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Germany : SIMs for travelers to Germany

Buying a SIM card in Germany is often difficult for tourists due to insistence on local address by some vendors, and due to language barriers.

Documents required for buying SIM

For pre-paid SIM cards, the retailer has to see and put on record official ID, i.e. the passport or national ID card. Unfortunately, many stores require you to have a local address. Foreign addresses are often not accepted. If you do not have a German address, try to use your name with c/o name and address of someone else, e.g. the hotel you’ll stay. This may not be accepted always.

Availability

German SIM cards are available at airports like at Frankfurt Airport e.g O2 Shop is located at T1, Area B, Level 1. The most convenient way to purchase a SIM card for a visitor is to go to one of the big supermarket, drugstore, service station or electronic market chains. Buy top-up vouchers called Ladebons in many stores with a PIN to enter. Go to one of the three drugstore chains (Rossmann, Müller, dm) or to cash and carry markets like “real” to top up most brands. You can use MNOs vouchers for MVNOs e.g.Vodafone vouchers for Otelo, Fyve, Edeka and LIDL Connect.

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Sri Lanka: SIMs for travelers to Sri Lanka

Buying a SIM card in Sri Lanka is easy and rates to call India are low.

Registration

When purchasing Prepaid SIM Cards, registration is a prerequisite by the regulator.
You may need to prove your identity by showing a passport. A digital photograph of you is taken at some stores. If you do not wish to be photographed, please produce a recent passport-size photograph conforming to passport specifications.

Sri Lanka Mobitel
Sri Lanka Mobitel

General Availability

When you arrive in the Sri Lanka at Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo, you can see counters of mobile companies at the Arrivals Lounge  such as Dialog, Mobitel, Etisalat ,Hutch and Airtel. A map of airport lobby can be seen by this link for ease. In the city, Mobile outlets or authorized partner retail outlet  located island wide. You can top-up cards and electronic top-up at any retail outlet on the street or via International top-up partners using your international Credit/ Debit card via PayPal on Ezetop.

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France: SIMs for travelers to France

SIM cards can be bought at the airport in France, but they are not cheap. After the first few minutes, you may be paying high rates to call India

Document required for buying SIM
You will need to show a photo ID at point of purchase to activate SIM cards in France, as it is a legal requirement. A passport usually suffices.
 
General availability
SIM cards are available in tobacco shops, Relay shops, SFR stores or Orange store. SIM cards are also available at Charles De Gaulle Airport.
There is a facility of online top-ups your sim card from provider’s website, such as Orange. Alternatively you can buy a voucher in an Orange shop, any tobacco shop or supermarket.
 

Continue reading France: SIMs for travelers to France

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UAE: SIMs for travelers to UAE

Buying SIM cards for travelers is easy in the UAE, with multiple options at the airport and activation in a few hours.

Document required for buying a SIM
To purchase of a SIM card, tourists must show their Passport with valid UAE visa. They will copy it and do some paperwork, which can take a while.

 

General Availability

Etisalat Sim cards are available at Airport Arrivals in Dubai & Sharjah, your nearest Etisalat Business Centers and in all the major malls across UAE and authorized dealers such as WH Smith at Abu Dhabi Airport & in malls, Dubai Duty Free, at Major Retailers like Jumbo, Emax and select hotels across UAE. Du sim cards are available at shops across the UAE or at authorised dealers.

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Japan: SIMs for travelers to Japan

It is impossible to get a Voice enabled SIM card without a permanent address once you reach Japan, but data only SIM cards are available for travelers to Japan

 

Getting a Japanese SIM card
The process getting a SIM card is quite painful, anyone who intends to buy a voice-call-capable SIM card (prepaid or postpaid) needs to show a proper identification which indicates that he/she has a residential (permanent) address in Japan. A hotel address is not sufficient for this purpose. However, this law does not apply to data services and data-only SIM cards.

 

SIM at airport

Data Only SIM cards are available at Narita International Airport, where you can get a  SIM card through vending machines .The airport will have two such machines, for Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, with only credit cards accepted for added ease. users will need to register their information in order to activate the service. However, it can be done by scanning their passport information at the vending machine.

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Hong Kong: SIMs for travelers to Hong Kong

Buying a SIM card in Hong Kong is easy for travelers, but calling India is not cheap.

Availability of SIM cards and Registration
International SIM Card in Hong Kong
International SIM Card in Hong Kong
SIM cards in Hong Kong don’t need registration and are sold in many stores. It’s recommended to go to stores of the operators or a small independent phone shops where somebody speaks English, so he/she can help you with setting up. Reload vouchers can be found all over the city in places like 7-Eleven, 1010, HKT , Grayline or Circle K convenience stores.
SIM cards are also available at the Airport. There are shops of cellular networks e.g. China mobile is located Terminal 1, Arrivals Meeters & Greeters Hall, Level 5. Furthermore, some retailer shops such as Nobletime AV & Telecom, 1010 and FORTRESS also sell sim cards.

 

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China: SIMs for travelers to China

Buying SIM cards in China is difficult for travelers due to language barriers, national roaming charges, the lack of International calling on most cards and the sometimes high cost to call India. Beware also of the occasional scams!

 

General Availability
SIM Cards in China
SIM Cards in China

Most Chinese SIM cards are regional, which means if you travel to a different province you’ll pay higher rates, so try to buy a SIM card in the province where you’ll be spending the most time. SIM card information related to Beijing will be discussed below.

SIM Cards are sold everywhere in Beijing. You can buy a SIM card right at the airport. Alternatively, they are available in departmental stores, bookstores, post office, and sometimes on the street. The value of the card is stated clearly on the card, and that’s how much they sell it for. You might get a SIM card from a retail store on street, but you still have to go to the service point of the carrier for official registration and activation before using it.

 

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Italy: SIMs for travelers to Italy

Buying a SIM card is relatively easy for travelers to Italy, and there are packs available that include some free calls to India. After the pack however, you may end up paying high rates to call India. Also, these SIM cards are not useful if you intend to travel to multiple countries

Availability
SIM Cards at Fiumicino
SIM Cards at Fiumicino
Italian sim cards are available at Fiumicino Airport, Rome, Italy. It has a Vodafone shop, at Area B, T1 Departures Mezzanine Floor and TIM shop at T1 – Boarding Area B. At branded shops you will pay the original price. You can get them in the shops of the providers where they will be registered as well. Top-ups can be bought at many more places like tobacconists(blue-‘n-white / black-‘n-white “T” signs), supermarkets, newsagents and even bars or coffeeshops

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Australia: SIMs for travelers to Australia

Buying SIM cards in Australia is easy for travelers, but beware of per call connection charges of some SIM cards.

Registration

Visitors who come to Australia for a holiday and purchase a prepaid SIM card will need registration. You require your passport for registration.

General Availability
Vodafone at Sydney airport
Vodafone at Sydney airport

Australian SIM Cards can be obtained from phone shops at most airports such as Melbourne airport, Optus is located in T2 Arrivals, ground level, whereas at Sydney airport Vodafone  kiosk is located at T1 International (Arrivals) near exit A. Australian SIM Cards can also be obtained from a supermarket and online from mobile network provider’s website. Try to get your SIM card in a branded store of the provider at airports where you pay the original price.

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Singapore: SIMs for travelers to Singapore

Prepaid SIM cards are easily available for tourists at Singapore both at the airport as well as in town, but you need to watch out for being overcharged.

General Availability

Airport
Singtel at Airport
Singtel at Airport

Singapore prepaid SIM cards are available at the Changi International Airport at the 7-Eleven convenience store which operates 24 hours at the Departure Transit Lounge of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, Departure Check-in Hall at Budget Terminal. But they maybe overpriced at airport.