Telecom providers in France have been offering phone plans with unlimited Internet access for a few years. While these plans may be more expensive than standard deals, they provide users with great comfort and peace of mind because they will never run out of Mbs. The following is a list of the best unlimited-internet sim card companies available in France.

  • SFR
  • Free Mobile

Some other virtually unlimited data-plan sim cards are:

  • Bouygues Telecom
  • Red by SFR
  • Orange
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Is Unlimited Data Really Necessary?

While an unlimited data plan can provide great peace of mind in that you never have to worry about going overboard with your data consumption, in many cases, a person’s average data needs are rarely above 8Gb, and thus opting for an unlimited data plan may result in you paying much more than you should.

To give you an idea of the quantity of data you need, here is a summary of what various data amounts allow you to do daily and monthly.

 Sending emails and filesUsing apps and browsing the InternetDownloading appsStreaming videosListening to music
500Mb25/day1 hour/day5/month1 hour/month1 hour/month
3Gb75/day3 hours/day10/month5 hours/month4 hours/month
5Gb100/day4 hours/day20/month10 hours/month8 hours/month
8Gb175/day7 hours/day30/month15 hours/month12 hours/month

Assessing your data requirements and determining which mobile plan option will best meet them is critical. Any phone plan with less than 500Mb of monthly data is only suitable for people who rarely use the internet. A daily allowance of more than 3Gb will allow you to watch videos, listen to a few songs, and go online. A deal with 5Gb or more will allow for very comfortable daily browsing, and a deal with at least 8Gb is recommended for people who use the internet frequently.

Although 8GB is more than enough for most users, others will easily reach 30 or 50GB if they use their phone for data-intensive activities like streaming videos. These volumes are already extremely high and thus do not appear to be required for most consumers.

Where To Buy A French SIM Card

There are two main methods for purchasing a SIM card in France:

1. Purchase from an online store before your trip.

2. Purchase when you arrive in France

But which option is best for you? We recommend purchasing before you travel, and here’s why:

Buy Before You Travel

Purchasing before your trip is the most straightforward and convenient option. It is also the safest option in the event of a pandemic. The following are the primary benefits of shopping online:

You’re Connected The Moment You Land

When you purchase a SIM card from an online store such as Holafly, you can connect to the internet right when you arrive in France. This step will save you a lot of time and allow you to order a cab immediately. You’ll also be able to notify friends and family that you’ve arrived safely by sending a WhatsApp message. This option assures you that everything is in order before you leave.

Cheapest Option

Cell phone companies in France will take advantage of tourists by charging exorbitant rates. Buying from a travel-related online store is always the most cost-effective option.

Free From COVID Risk

It is safer to buy from online stores during a pandemic. Don’t jeopardise your safety by waiting to purchase your SIM card in France. Buy online to avoid crowded stores.

Easy To Use

SIM cards for France are simple to activate. If you purchase from a store like Holafly, you must place an order from their website, receive your SIM within three days, and insert the card once you arrive in France. You’ll be connected in seconds if you follow the simple set-up instructions.

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Buy In France

The most convenient option is to purchase before you travel. However, there is one significant advantage to purchasing internet once in France:

Better Options

Stores in France provide a variety of options that are not available online. As a result, you’re more likely to find a deal that precisely meets your requirements. We recommend shopping at Cosmote or Vodaphone because they have the best coverage in the country. As a result, they are the best choice for a fast and stable connection.

What is An Unlimited Data Plan?

An unlimited data plan is a phone plan that provides unlimited internet access and is available with or without a contract—a very convenient plan for all those who need and want to use their smartphone frequently. Streaming music, surfing the web, using social media, and downloading files are all very data-intensive and will quickly exhaust any limited phone plan, resulting in frustration and high fees for exceeding the allowance.

Over time, providers in France have released plans with increasing data allowances – some up to 100 GB of data/month. Now some come with unlimited Mbs, allowing you to browse the internet freely. But which French providers offer such deals, and at what cost?

Which French Unlimited Data Plan Is The Best For You?

SFR’s Unlimited Data Plan

SFR provides a deal called “Premium Internet Illimité,” to which you can subscribe as a new client or switch from a different SFR plan if you are already a customer. It includes the free “SFR Voyage” service, which guarantees regular international phone, text, and data rates.

The main disadvantage of this phone plan is its high price, which is ten times that of a standard, limited deal. Its price varies depending on whether you sign a contract and whether you combine it with a new phone:

  • €90/month for the no-contract deal
  • The deal with a 12-month contract costs €70 per month.
  • The deal is 90€/month if taken with a new phone and a 24-month contract.

This plan can be combined with one or more add-ons, which range from €6 to €9 in the first year of subscription and then from €10 to €19 in subsequent years, namely:

  • Napster is a music service that allows you to stream and download songs from any location and device.
  • RMC Sports is a network of channels dedicated to football, rugby, extreme sports, and other sports. Live competitions such as the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, Jeep Elite, and others are available.
  • SFR Presse Premium provides access to a large selection of high-quality press on any device.
  • SFR Ciné Séries is a service that provides unlimited access to films and series via channels such as SFR Play VOD.

You can also add a Netflix, SFR cyber-security, and Coyote subscription (a live traffic and navigation app).

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Free Mobile’s Unlimited Data Plan

The operator Free Mobile offers unlimited access to 4G in mainland France through its “Le Forfait Free” deal, but only under certain conditions:

  • If you are not a Freebox customer, this deal will cost €19.99 per month and will not be unlimited, as it will be capped at 100Mb.
  • If you are a Freebox customer (Freebox Crystal, Freebox Revolution, or Freebox Mini 4K), the monthly cost will be €15.99 and will not be capped.
  • This package is only available for 4G-enabled smartphones. If you subscribe to this package with a 3G mobile, the allowance in mainland France will be reduced to 3GB.
  • “Le Forfait Free” is not unlimited when used outside of France. Still, it does include a monthly allowance of 25GB that can be used across Europe, DOM territories, Switzerland, Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Algeria, Israel, Turkey, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia, and Ukraine.
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Other Virtually Unlimited Data Plans

While not all providers provide unlimited data plans, some offer large Internet allowances of 100GB or more. Here are a few examples:

  • Bouygues Telecom offers a 24-month contract with a monthly allowance of 100Mb for €74.99 the first year, then €89.99.
  • Red by SFR offers a €20 monthly package that includes 100GB of data in France and 10GB throughout Europe.
  • Orange offers a 150GB/month plan, with 100GB usable across Europe, the DOM territories, Andorra, Switzerland, Canada, China, and the United States. It costs €64.99 per month for the first 12 months, then €79.99 per month after that.

Unlimited Data eSIM For France, The Future Of Internet Connection

Now that we’ve covered data SIM cards, it’s time to find the newest way to connect to the internet. eSIMs (short for embedded SIM) are new virtual SIM cards that offer low-cost internet access. Is an eSIM better than a traditional SIM card in France? The main benefit is that you can get an eSIM from anywhere in the world, and it will be delivered to you via email right away. In the following section, we’ll look at their benefits and drawbacks:

Advantages Of eSIM

Quick Purchase And Activation Processes

It is simple to purchase and activate an eSIM. Purchase from a store such as Holafly and wait a few seconds for a QR code to appear in your emails. You can use this to activate your eSIM and connect.

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Get An eSIM Anywhere In The World

Are you already in France and having trouble getting data? You can always buy an eSIM and deliver it directly to your cell phone, no matter where you are. There is no delivery fee, and you will only have to wait a few minutes.

Affordable Rates

eSIMs are incredibly inexpensive when compared to paying data roaming fees. You only pay one upfront fee for the eSIM, so there are no surprises. Holafly has eSIM deals starting at €41.

Multi-Country Coverage

Holafly’s multi-country virtual eSIMs enable you to connect to the internet in any country in the European Union if you’re vacationing in multiple countries. And there are no hidden fees!

Disadvantages:

Limited Compatibility With Cell Phones

The main drawback of eSIM cards is their lack of compatibility. Because it is a new technology, many older cell phones do not support it, so before you buy, make sure your phone is compatible.

Prices For The Best French Sim Cards in 2022

The prices for France prepaid sim cards listed below are current as of October 2022.

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Orange France Sim Card

Orange France attempts to entice customers by claiming to have the best prepaid sim package deals in France. Orange, nice try, but you are NOT! Let’s quickly forget about the first two prepaid sim deals and look at the other two:

  • €29.99 = 10 GB of data valid in more than 80 countries worldwide.
  • €39.99 = 20 GB data valid in Europe + unlimited calls/SMS + 120 international minutes

You can order this last option with 20 GB directly online and have the sim card shipped to your home address. Directly order this Orange sim card by clicking here!

It is a good prepaid sim card deal, but it is not the best! For the most recent Orange prepaid sim card deals, visit their website.

Bouygues Telecom France Sim Card

Bouygues Telecom has a tourist-specific prepaid sim card. They are accommodating in their store and thoroughly explain the Bouygues Telecom tourist prepaid card:

€39,90 gets you 20 GB of data plus unlimited calls and texts + €25 international call credit.

This France sim card can be used throughout Europe, making it an excellent choice for European tourists. Visit the Bouygues Telecom website for more information.

SFR France Sim Card

An SFR prepaid sim card costs €9,99 and includes €5 in credit and 50 MB of data. That is, of course, insufficient, and you will need to supplement with one of the following packages.

  • Mobile Internet Pass: 5 GB data – valid for eight days = €10
  • World Pass: 4 GB data + 200 international calling minutes – valid for 30 days = €20
  • 5G-enabled pass: 100 GB data + unlimited calls/SMS in France – valid for 30 days = €40

The lack of free EU roaming makes the SFR prepaid sim cards unsuitable for travellers continuing their journey in Europe. Forget about purchasing an SFR prepaid sim card for France. All packages are worthless compared to Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, and Orange. If you’re still interested in learning more, go to the SFR website.

How Can You Get Free Internet In France?

As an expat, exchange student, or traveller visiting France, you will most likely prioritise Internet access. In the sections below, learn more about the French broadband market and how to get online in France.

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The Different Options To Get Online In France

Obtaining Internet access in France is relatively simple, but the best method depends on whether you are visiting France temporarily or settling there permanently. Depending on your situation, the following are some suggestions for getting online in France.

Getting Online During A Short Visit To France

Only in France for a few days? Here are your best options for getting online.

Using Your Foreign Data Allowance In France

You will not need to set up a French internet plan if you only visit France for a few days or weeks.

If you have a phone contract from elsewhere in the EU, the European Commission’s Roam like at Home rule will automatically protect you from many extra fees for using your data in France. This is thus a viable option but check with your provider to gauge how much data is included in your plan to avoid running out halfway through the month.

If you have a contract from outside the EU, you should choose another option because using your home data will almost certainly be prohibitively expensive.

Investing In An International SIM Card

If you wish to use a lot of data while in France, or if you intend to visit other countries after France (for example, if you are on a multi-country road trip or visit several countries in a row for leisure or business), you should consider purchasing an international SIM card.

Indeed, if you plan to travel across several countries for a month or more, this SIM will come in handy because you can change countries without changing your SIM card.

Flexiroam, for example, provides a microchip that works by being stuck to your own SIM card. After that, the Flexiroam chip connects you to the most efficient 580 networks in each location you visit. You can buy data bundles for specific locations and periods, with allowances ranging from 100 GB to 11 MB that can be used over ten days or 360 days.

Using WiFi During Your Short Stay In France

If all else fails, you can always rely on WiFi in France, which is relatively widespread in France, particularly in large cities.

Here are a few examples of places you should visit:

  • The majority of airports and SNCF train stations
  • Your lodging (hotel, hostel, or Airbnb)
  • Shopping malls, cafes, restaurants, and fast-food restaurants
  • Libraries, tourist offices, and some public parks are examples of public places.

Getting Online During A Long-Term Stay In France

If you are moving to France and intend to stay for an extended period, it is much more cost-effective to set up a French Internet plan.

You will discover a wide range of offers and providers to choose from. Orange, SFR, Bouygues Telecom, and Free Mobile are the leading operators, but there are also smaller and lower-cost providers.

Providers typically provide their Internet box, which provides unlimited WiFi (except when opting for satellite) and allows you to add a fixed line and TV. However, before you sign up for a plan, you’ll want to know which deals are available.

Optical Fibre, ADSL Or Satellite?

In France, there are three ways to connect to the internet at home:

  • Optical Fibre is the most advanced type of broadband available, with connection speeds ranging from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. It is ideal for large households with HD or 4K televisions or those who want the fastest internet speed. Just keep in mind that it has yet to be available nationwide, so make sure you are eligible for optical Fibre before you begin the sign-up process.
  • ADSL is the industry standard in France, with speeds of up to 20 Mbit/s. ADSL will undoubtedly suffice for the average internet user and will provide standard television quality.
  • The satellite will be your last resort if you are not eligible for Fibre or ADSL. It is your only option if you live in a remote area.

Zones Dégroupées Vs Zones Non-Dégroupées

An essential thing to keep in mind is that your internet access will be determined by whether you are in a “zone dégroupée” (unbundled zones) or a “zone non-dégroupée.”

Today, the majority of French territory is in an unbundled zone. In such zones, the Internet infrastructure has been divided from the fixed telephone infrastructure. This allows multiple companies to operate in the same area alongside the historical provider Orange (which still owns and operates a significant portion of the country’s phone and Internet infrastructures). The Internet is much faster and generally cheaper in these zones, and customers can choose any Internet service provider via Fibre or high-speed ADSL.

Internet service providers have to rent the use of Orange’s phone and Internet infrastructure in some areas (mostly rural). These areas are known as zones non-dégroupées. These zones account for just under 10% of French territory and are rapidly disappearing; however, Internet access is generally slower and more expensive in these areas, and some services, such as TV via ADSL, may be unavailable.

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Signing Up For An Internet Plan

You may or may not have the choice to choose an Internet provider depending on the type of zone in which your home is located. Regardless, the following information is required to sign up for an Internet plan in France:

  • Contact information: complete name, email address, and phone number (a French one if possible)
  • Your complete address, including the apartment number and floor. The previous occupant’s name may also assist the supplier in identifying your home.
  • Your banking information (known as RIB in France): You must already have a French bank account before signing up for an Internet plan. Some suppliers may also request information about your bank card (carte Bancaire), which is used for activation fees/deposits.

Asking Yourself The iIportant Questions

  • Is the offer still available to me? Before registering for an Internet plan, you must determine whether optical Fibre or ADSL is available in your area. When signing up for an Internet service, this is usually done over the phone.
  • What is the monthly cost of the plan?
  • How long am I committed to this strategy? Some contracts bind you to a specific plan for 12 or even 24 months, so make sure you’ll be in France for that long and that the plan will meet your needs. Check if there are any early cancellation fees if you change your mind or wish to switch suppliers.
  • What are additional services provided?
  • Is access to free WiFi hotspots included in the Internet plan?
  • What TV channels are available if the TV is included in the package?
  • Is there a mobile phone plan included that includes free calls in France and abroad?
  • Are there any other charges to be aware of? Is there, for example, a deposit to be paid?

Frequently Asked Questions

How else Can Anyone Connect To The Internet In France?

You can enable data roaming and use data from your current provider. However, keep in mind that this will be very expensive. If you choose this option, you can expect a large phone bill when you return home. You could also purchase Pocket WiFi. This option is also costly; you must transport the device everywhere. A SIM card for France is the most affordable and convenient way to connect to the internet.

How Much Does Roaming Cost In France?

You can expect to pay between €7 and €15 per MB. So, if you saw a movie on Netflix, you could pay hundreds of euros. As a result, we recommend purchasing a SIM card instead.

What Do I Do If The SIM Card Doesn’t Work In France?

The best thing to do is contact the customer service of the respective sim card company. If you purchase your SIM card from Holafly, you can contact their customer service team anytime. All SIM cards include comprehensive set-up instructions.

Conclusion

Telecommunications providers in France have stepped up their game in recent years, making unlimited mobile internet more accessible. Almost 100 euros per month is still quite expensive in France for an unlimited internet SIM card; it would have cost 200 euros a few years ago. In our opinion SFR’s Unlimited Internet Data plan is the best possible choice.