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Mobile Phone Help Please

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Could somebody help a mobile phone dinosaur please. I need to purchase a mobile phone, primarily for a hospital stay that I have coming up in November, and then to keep as an emergency phone in the car.

At the moment I have a 12 year old UK pay-as-you-go Virgin phone, calls are charged at 38p  a minute. I have no interest and no real idea how mobile phones work. I have done some research and have found a Free offer of 2 euros a months without a contract, which gives 2 hours a month free calls, which seems a good offer and pretty much what I am looking for.

This then brings me as to what phone to purchase, if I have understood things correctly should I be looking for a SIM-free unlocked phone so that I can plug in my Free SIM card? I am assuming that Free will send me a SIM card. This may sound like a very silly question but can I purchase a SIM-free unlocked phone from UK Amazon and plug in my Free SIM card? Also I see that SIM cards come in different sizes, do all phones accept all sizes?

Told you I was a dinosaur.

Any feedback would be most appreciated.

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Best to select a phone first then you can choose the correct SIM for it when you decide on a service provider.

There are only 3 sizes in common use BTW, std (sometimes called mini), micro, and nano and sometimes with the latter you have to cut it out of a micro card yourself !


Most providers will have base deals for a phone plus SIM, Lefrenchmobile who I use stand out slightly in that your credit ever expires, they also run a fully english web site if that's important to you.

It's very easy to buy a data package for hospital stays, particularly unplanned ones !

They do expire after 30 days (or when you've used up the amount you bought of course) but that doesn't affect your call credit.

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Probably like me you are happy with an old school dumb-phone so the data allowance will not be of interest, however if you use this as an opportunity to use a smartphone perhaps to then use a tablette or laptop you will get a very generous 25GB of data on the €2 Freemobile sim, I spent a week in the UK using the phone for Wi-Fi and used less than 1GB.


I recently got an additional Freemobile simcard (the €20pm contract but at €1pm on a vente privée) and you choose between a Std/micro sim and a micro/nano one so you will be able to use it in two different sized sim slots but not all 3.

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Well that is all a lot clearer[:-))], many thanks for all your swift replies.

ANO, thanks for the link, looking at their website it seems that the calls are charged at 20 cents a minute, which seems a little expensive, although a lot cheaper than some of the established telephone companies in France. If I have understood the Free website correctly I would get 2 hours worth of free calls a month, then calls are charged at 5 cents a minute. Although I do not necessarily want a contract mobile phone agreement, as I stated before it can be cancelled at any time. Pommier you are correct in stating that Free offer phones as well as SIM cards, their cheapest is an Alcatel at 29 euros, which looks pretty much what I am looking for. Pretty basic but it does have a built in camera.

Regarding the use of mobile phones in hospitals, as Norman stated they do not seem to mind, I have now stayed in three different hospitals in the last 3 years, and all of them allowed the use of mobiles. When I was in hospital back in July I hired the phone in the room, so my wife could phone me for free on our landline. Unfortunately in November I need to be at the hospital at 7am for an operation the same morning, so I am guessing that I would not be able to organize the phone in my room before my operation. I think that I will be bedridden for a while after my operation, so the need for a mobile is important.

Once again many thanks for all your replies.

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Just a thought, Grecian, does your new internet provider do an offer on mobiles?

My Sosh provider gives me 2 free hours a month and that's about 110 minutes too many for me.  I didn't have to buy a new phone, I had a 9-year old Orange phone and I popped the SIM card in and voilà, worked a treat.

For OH, I bought a désimbloqué phone on leboncoin for 15 euros, choosing it as it was the same model as mine and that is on a PAYG from Lycamobile and he's struggled to use the 10 euros I put in it 2 years ago!  You see, we only talk to each other on our mobiles so obviously we can't be on great speaking terms[:-))]

Anway, really come on to wish you all the best for your treatment in hospital.

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WB and BIB, having re-read my posting the only thing that I can see that isn't English is "vente privée" does that really make you not understand a word of my posting?


And why are you both busting my balls but not Mint for saying désimbloqué?


I'm glad to see that it was clear to the OP which is all that matters.

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[quote user="AnOther"][quote user="Chancer"]25GB of data on the €2 Freemobile sim[/quote]I think you've misread that !


Yes, looks like I did, its double that amount plus the same again on roaming:


Le Forfait 2€ Sans engagement


Internet : 50Mo/mois en France métropolitaine + 50Mo/mois depuis Europe et DOM (0,05€/Mo au-delà)


Oops, looks like I have muddled my mégas and gigas once again [:$]



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Some phones are unlockable, that is, the providers make it so difficult and/or costly that it's simpler to buy a new phone. 

Grecian, I am pretty sure that buoygues, your provider, does a good pay as you go.  I had one of their free SIM cards but didn't use it for long.

Edit:  just had a quick look at their site.  If you are "déjà client", you can change your offer and your mobile will be free.  I think there is competition at the moment with all the major players to offer you free mobile if you already have one of their boxes

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Well lots more info to digest.

nomoss, I must admit I had not thought of that option, but as I mentioned the UK phone is about 12 years old, and has a very small screen, so I would like to upgrade to a more modern model, but still keep it as a basic phone, but thanks for the idea.

mint, I have looked at the Bouygues site and the only package that I can find is for unlimited free calls, but after the initial offer I would have to pay 7.99€ a month rental, like your OH I would find it hard to use the phone enough to justify 7.99€ a month. Apologies if I have missed the offer that you looked at. Many thanks for you kind wishes for my upcoming hospital stay.

Norman, can you confirm that the Free offer you subscribe to, which I am looking at, the calls after the first 2 hours are charged at 0.05€ a minute, that is certainly is how I read it on their website. Also what happens once you cross the 2  hour limit, is the account automatically charged for the extra calls? Or must the account be credited with extra money manually?

Regarding the hospital stay, it is not linked to the old C thankfully, my scan last week was completely clear, so two and a half years to go to be 'cured'. I have to go in for a major stomach hernia repair, I must admit that I thought that the surgeon at Bordeaux had carried this out 18 months ago, but it seems that he only repaired the belly button hernia. Unfortunately back in July I had to attend the Urgences department with a blockage, which resulted in a 11 day stay at Thouars hospital, which is where I will be having the hernia repair carried out. It is only about 40 kms from home.

How about you Norman, I see that you mentioned three hospital stays is reply to the mobile phone discussion in hospital rooms. I really hope you are going on alright, as I have said before your really have been through an awful lot.

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Yep- like the 2000 bug there was a total over-reaction to mobile phones in hospitals.

However for certain VERY critical areas (according to previous Biomedical Engineering colleagues) it would be advisable to ask staff who are responsible for the area - and in those areas why do you really need to use a mobile phone!
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