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Buying a SIM card in Germany

Good day to all! We continue to talk about how easy it is to cope with the Leviathan of the German bureaucracy. Now let’s talk about buying a mobile phone card. In Germany, there are 4 major mobile operators: Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, O2, E-plus. On their basis there are also dozens of different operators who use their infrastructure, but offer their terms.

First of all, we will understand that there are two types of mobile communication cards: prepaid (prepaid) and contractual ones. Contract SIM cards are cards that make sense to buy if you stay in Germany for a long time (from 6 months). If you have a contract for six months, then you can not break it simply because you changed your mind. Even if you can prove that you are leaving the country, that you no longer use the card, it is still unlikely to break the contract, so you will have to pay. To conclude such a contract you require an identity card, an account in a German bank and a German residence permit.

An alternative is a prepaid card. This is not so convenient, because it needs to be constantly replenished manually, it can suddenly run out of money and the tariffs there are more expensive. But it can be opened without an account in the bank.

Sim cards of large operators can be bought in one of the branded stores located throughout the city, or in a store where mobile phones are sold. Cards of alternative operators can be bought in supermarkets or at gas stations. Also, any card can be ordered online. Tariffs of alternative operators are cheaper, but using such SIM cards is not so convenient: they are not so easy to replenish, communication can be worse. Some supermarkets of food are also mobile operators (as if we had an operator “Auchan-mobile”). The most popular is the offer from the supermarket Aldi – Aldi Talk. The tariff is 7.99 per month: 300 minutes of talk time or 300 sms + 1.5 GB of Internet.

Most operators offer you profitable packages: calls, sms and the Internet. To use cellular communication without buying a monthly tariff is not reasonable. You can look at Turkish operators who offer SIM cards at very advantageous prices in stalls in the Turkish quarters. Do not be afraid of such proposals.

In spite of everything, all packages must be registered. Documents are not necessary for purchase, but without registration with documents, the card will not work. You can register online. It’s not easy, because most sites of mobile operators in Germany have only a German version of the site. To activate Aldi Talk and many other operators, you need to call up the operator by video link and show your passport to the web camera. For some, you need to show your passport when you buy. You must give your address when registering, but this may even be the address of the hotel.

Thus, the mobile market offers you two ways:

with the filling of a pile of papers and getting into the slavery of a telephone company (but at the same time you use an inexpensive connection of excellent quality and do not worry about paying).
Or an easier way to register without a contract, but for a couple of euros is more expensive and with the need to replenish the phone bill every month.

Here you will find even more material on how to overcome what at first glance seems like a challenge in German-speaking countries.

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