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If there’s one comment frequently made on expats in Germany forums, it’s how terrible some of the service providers in the country can be. So how do you find the best cell phone plan in Germany for you?
Funny thing is – I’ve never complained once about my plan. It might be because I’m from Canada and the service fees in Canada are outrageous… or possibly because my service plan in Germany rocks. I’m putting this post together to help you figure out which is the best cell phone plan in Germany for you.
Recent examples from Facebook forums:
Networks in Germany
To give you a better understanding of the way it works here in Germany, there are 3 leading networks (previously 4, until 02 bought out E-Plus).
Then, there are a few other cell phone providers that actually rent their networks from one of the four networks mentioned above: Fonic, 1&1, Congstar, Blau.de, Simyo, etc.
Contract or Pay-as-you-go?
Most people today choose to buy into a contract simply because it is easy. You can choose how much data you would like per month, how many texts and/or calls you plan on making, and then alter your package to suit your needs. However, it also means you’re getting locked into a contract. Contracts are also often more expensive than a pay-as-you-go plan. Contracts with the major providers, such as t-mobile and Vodafone are often binding for about 24 months in order to pay off the new phone you receive with it. If you don’t want the phone, it’s cheaper per month, but you’re usually bound for the same 24 month period.
What plan did I go with?
On the first day I arrived in Germany, I walked into Lidl, picked up a sim card for 10 Euros, and activated my first plan. It cost me 7,99 per month and included 1 GB. It was great, but what’s even better is that in Germany, you can easily take your number and swap providers whenever you’d like. Once I realized there were even cheaper options with providers like WINsim (my current phone provider), SmartMobil, KlarMobil, and Congstar, I decided to switch my plan.
I opted for a 7,99 per month plan with winSIM on the Telefonica/O2 network which includes unlimited calling, unlimited texting and 5 GB of data. Why? Because it was the cheapest. ?
I pay into a monthly contract which can be canceled at the end of each month, which means I’m not stuck in a 24-month contract and nor am I really paying-as-I-go. It’s the best of both worlds!
Where do you buy cell phones?
It is not hard to find a cell phone and it’s also not outrageously expensive if you’re just looking for a basic cell phone. You can also find a few worth purchasing at the local flea markets or on Facebook Marketplace as well. If you’re looking for a brand new phone and would like a 24-month contract with a reputable company, you can also head straight for one of the networks head stores:
If you’re looking at buying into a contract or just buying the cell phone on its own, you can often save a bit of money if you check out a discount electronic store such as:
Where do you buy pre-paid plans?
You’re starting to get the list now, right? You can really just head across the street to any local grocer and you’re likely to find some awesome cell phone plans. Not to mention, they are likely less than 10 Euros per month.
How can you compare cell phone prices?
On price comparison websites like Preisvergleich.de, you will have to option to select every specification possible:
- How much talk time you’d like (‘FLAT’ is all-inclusive)
- How many texts (SMS) you’d like to send (‘FLAT’ is all-inclusive)
- How many GB of data you’ll require
- If you’d like a month-by-month contract or a 24-month contract
- If you’d like to bring your old cell phone number to the new provider or not
- Which network you’d like to have
Have you been through the process of setting yourself up with a cell phone plan? What would you recommend? Or highly discourage? Would you prefer the pay-as-you-go option or monthly contracts? What is the best cell phone plan in Germany? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below!
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