Unlimited data SIM cards

Is anyone mobile network yet offering an unlimited data SIM card? A colleagues just moved to Dordogne to rent to recover from a nasty op so doesn’t want a fixed line option- but will take a 12 month deal if there’s not a 30 day option. Because her mobile reception is good a Sosh or Free would be OK but do they work?

SIM for a mobile or for internet access?
We use Bouygues (for both) and are pleased with the service.
a couple of links…

It’s to go in her iPad yet she may get a mobile router but I think they both use the same data SIM

but the plans are different AFAIK. The data only SIM for 4G has a usage limit imposed but is free of limit on the 4G router (well, our is unlimited, anyway). They may tell you their 4G SIM is locked to their box but others say it isn’t (so other routers should still work).
Our iPad’s don’t have the facility to include a SIM so we use our mobiles (which are Bouygues illimitée) to tether to the iPads and it works well. It all depends on just how flexible you want to be.

I just bought one of these for some load balancing fun with my three 4G routers… Three 4G links but only one LAN in the house. A bit of Meshing and the three wifi networks will be transparent too. Amazing what a bit of confinement can drive one to.

I don’t believe there are many truly unlimited sim deals in France. The one kind of exception is the Bouygues 4G Box. The package includes a Huawei 4G/WiFi router and sim and under ideal conditions you can get amazing performance. With ours I’ve occasionally seen 180mbit download and 50+ mbit upload rates. We’re lucky to be just over 1km from the mast that serves us.

But there are caveats. It’s only available to a limited number of locations where the fixed line broadband is poor or non-existent and I suspect where there is adequate mast capacity. There is no guarantee of getting one if your address is on their 4G Box approved list.

Second - ours has been very unreliable in the last three weeks. In fact we had got to the point that we were going to possibly give the box back to Bouygues because it slowed down to the point that it no longer worked at all frequently, mostly at peak times. This has probably been exacerbated by the lockdown but I also think there was a technical issue.

BUT fingers-crossed it worked perfectly all day yesterday and Saturday would normally be one of the worst days for problems in our experience.

So there is currently a stay of execution! :sweat_smile:

I have my own 4G router (Huawei B535) and can confirm the sim is not locked to the Bouygues router as it works in my router. I haven’t tried the sim in any other devices though.

When we had a similar and other issues with the B528 Bouygues router, we completely reset the box and that seemed to fix it. We had issues yesterday afternoon evening but this morning - touch wood - it’s performing well. Can’t help but think it’s atmospherics and the tit of a jeune next door gaming on his mobile. Still, it recovered by about 9 pm which is probably when he was ordered off to bed :rofl:

Some work has been done on the water tower where the masts are. That might have been a factor. I read that some new game console developments have caused a spike in Internet load in recent days. But I think it’s a combination of lockdown increased load and a technical fault that has seemingly been fixed. Power-cycling and resetting the routers didn’t help for me. All’s well so far this morning!

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OK, I think I understand. But there are many questions and I’ve listed them below.

First, to keep to the Forum’s main function of helping others:

If unlimited data SIMs are not available, are there any 100GB+ data SIM options that will stop, or go into crawl mode, when the capacity is reached, thus avoiding a high over-use penalty? This means you can cap usage yet still be able to top up without penalty if netflix happens to be showing an unmissable documentary on " The Life of Boris"

Now, reverting the more complex sub-thread;

From what you say. BogeyTel will supply a box (Huawei B528) with an unlimited SIM, yet performance will obviously be governed by the demands of neighbours. Will BogeyTel only do this if the supply address is on the list where Fibre, (or good ADSL) is not available, so the user then benefits from the poor signal subsidy? Do you need to have residency at that “poor reception” address to qualify for the subsidy and thus get this BogeyTel deal (e.g. can a holiday home owed by a non French resident/UK 2nd home owner also qualify?)

Would it be possible ( Dordogne often having reasonable fibre options) for BogeyTel to supply to an address with poor reception, yet for the router to be "moved "to a different location?

So, in an ideal world, can you apply with a rural address, receive yet bin the “free” B528, use the SIM in the better B535 and locate it anywhere in France?

What amazes me is the fact that many want unlimited usage and would be prepared to sign a 12 month deal ( at the right price) but such deals appear to be as common as rocking horse poo.

I think the Orange 4G offering performs that way after reaching 200 Go.

Not to my knowledge but rules change/develop. Pop into a Bouygues shop and ask - they don’t bite (unless you ask them to). OTOH, I know that some of the other offerings like Free are strictly limited to poor traditional copper connection receptions. The Orange offering also has limitations but that relates to the offer of the router at reduced or no cost under the Govt scheme. For Orange, ring the English speaking helpline and they will advise.

As above but you will need to have a French bank account IIRC.

The T&Cs come into play. IIRC, you are only « allowed » to use it at the address on the account. I did use my temporarily at a friends address without any problem, but that was only to test it out for them. The device registers on their network and may be identified as having moved which might alert them to the extent they disable it remotely in case it’s been stolen. Your guess as to the chances of that happening though :wink:

as above. There is nothing to say the SIM won’t work in another device (others say on here it does - I enquired about a TP Link from a supplier on amazon-fr and they assured me it would) with the caveat about it logging to an unexpected cell.

IIRC the Bouygues offering is illimitée and sans contract (well, our is anyway). It’s the only illimitée sans contract deal I have seen. The others seem to offer a no cost trial period (usually 1 month) to try it out and return it if you don’t wish to continue.
In edit… the Orange Flybox offer also seems to be sans engagement although there are some that wouldn’t touch Orange with a bargepole…

IIRC the Orange offer was condional on you keeping the box for 12 months. If redeemed within that period, you could find yourself liable for a fee as the offer is part funded by the French Govt.

We got ours from the local Bouygues shop. They had them in stock to take away immediately for self-installation. They had to check our address first. The girl who served us said her own address meant she was not eligible for the 4G box. You do need a French back account. We brought evidence of residency status (our house rental agreement) but I can’t remember if that was required. We didn’t have French phone numbers at the time but signed up for Bouygues sims the following week. I think if you wanted to order this online you’d need a French phone number. The sim definitely works in a different router.

And once again our 4G Box worked without a hitch all day - we caught up on a lot of Netflix and with the VPN on via the router BBC iPlayer also worked perfectly. I’m so relieved! :blush:

Not sure if this is suitable to the request, but here is an article on data-only SIM cards available in France.

Thanks everyone. To recap, it seems if you have lousy fixed line BB availability, a French Bank account, and the BogeyTel shop has your address on their list, you can visit them with your ID and pick up an unlimited SIM for a reasonable price. It comes in a B528, but you can buy a new B535 to improve your setup. Otherwise you’re stuck with costly fixed capacity data cards which pretty much all the networks and MVNO’s will sell you.

The Orange Flybox may be an alternative but you’ll then need to deal with Orange!

We’ll, if it was easy, with lots of competitive offers all at reasonable prices, it wouldn’t be France :wink: