SFR in Paris on Nexus 6

I am using SFR on my Nexus 6 while I am in Paris.  I’ve also gotten a sim card for our unlocked Amazon phone.  I chose SFR for their tourist pass and I was able to verify that their bands work with our phones.  Unfortunately it seems that the tourist passes don’t come with 4G.  While that is a bummer it isn’t the end of the world because their HSPA+ speeds are awesome.

We arrived in Paris on a Saturday night.  We flew in from London to Charles De Gaul airport (CDG).  With it being so late there was nothing opened.  To look for a sim card we waited till we got to the hotel on Sunday morning.  That turned out to be a bad idea because none of the cell shops are open on Sundays.  Eventually I did find a small shop where I could purchase 2 sim cards from.  It should have been €10 per sim but she charged €25 for two.  They came with €5 of credit on each sim card.  I took them back to the hotel and popped them into the phones.  All went well except for the data part.  I needed to get the tourist passes but they don’t sell them on SFR’s website!  I had to wait till Monday.

Now, I did run into issues with activation.  I was suppose to receive a text message with the cell number in it.  I never did get this email.  I am also suppose to send a ? to a 3 digit number that is suppose to tell me my balance.  That also didn’t work.  This happened on both phones.  The final thing about the activation is the 20 minutes or more that it took.  It may have been that long with WIND in Italy but I really wish they could make that time shorter.

On Monday I did get to the SFR store and bought tourist passes.  Getting them activated took a little messing with it but eventually it worked for me.  On the one phone I was missing a digit in my activation code.  All total I think it was 15 to 20 minutes for the code to activate.  That was how long it took the night before with just the sim cards.

The Amazon Fire phone connected to the data just fine but my Nexus 6 either needed a reboot or different settings.  I had put in new APN settings before I tried the reboot so I am not entirely sure which was the fix.  I found this site to get me going:

SFR Internet APN and MMS Settings for Motorola Nexus 6

Like I mentioned earlier the service seems great.  I wish there was just data only plans one could use but I saw a bad Orange review from someone trying to use a data sim in their iphone and I didn’t want to risk it.  The tourist pass with SIM should work out to about €25 for 60 minutes of talk/200 SMS/1 GB of data.  SFR didn’t have an English website but Google translate worked great on it.

There was just two more things that I thought was interesting.  I didn’t have to give any identification when I purchased the sim cards and even after activation I found a small area on the SFR site that says you can use the SIM for 14 days without identification before you are locked out.  I am only here for a few days but thought that was interesting as I’ve always had to show my passport(in Europe) beforehand.

Lastly, this pass includes unlimited wifi at their SFR hotspots. I found one hotspot near my hotel and it took a few tries but after getting the wifi app downloaded and installed I got it to work.  No speed test was taken but I don’t expect to need it as 1 GB is already overkill for what I need it for.

We’re heading out into the French countryside in a few days.  I’m interested to see how it works outside a major city.

Good: KitKat Update Last Night for my HTC One Bad: 6 HTC One phones in 7 Months

I updated my HTC One to KitKat last night.  That update came faster than  I expected.  The bad part is this is my 6th HTC One phone and Sprint refuses to swap it out for a different model.  My last phone had a screwed up noise cancellation microphone.  In other words, no one could hear me if I spoke into the handset.  If I switched to speakerphone or used a headset it worked great.

I am going to stick with the HTC One until the 1 yr mark and see if anything else breaks on it.  Don’t know if Sprint will swap it for free.  I swear I have learned my lesson with HTC.  I won’t ever give them anymore of my money.

Thank you HTC for updating the phone.  I do appreciate that but your quality assurance is the worst.  Even if I am getting refurbs each time they should still pass a QA test.  Financially, you can’t afford to alienate any of your remaining customers.  You don’t answer any tweets.  I couldn’t talk to a human when I first ordered the phone.  I couldn’t take advantage of the case special because your site didn’t work.  I just don’t see how you are going to pull out of this nose dive HTC.

Google Voice charging me for calling USVI on my Sprint phone

Google Voice always charged 2 cents when calling USVI phone numbers (340) when using the application on the computer. However, I never had a problem with calling 340 with my phone! Today, I get a recording saying the phone call will cost 2 cents a minute. Now, since I live down here that makes it much more difficult. It’s also more difficult since I print that number on all my business stuff! I tried to remove it with Sprint Support and was unsuccessful. I will be weighing my options more this afternoon


update 4/4/2013

Apparently Sprint and Google decided to fix the issue.  It is working as it should again.  No extra fees for texting or calling USVI numbers.

Will my Cellphone work in St Thomas?

Answer: yes if it is AT&T  or Sprint.  No if it Verizon Wireless or T-Mobile.

As far as reception is concerned there are plenty of mountains so there are plenty of dead spots.  Data connections are not too bad.

If you happen to be by a cruise ship chances are your cellphone won’t work their either.  Rarely can I get my Sprint phone to work at Havensight when I am right next to a cruise ship.