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3G Mobile Broadband in France

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Can anyone help me with advice on 3G mobile broadband. I have a vodafone mobile broadband account and USB stick in the UK but have been told it can be very expensive to use abroad. Are there equivalents to buy in France? Is mobile reception a problem? My house in France is in a rural area where mobile reception can be non-existent at times. 
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Unfortunately if you can't get a mobile signal at times the same will apply for the USB broadband adapter. One way, and its free, is if you have WiFi on your laptop is to sit in your nearest town square and see what you find. In our town square I can pick up 7 or 8 networks and only about 3 are secure so I can connect to the others for nothing and no 'key' is required. There  is always McDonald's and some of the other cafes etc now have free WiFi.
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Whatever you do, DON'T use the vodaphone mobile USB stick outside the UK !!!! (Unless you are VERY rich)  The costs are horrendous.

Actually to qualify the above, don't use the vodaphone SIM card in the stick outside the UK, the stick itself may be generic and usable with other SIMs.

3G broadband is available from all the main suppliers from PAYG or monthly.  As was said above though you need a good signal,  you need to check out Bouygtel / Orange / SFR to see what is bes in your area.

BTW Charges are higher than UK too.

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Im  also looking for mobile broadband in france, really for occasional use at a maison seconde.

The 2 problems I experiance are that in the depths of Dept 62 the coverage seems to be poor. and my French is is not good at the best of times is being sorely tested when trying to negotiate a mobile broadband contract.

The best package for me, limited use  during the week and unlimited at weekend, doesnt have good enough coverage, so ive gone (or going) for an orange deal at e15 per month. 

Im now getting together my documents (utility bill, RIB etc) for my 3rd visit to City of Europe to sort it out once and for all.


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I have a Vodafone dongle in the UK for occasional use. When I was skiing in Haute-Savoie a couple of weeks ago I saw the equivalent SFR dongle on PAYG in the supermarket, so I got one.

Unfortunately it turned out to be a rebranded Vodafone one and every time I tried to load the French version, and to top it up, it 'reverted' to the UK software so it was a bit of a waste of money. However, I think if I hadn't already had a UK one, things would have been simpler.

As others have said, there does need to be a decent mobile signal for the thing to work.
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