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Austria Cell Phone Use For Travelers: From SIM Cards To Mobile Hotspots

Austria Cell Phone Use for Travelers. If your cell phone carrier’s International Roaming and Mobile Data Package is too expensive there are a few options to consider to cut roaming charges:

Buy Prepaid Austrian Or European SIM Card

Austria Cell Phone Use for Travelers. Overall, a SIM Card can considerably cut roaming charges. Since Austria may only be one stop during your European roundtrip, think not only Austrian SIM card but European SIM card. If your cell phone or mobile device uses a SIM card ask your carrier whether he can unlock them, and about costs involved. Some carriers charge for this service and may take a few weeks to unlock cell phones. When in Austria you can buy a pre-paid SIM card (‘Wertkarte’ in German) and insert it into your mobile device. Do check what exact SIM card size you need. If you travel on a European cruise ship make sure our European SIM card covers that shipping company and region.

Locally, Austria’s largest mobile network operators are A1, T-Mobile and Drei.  You can buy prepaid SIM cards at Vienna International Airpot (arrivals) or in the city center.

Rent Cell Phone For Austria

Austria Cell Phone Use for Travelers. Not everyone owns a cell phone running with a SIM card. Instead, you can rent a cell phone that works in Austria, and probably many other European countries. There are a few US and international providers that allow you to rent a cell phone with international roaming before you depart, for example www.cellomobile.com, www.cellhire.com and www.intouchglobal.com. As prices vary between categories and competitors make sure you get the best deal.

Use Free Wifi or Mobile Hotspot

Austria Cell Phone Use for Travelers: mobile wifi hotspotAustria Cell Phone Use for Travelers. Using free wifi or a mobile hotspot means not least that you can use your cell phone and mobile devices over the internet, without the SIM card hassle. Plus, you will keep your own telephone number.

Given that Vienna has a dense network of free wifi hotspots in core areas use your mobile devices when in a cafe or restaurant with free wifi access. Even your hotel may provide free wifi. The caveat is that those free wifi hotspots don’t always work as they should. 

In addition to connectivity problems, free wifi hotspots aren’t the most secure way to use a mobile device. Therefore, consider renting a mobile hotspot (see photo). Especially if you travel in a group or with your other half, a portable mobile hotspot handles your mobile connectivity in the safest and most cost effective way. 

I have used a mobile hotspot when in Vienna and found it worked perfectly, while cutting my usually exorbitant international roaming costs. Find out more in Wifi in Vienna.

Buy Austrian Cell Phone

Austria Cell Phone Use for Travelers. Although this may sound crazy but buying an Austrian cell phone can save you money if you stay around for longer than a couple of days. For about EUR 30 you can get a Samsung or Nokia smartphone. When buying a prepaid SIM card, make sure you get one with good international roaming rates.

Since early 2017 you can buy cheap Austrian cell phones from vending machines in many Vienna metro stations, alongside adapters, selfie sticks and other accessories. This means you can get a cell phone almost around the clock. Considering Austria’s restrictive shop opening times, those machines can save the day. Some metro stations equipped with those vending machines are those along the U3: Landstrasse, Neubaugasse, Schwedenplatz, Stephansplatz, Volkstheater, and Zieglergasse. Alternatively visit one of provider MobiNil’s shops, such as the one in central Tuchlauben 22.

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