|Cellular Service and Coverage in France
Cellular telephone coverage in France is excellent, and through the use of GSM telephones and SIM cards, you can utilize a cellular phone during your stay at surprisingly minimal costs. In fact, in France and elsewhere in Europe, incoming cell phone calls are free. The French use the GSM system which operates in 190 countries and they simply slide in what is known as a French SIM card in order to get service. The SIM card is the brain of the phone and is what ties you in with the cellphone service provider. Some SIM cards are prepaid, meaning that you don't have a contract with the cell phone company. They work similar to a calling card except that when you have exhausted your credit, you add more talk time to that same chip, and consequently you retain the same phone number. The prepaid option is used by a large portion of the cellphone users in France simply because you have no bills to pay and can budget your expenditure. It is also the most suitable for the tourist. Businessmen usually opt for cellular service that is contractual and doesn't ever need to be recharged or "reloaded." Recharging a French SIM card is simple. You can get recharge cards at many convenience stores and newsstands. In order to obtain a French SIM card (the actual chip allowing you service), you need to either be a resident in France and proof of residency or to purchase them from companies that specialize in providing cell phone service for France or French phones and SIM cards.