In the 5 or so months of nomadic existence I have run into a problem which I had not fully considered when I set off. What to do with mobile phone plans!
Historically I have never been a heavy phone user, and I only got my first smartphone last year. Even with the old brick I did not make or receive that many calls. Never being too far away from wifi meant that either my work or home laptops with Skype would suffice. Even in central Taipei where I have been for the last few days, I have been piggybacking off the free city-wide wifi.
With no fixed address and the desire to keep any spending to an absolute minimum, a fixed monthly contract does not seem ideal. I would like to keep the same telephone number and not keep changing every 2 months though!
The European Economic Area is set to abolish roaming charges starting mid-2017, but until then a solution needs to be found. From a practical standpoint, I can survive with only data usage, as Skype calls can still be made over 4G.
I stumbled across this rather handy wiki and in particular this graph.
One package that stood out for me is the Netherlands Vodafone Data-only BloX which has no roaming surcharge for all EEA countries plus a few others, 1GB data for €10 lasting 30 days, requiring no formal registration required. I would imagine 1GB is sufficient if I don't stream any media. I cannot see any other sim card elsewhere which offers a better rate.
So, my question to my readers is whether you know of a deal that is better than this. The requirements are:
- The telephone number can be based in any country, though a European number is ideal
- Must allow roaming around Europe (does not have to be the whole EEA) with no surcharges
- pre-paid only packages. No fixed contracts
Do leave a comment if you use or know of a better package!