroad. For example, many providers cut off the use of data after a few months or slow down the data speed. In addition, additional costs may be incurred if the use exceeds specified limits.

“Roam Like Home” for short trips only

It is important to understand that the EU only demands an adjustment of the costs of short-term travel – not for permanent roaming. Thus, mobile operators have the option to observe the user behavior of their customers over a period of 4 months and then are allowed to enforce restrictions, if the customer is not or rarely in the home country. This regulation is known as the Fair Use Policy (FUP). Most providers make use of it.

Europe SIM Cards for long-term travel

The result of the many exceptions to the rule is that mobile operators in ‘expensive’ countries are usually more generous with roaming, while ‘cheap’ SIM cards abroad are cut more frequently and faster, or are not applicable at all. In the end, the dream of cheap long-term roaming remains a dream for the time being. Currently, the best solution is still locally to get a local SIM card with the best local offer.

Our Picks: The Best Europe SIM Cards

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