French PAYG 3G/ 4G Data Sim for Mobile Broadband Internet France SFR Orange Bouygues

September 20, 2014
PAYG French 3G/4G data sims come activated and ready for immediate use in France. No contract and no additional fees or charges – just buy data as required. Top up with a bank card issued in France or with vouchers from the local Tabac. Can be used in 3G and 4G data devices. Standard mini, micro and nano sizes available.
For Orange France the Sims come with 500mb data included. Top up is online or by phone with a bank card issued in France or with vouchers from the local Tabac.
SFR Data Sims come with 200mb valid for 15 days. SFR top up is with bank card issued in France or with Tabac vouchers
Bouygues Telecom Sims come with 2 days internet and top up is online only with a bank card issued in France.  SFR and Orange France Sims are activated and ready for immediate use in France. For Bouygues registration is required. This is done online and is very easy.
Rates for data vary.  Bouygues Telecom 6 gig for one month for 30 euros is best value but top up is online with a bank card issued in France only.  Choice of network in France is mainly availability of good signal at your location. Use these links to check for network coverage in France –

Orange France here

SFR here

Bouygues Telecom  here

Ready for immediate use in France usually with Instructions in French and English these data sims  are good in USB dongles, Mifi and 3G/4G Routers, iPads and Tablets but will not work in a mobile phone.
If you need more information ask

Best PAYG / Prepaid 3G/4G Mobile Internet in France with Bouygues Telecom

June 5, 2014

There is a good offer from Bouygues Telecom on a PAYG Data Sim –  6 Gigabytes valid for 31 days price 30 euros. The other rates are 5 euros for one day limit 500mb and 15 euros for 7days limit 2 Gig.  Top up is online only and will require a bank card issued in France to be successful. When the data limit is reached download speed is reduced for the remainder of the period of validity. Useful feature to keep up with emails after the main data allowance has been used.

The Bouygues Nomad Sims come with 2 days internet connection and must be registered with Bouygues. Sims can  be purchased online with a bank card issued in France and a postal address in France. More information here –



This is a 4G Sim. Good with 3G/4G enabled tablets, Mifi and 3G Routers and USB Modems.

Useful alternative to Orange France and SFR if you can meet the conditions. Check coverage at your location in France using this link –

 Update 16 June 2014

I have tried 2 of Nomad Sims and found out a little more about how they work. The Sim is valid for 8 months from first use and for 12 months after the top up. After the first two days use a top up/registration  screen comes up and the  registration is easy to do.  Top up with a bank card issued in France is also very straightforward.

I have  a solution to the French bank card and address issues  which will help International travellers or others who can not meet the Sim conditions.   More information  here   6 gig for a month for 30 euros is the best PAYG rate I have found on the French 3G/4G networks. The bank card solution is easy but costs a little to set up and use. If you are in France for a while or make regular visits this is definitely worthwhile.

Update 7 March 2015

Nomad sims are no longer available for purchase from the Bouygues Telecom website. As an alternative you can make a purchase here  or go to a Bouygues Boutique. If you can meet the conditions – top up online with bank card issued in France only and address in France for registration – these Sims still offer very good value PAYG mobile data.

Update 28 July 2015

Limited availability in Bouygues Telecom boutiques.  Possibly being replaced by a contract sim with lower rates. Orange France charges for data have been reduced and now offers a good alternative to Bouygues for prepay/pay as you data go on usb modems and 3G/4G routers.

Need help? Just ask

Late Autumn Sunsets in South East France

November 26, 2013

Over two or three days in early November I took some photographs of sunsets. Skies in this area are interesting all the year round but these are exceptional I think. Taken with a mobile phone and exactly as they came off the phone.

You can get the full screen version with a click on the photo.

Approaching Perpigan from the North




Two days later in Port Vendres.


Next day in Banyuls Sur Mer


How to Find Good Wifi Hotspots in France – Free French Broadband Internet 24/7

November 17, 2013

Free Wifi Internet in France for your Campervan, Caravan, House or Boat

There are lots of options for wifi in France now. Free wifi hotspots are not limited to McDonalds and Autoroute Service Stations. With a decent wifi set up to  give  long range  reception it is possible to find good free wifi internet almost anywhere in France.

This is my set up  –  Alfa Networks AWUS 036H usb wifi adaptor, 8 dBi omnidirectional aerial mounted on a magnetic base with 1.5 metre cable. The aerial is mounted on my van roof. This gives the possibility of connection up to a range of about 6km – almost 4 miles – with good clear line of sight. I am doing this in a van but this set up could equally well be used in a campervan, caravan, house or boat.

Here is an example of a free hotspot connection at a full 3 miles giving a slow but usable link – fast enough for emails and listening to Radio 4.


Free Wifi Using the FON Network.

There are FON hotspots all over France. All you need is  to set up a FON router in your home country and share part of the bandwidth. Easy to do, not too expensive and the FON router does not have to be turned on while you are travelling.  SFR FON hotspots are quite common in France and offer a free connection if you have a FON account and log in. Here is an example of a FON hotspot connection-


Information about FON here –

FON is not just for France. Take a look at the FON map here –

I use Inssider to look for possible hotspots. This works well and shows the signal level and type of encryption for the detected wireless networks.  This is what it looks like on the screen –


Here is a link to the Inssider website –

The most important factor for getting free wifi in France is a good long range wireless set up. If you need help with this – Just ask or take a look at

My Dongle Is Up The Pole!

September 10, 2013


Its not really a dongle its a Huawei Mifi Router and it is not really a pole its a 5 metre length of tiling batten but…. it has solved a major internet problem for me  in the UK and might have wider applications.

Travelling in France using the Orange France network it is a given that internet will be available on tap. Not so in the UK. In this location in  Suffolk there is signal available from TMobile, Vodafone and O2 but data is intermittent from all three networks. Works  a little during the night and early morning. Stops in the day time and comes back in the evening.Several calls to Vodafone Customer Services have not helped resolved the issue.

Some networks in the UK are operating on 900mHz and I thought this might be worth a try. This is a relatively new development. 3G broadband on 900mHz rather than 2100.  With a change of router and a little exploration of the site with the Mifi Router on top of a tiling batten to give some height a good connection was possible but at the moment only in one place – up a wild cherry tree!


Internet connection was all but impossible last year. Now in the same location a fast and reliable broadband connection is available all day, every day.

More to follow – hardware, set up and future developments.

2007 Mercedes Sprinter 311 CDI – Service Indicator Reset – This One Works!

September 5, 2013

Just changed the oil on my Sprinter and needed to reset the service indicator. I tried several ways to  do the reset from searches on Google and only this one worked on my van –

Service Reset instruction for 2006+ Sprinter (NCV3)

with NO steering wheel buttons.

1. Put the key in the ignition and switch it on without starting the engine.
(Wait for LCD to return to the vehicle mileage)

2. Hold the “O” button down till you hear a beep (could take a while, 30 sec.)

3. Press the M button repeatedly and a number of reset menus will appear, (If you have used oil according to quality sheet 229.31 or 228/229.51 you can scroll to Reset.31 or Reset.51 respectively.) Select “reset 51”

4. Now, when appropriate oil type is selected press “O” for 6 seconds until ”2” is displayed.

5. Press “O” once again briefly and the ” reset done” message will confirm that the job is done.

6. Pull the Key out

One tip for the oil filter change – get the right filter wrench – 74mm diameter, 14 flats. Makes the job very easy to do.

New Mobicarte Top Up for Orange France Lets Go Data Sim

July 13, 2013

Orange France PAYG Data Sim Top Up  –  3 Gig Valid for 6 Months

Great for travellers and intermittent users in France this new top up gives 3 gigabytes of data and is valid for 6 months. The latest data Sims include 500mb of data and free access to Orange France wifi while there is credit on the Sim.

The latest 3G Data Sim and a six month top up with wifi to reduce 3G data usage could offer great value for owners of  holiday homes or campervans. The 3 gig top ups are available from Orange France boutiques for 35 euros. Maybe also from tabacs.

Ask for details  – the new Sims and top ups are  in stock. If your French is not up to a visit to an Orange France Boutique or if you might need help and support to get your 3G up and running this is the place to go.

Update 23 August 2013

The Orange Wifi offer needs credit in the main account on the Sim.  Data top ups do not count so additional Mobicarte top ups are required. Still good value wifi.

Update 14 December 2013

The 3 gig Lets Go Top Up has not been available in Tabacs and Orange France Boutiques recently and is probably discontinued.

27 December 2013

3 gig top ups available in Tabacs in France but not in Orange France Boutiques.


Update 27 July 2015

New rates for prepay/pay as you go data 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. Available online and in Orange France Boutiques.

Simyo France 3G Sim PAYG – Low Cost Calls in France

March 19, 2013



Simyo France – Low Cost PrePay 3G Sim

Simyo France 3G Mobile Phone Sim French PAYG – Low cost calls in France and Europe

Simyo offers low cost calls in France and good rates for calls to Europe and Worldwide. Rates start at 10 eurocents a minute for local calls. No charge to receive calls in France. Good online support from the Simyo website. Ready for immediate use in France – just needs a call to Simyo to activate the Sim. The operators are French but mostly good with English. During the call you are asked for your name, date of birth and address. UK or other home address will be fine or you can use your temporary address in France.The Sim is activated immediately after this call and the telehpone number comes in a text message. This first call is free of charge. The Sim has to be registered with Simyo to add further credit. Registration is very easy to do. Complete form supplied with the Sim – telephone number, name and address. Post  the form plus a copy of your ID in the envelope supplied with the Sim.  No stamp needed when posted in France.

This is an easy to use Sim. Calls are at low rates with no need to purchase special offers or other options to get the low rates. Top up can be done online with a bank card. UK and International cards are accepted. For travellers in France this is the Sim of choice for phone calls. 

9 June  – Just topped up my Simyo France account. 30 euros for 450 minutes of calls valid for 3 months  AND done with a UK bank card. Usually 10 eurocents a minute but special offer just now gives calls at around 7 eurocents a minute. Good rates for International Calls too.

22 August 2013

Lost my  phone in France. Suspended the Sim on the Simyo website. Called Simyo who have sent me a new Sim with my original number. No charge.

10 December 2013

Current rates for Simyo

Calls :       0,10€/ min
SMS :       0,05€/ SMS
Internet :  0,05€/ Mb

How can I get Simyo? Ask

Update 28 July 2015

Simyo are ceasing operations in November 2015.

Mobile 3G Broadband in Spain

February 18, 2013

Just looking into internet and mobile phone in Spain. Last year in Barcelona it was a problem to get the profile settings for Orange Spain. These are the settings that worked for Orange Internet Everywhere on a 3G USB Dongle –

Orange Internet Everywhere   APN  internet  USER  orange   PASSWORD  orange

Vodafone Spain settings  for 3G USB Modem (dongle), Mifi or 3G Router

Vodafone Spain  APN  USER   vodafone  PASSWORD  vodafone

Dial Number  if required to set up a new profile Orange or Vodafone is *99#

March 2013 – Vodafone Spain PAYG Data Sim with 1 Gig Included


Vodafone Spain has a good offer on a Data Sim with one gigabyte of data valid for 3 months  included.  This offer is listed on the Vodafone website and in the brochures.  I have visited Vodafone shops in La Seu d’Urgell, Puigcerda and Barcelona but these Sims are not available at the moment. This is a great offer for international visitors as the Sim is ready for immediate use with one gig of data and easy to top up with Vodafone vouchers.

The Canigou

January 15, 2013

There is a nice parking spot just outside Prades which gives a good view of the Canigou. The Catalan sacred mountain can be seen from here in France and also from over the border in Spain and is a symbol of the Catalan nations desire for independence.

This image of the One Eyed Dog howling with the Canigou in the background brings to mind The Little Red Rooster …….

Dogs begin to bark, the hounds begin to howl Dogs begin to bark and the hounds begin to howl Look out strange cat people, the rooster’s on the prowl


Dogs begin to bark, the hounds begin to howl
Dogs begin to bark and the hounds begin to howl
Look out strange cat people, the rooster’s on the prowl

gold rooster