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April 30, 2018

Mobile Phone Plans in Germany

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Mobile Phone Contracts in Germany


Mobile Phone Plans Germany

My search for a good mobile phone plan


Moving to a new country can be exciting and make you feel quite adventurous, but then, you remember that you have to figure out phone plans in the new country and the excitement disappears. 

I have been outside the USA for five years now, but I remember how horrible AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon were for phone plans-locking people into long term contracts with high costs; I regularly spent $75 a month for my mobile phone contract in America. 

When I moved to the Middle East getting a post-paid mobile phone contract required a Power of Attorney from my employer, notarized copies of my passport, and signing over my first born child (slight exaggeration but not by much). That was to get it- to leave and cancel the contract required far more work and huge costs; same as my American mobile phone to be honest. 

Mobile Phone Germany

Here in Germany it is a little different- you can still get long term mobile phone contracts, but there are lots of great, cheap options for prepaid, month-to-month phone plans and I am going to share what I learned on my search for a good plan.  

Here in Berlin the main mobile phone providers for long term post paid contracts are Vodafone, and O2; the options for pre-paid SIMs and plans are Lidl Mobile, Aldi Talk, Edeka mobile (there are others but I only researched these three, so these are the ones I’ll cover in this article. 

Also, a tip for those coming from America- be sure to have your phone “unlocked” before coming to Germany, so that you can get a German SIM to use in your phone.  



Vodafone

Vodafone offers a few different mobile phone plans: 

  • Red-Tarife: 24.99 a month
  • Young-Tarife (if under age 28): 16.99/month
  • Easy-Tarife: 14.99/month
  • Prepaid-Tarife: varies based on what you choose for GB and minutes

Here is the link for the Vodafone information.

If you need a Free SIM card including a prepaid rate, the options below might suit your needs:

Free SIM Card

All advantages on this page.

All products and tariff details at: vodafone.de/freikarten/



O2

O2 offers both prepaid and post paid/contract plans:

  • O2 Free XL: 25 GB: 49.99/month
  • O2 Free L:  20 GB: 39.99/month
  • O2 Free M:  10 GB: 29.99/month 
  • O2 Free S: 1 GB: 19.99/month

Here is the link for the O2 information.

The prepaid options are more varied and I really am very happy with the prepaid SIM and plan I use monthly. With these options, you pay for the SIM card (9.99 or 12.99 most often) once and then a monthly fee for the plan itself. 



Aldi

Aldi Talk: different plans with a 12.99 one-time fee for the SIM.

  • Package 300: 7.99/month: 1.5 GB and 300 minutes
  • Package 600: 12.99/month: 3 GB and 600 minutes
  • All Net Flat: 19.99/month: unlimited minutes and 5 GB
Here is the link for Aldi Talk plans.



Lidl

Lidl Connect: a one-time fee of 9.99 for the SIM and different monthly plans:

  • Smart XS: 500 MB and 100 minutes: 4.99/month
  • Smart S: 1.5 GB and 300 minutes: 7.99/month* 
  • Smart L: 3 GB and 600 minutes: 12.99/month
  • All Net Flat: 5 GB and flat rate of .09 cents a minute
Here is the link for the Lidl Connect.


I chose to buy the Lidl Connect Smart S and I’ve never had an issue. I find the top up monthly is very easy using the web site, which means no monthly trips to my local Lidl (there isn’t one close to me). 

Now the area where people tend to have the most issues with the SIM is when the verification of your passport needs to happen.  

When you first install the SIM, and set up the connection, you have to install an app, WebIdent, and get your passport “verified”. This is due to a new law that started in July of 2017 in order to cut down on illegal use of prepaid SIMs; this has caused a lot of frustration for people of different nationalities- a friend of mine from NZ wasn’t able to ever get a SIM to work because they said they wouldn’t verify (or maybe couldn’t) her New Zealand passport.

How does WebID work?
This verification process took me a wait of 2 hours on a Thursday morning, but once I had a person from the app looking at my passport and verifying it, it was finished within 15 minutes. I’m including the Reddit post I found online with a discussion regarding this issue.

Regardless, I found Lidl to be the cheapest and I really like them, plus I love the lack of a contract. 


Good luck with the decision-making! 

About

Tres C is an American who’s lived and worked all over the world and who has traveled extensively. She moved to Berlin in July 2017 with her dogs; she’s excited to share her hard earned knowledge about relocating to Berlin through her writing on this blog.


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