Cellphones Handys Mobiles in Germany

Keep in touch with your family back home. Get a phone contract that is both full functioning and affordable.

Moving to Germany? Leaving friends and family behind is hard enough, not being able to communicate with them only makes the transition harder. The majority of cellphones and cell phone providers in the United States and Asian countries do not work in Germany and thus it is essential to be knowledgeable about what Germany has to offer.

Cell phones, or “handys”, as they’re referred to in Germany, are operated on a GSM network, which is solely based in Europe. If you would prefer to continue using your cellphone in Germany, getting a removable SIM card is something to consider. This takes away the hassle of purchasing a new plan and a new cellphone. Unfortunately, you’ll need to make sure your phone is unlocked or “jail-break” it before inputting a new card.

SIM cards can be purchased in a variety of different locations. Grocery stores such as Kaufland and Aldi tend to carry SIM cards usually close to the checkout area. They are also available at almost any electronic store, including Media Markt and Saturn. SIM cards generally come with optional data packages that are relatively low-cost. Both Media Markt and Saturn are established German franchises and can be found in almost any major city.

Bring official identification with you, such as a drivers license or passport as some places may require you to present this when purchasing a SIM card.

Reputable SIM card providers for affordable international calling:

·     lebara.de:  Found at kiosks and private cellphone shops, lebara is known to offer decent prices on international calling and thus provides a great way for expats to keep in contact with their family and friends at home, and do so both frequently and cost-effectively.

·     LycaMobile: This carrier offers cheap and in some cases free phone calls to other LycaMobilecustomers, also applicable for international calling.

·     Ortel: With costs as low as -3 cents for international phone calls, Ortel is very reasonably priced.

Service providers like T-Mobile, Vodafone,E-Plus, and O2 are your best bet if you’re in the market for a new phone and plan—And are often covered in employer moving expenses!  GSM cell phone rentals are often your best bet when it comes to affordable and flexible cellphone packages. It is an ideal option for people planning a short stay in Germany or for those who take frequent business trips to this beautiful country.  Don’t dampen your stay with a ridiculous phone bill. Be aware of the price of calling home and review your options when deciding on a cellphone provider. .  

In fact, here are some great options for staying in touch with friends and family that don’t involve spending a dime:

·     Skype—This video messaging and instant messaging service is free!  With a good wi-fi connection you’ll be able to see and communicate with loved once throughout the world.

·     Facetime for iPhones—This video messaging service is already installed on iPhones, and only needs an Internet connection to chat!

·     Google Hangout–Again, just get on your laptop or Android phone and have a video or instant message chat with anyone at any time!

What other call or chat options have you used and can recommend?  Let us know!


Saskia Petz

Tanja Traut

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