My niece has recently arrived in France and intends to spend a few months here at least. It seems sensible that she uses a free service on her mobile such as Skype to keep in touch with her parents back in the UK.
What options are available to her?
Do you use a similar service, and if so, what tariff are you on with which provider?
Is there a minimum term contract or would she be free to cancel the contract upon her departure from France?
What mobile device do you suggest?
What else is there to consider?
Thanks everyone, very helpful indeed. Any suggestions on a good quality cheapish smartphone that will run these apps?
Skype to Skype is great – also try FRING
Other than that - get a skypeIN number. and you can route that to whatever phone you like as long as you have credit on skype (a pittance compared to other options).
If you have an android phone - and a skype account - should sync easily. Search skype for how to do it - they announced it a few weeks ago.
Hi - here’s my story
I have an iPhone 3GS originally from O2 UK. I ended my UK contract earlier this year, contacted 02 and got the phone unlocked. I went into the phone shop here, got a Bouygyes prepaid SIM and then set up an online account with Bouygues. The past few months I have been on their unlimited SMS tarrif, this month they noticed I had been checking emails, so Bouygues “kindly” offered 50MB of data for 5€. My average monthly spend is 20€ as I try to use SMS as much as possible.
For anything other than email I use WIFI and not paid-for Data. We use SFR/Neufbox at home and so this allows unlimited WIFI wherever there happens to be another Neufbox anywhere in France. Otherwise there is usually a café or other premises where wifi is available.
We use Skype and Googletalk etc for “free” video and audio calls, previously I used Skype with Paypal to call foreign landlines as the cost saving can be significant
Hope this helps
There is another excellent phone service called www.jajah.com With this, you can allocate a local phone number from the country you are calling from, to contact people long distance at a very inexpensive rate. You can use your landline or mobile. If you prefer, you can call from a computer; jajah rings back on the number you have set for this function. Calls to the US from France are about 2,4c per minute. I used it constantly until we opted for an SFR service with free calls to 100 countries. I still use it when away from home and the computer.
I use Skype and Facebook with an I-touch. This is great as it has a camera on it too, so you can see each other without an additional webcam. On a trip, it is far easier than using a computer.
Hi: I use both Skype and Facebook on a mobile device. I am not using a mobile telephone service, which could be expensive, but if there is WiFi, you can log in. As a little tip: there is an App you can download for free, which shows you where the HotSpots in your area are. You enter your location and the info comes up. This is great if your host doesn’t have it, or you are away for a while.
James, I use skype on a mobile device and it is very good, the only downfall you may encounter is that you need to use the DATA network for a lot of it, this is fine when you are at home and on wi-fi, but once you leave that zone you are using the data on your mobile. In the UK you can usually get some good deals but when you go abroad the data cost is still extremely high. I do not know how good the french sim cards with DATA are price wise so cant help with that.
Why don’t you download Skype onto your computer? It is fre to download and really easy and then you can all chat for free and even see her parents if you purchase a camera which is not expensive and you just plug it in!
I use Skype frequently with my French friends.
Good morning James,
We call between France & USA using freeconferencecall.com and it is also available for England and many more countries, too. Once you set up an account, you get a dedicated international phone number and set up a time for everyone to phone into the conference number. That way, more than one family member or friends can enjoy speaking with your niece regularly. And it’s free!
Two Skype member can communicate with each other and I believe can even conference with more than two.
Viber is a good (free) app too, between two smartphones. Free texting and calling, but without having to be logged in (which you do with skype). You’d want internet illimité, don’t know about short term plans tho.
We have our mobiles with Orange, one contract, one PAYG. On both we have skype so is free and works very well. Our mobiles are sony eric (which is not on contract, is paid for and an HTC which work fine (HTC is the better of the two). If she has a UK smartphone, bring it to France, take a PAYG and use the French Sim, in the UK phone ???
I will admit - I am no techy but a technophobe !!