Archive for August, 2011

Low Cost Mobile Broadband in France – French Orange Mobicarte 3G SIM

August 7, 2011

After some years of using McDonalds Wifi and local Wifi hotstpots I have finally found a solution to the problem of getting low cost mobile broadband internet while travelling in France. Orange Mobicarte 3G Pay As You Go SIM. This is for mobile phone use but works well with a 3G USB dongle. Internet is available for 3 euros a day, 7 euros a week or 9 euros for a month. The internet package can be purchased from your mobile phone from a simple menu using existing phone credit.

I am using an unlocked Vodafone K3565 usb modem with a high gain 3g aerial. The modem has a connector for an aerial but it is hidden within the case. A little surgery is required to get access to the connector.  Unlocking the 3G USB dongle is straightforward and there is software available to manage the 3G connection which is independent of manufacturer or 3G network.  More details to follow.

Update – February 2012

Mobicarte Sim is working fine. Good coverage in the  South of France and along the Pyrenees. Sometimes need to use an aerial to boost the signal but never without a connection so far. Useful  information  –  the Orange France Mobicarte 3G settings.    APN : orange  User :  orange  Password : orange.  Seems easy enough but connection to the 3G service needs these exact settings  and much time can be wasted guessing the settings or following advice on Google!

Lets Go is the Sim for laptops and usb dongles. There is now an email service to register ID details with Orange France. This is faster and more reliable than the postal system. Usually takes two days to complete. Registration  must be completed before the top up can be added to the Sim.  Lets Go APN :  User : orange  Password : orange

Mobicarte and Lets Go Sims can be purchased at Orange Boutiques all over France but if your French is not too good or you are overseas or just need to do it the easy way you can make a purchase here –  The Sims ship direct  from France by Lettre Prioritaire. Orange France data top ups are available too.

Orange France 3G Network Coverage

SFR France 3G Network Coverage

Update June 2012

Lets Go Sims are great for travellers wanting 3G on the move in iPads and Tablet PCs, Mifi, USB Dongles and 3G Routers. Top up with Mobicarte vouchers is easy but does not give the best rate for data.

Orange France Lets Go Data Sim top up vouchers. 

One gig valid 7 days, two gig valid 30 days and 3 gig valid 6 months. Prices 10 euros, 20 euros and 35 euros. On sale in most tabacs in France or can be purchased online or by phone with a bank card issued in France.

Full details for Mobicarte vouchers  here

September 2012

With a big trip to France to follow the 2012 Tour de France, we needed to sim cards for two iphones and an ipad. I had lots of questions and David from was there to answer each one in great detail. Our sim cards arrived in Australia after only 4 days of ordering online. We chose to have them activated and registered so we would be ready to hit the ground running in France.
During our trip we had difficulty in a remote location getting a top up. David was quick to answer our cry for help on email and had us a new mobicarte code within hours.  When we had issues with a borrowed usb sim, even though we didn’t buy from, David was there to help us out.
If you are considering traveling in France and need anything from then you would be mad to buy anywhere else. The service is exceptional.

Tony Laughton

Big thank you to Tony Laughton for this information.

Using  Microsoft Outlook with Orange France

All webmail eg gmail, hotmail is fine with Orange France 3G   but there is some set up needed to use Outlook.  It is necessary to to change your SMTP server to  and use SMTP port 25 to be able to send emails.

April 2013  Top up Orange France Mobicarte Sim

Top up for the Mobicarte Sim is with vouchers from Supermarkets ,Tabacs and other outlets in France.   In Supermarkets the top up vouchers are usually on racks near the tills as you leave the store. Values run from 5 euros up to 100 euros. Each voucher has a 14 digit code – this iis the code to enter into the top up menu on your phone or with a call to 224. There are several codes and numbers on the voucher which looks like a till receipt. The one you need is 14 digits long and usually a little bigger font than the others.  You can use an International Bank Card in Supermarkets, Tabacs and other outlets in France but not to top up online with Orange France. For online top up you need a Bank Card issued in France.

There are three ways to add the top up credit to your Mobicarte Sim  –

1. Call #123# from your phone. This gets into the Orange France menu system. Look for recharge and put in the 14 digit voucher code. This is the easiest way to top up. No need to be in France – the menu system works worldwide.

2. Call 224 from your phone choose Option 2 Mobicarte and enter the 14 digti top up code. The phone call is in French but topping up is easy to do.

3. Online top on the website. This needs a Bank Card issued in France. International Cards will not work. The website is not easy to use even for native French speakers.

Orange France Online Top Up for Mobicarte and Lets Go Sims

Top up  Orange France Mobicarte and Lets Go Sims  online with a bank card issued in France using this link –

Orange France Lets Go Top Up Vouchers.

Currently there are 3 values – 10 euros gives 1 gig valid 7 days,  20 euros for 2 gig valid for one month and 35 euros for 3 gig valid for 6 months. The vouchers are long dated – well into 2015.

Orange France Lets Go top up vouchers are on sale in most Tabacs in France. The credit goes on with a phone call to Orange France from a French landline or mobile.

Easy Top Up for  Orange France Lets Go Sims  here

Use this code   sim125  for 25% off Sim cards and top ups from The Wifi Shop. Next 5 purchases only so be quick!

June 2014

Rates for Data on Orange France  Mobicarte Mobile Phone Sim 

Purchase from phone menu –

  • 1 day   0.90 Euros  10mb
  • 1 day   2.00 Euros  50mb

Buy Vouchers

  •  7 days     5 Euros    150mb
  • 14 days  10 Euros   500mb

 Update 27 July 2015

New rates for data for prepay/pay as you go on Orange France Lets Go and Pret a Surfer Sim cards – 10 euros for 1 gig valid 14 days, 25 euros for 3 gig valid one month and 40 euros for 5 gig valid 6 months. The new top ups are available online and at Orange France boutiques.