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I currently live in Canada. In a few months, my friends and I will be going to Norway for 9 months for a program at a school in Norway. The trip will be mostly in Norway but would extend to a large chunk of Europe as well. Some of the places and countries I would be visiting are:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Athens
  • Istanbul

There may be other placed involved, we haven't gotten the full list yet.

The duration of the trip is 9 months. It will be mostly in Norway (where my friends and I are staying) but we will be taking a backpacking trip through Europe, visiting the locations listed above. We wont be spending much time in each country (few days per country, total of about 2.5 weeks) and since the entire trip is only 9 months or so, I am assuming that a monthly pay as you go plan would probably be the best way to go.

I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S4. I am wondering if there is any way I can buy a SIM card for my phone in Norway that would also work in the rest of Europe. I am not looking for something that would allow me to call back to Canada, but instead be something that would allow me to send a few texts to my friends who are also going on the trip (who would get a SIM card just like me) and maybe a little internet.

So does such a plan actually exist and would a SIM card from Norway actually work in my S4 from Canada? My current provider doesn't provide anything useful and I would have to cancel my current plan anyway.

  • Well technically the trip is to Norway. My friends and I will be attending a program at a school in Norway and one of the trips during the program is backpacking through Europe. Most of our time will be spent in Norway, with a month or two being in the rest of Europe. – Josh H Apr 20 '15 at 15:04
2

Starting with the last question first, whether your phone will work on Norwegian carriers will depend on

You can check the first with your carrier in Canada and the wiki link above should have enough information.

As for plans, you will probably want to just get a prepaid SIM. This is quite a bit more common in Europe than North America, and you might not be able to get a post-paid account right away anyway. (Starting and stopping contracts is more difficult generally.)

According to this page, Norway has a number of prepaid options that should do what you want, and you can buy/recharge them any kiosk.

As the other answer mentioned, for short trips, the cost should be reasonable. If you want to use more data or stay a longer time in other countries, the usual thing would be to just buy a SIM card there.

  • My phone is indeed unlocked. I will check the top link to get the specific model of my phone – Josh H Apr 22 '15 at 12:48
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The official travel guide, visitnorway.com has a useful page on using mobile phones in Norway, with a list of all the local operators and some tips on where to buy a SIM card. You could use that as a starting point to find out exactly what's on offer in Norway.

Just about any monthly plan or prepaid/pay-as-you-go offer in Norway should include roaming (perhaps after activating it online) and there is no reason you could not use them elsewhere in Europe. If I am not mistaken, you will however need to make sure to get a micro SIM for your Galaxy S4, which operators might not all offer by default. And of course, you will also need to ensure your current phone is not locked by your Canadian operator.

While Norway is not a full EU member, I think it is covered by the EU roaming price caps. Data is still expensive but receiving SMS in any EU country should be free and sending them relatively cheap (€0.07/NOK 0.59 on top of the price of a local SMS), even on the most basic prepaid card. So if you and your friends all have a Norwegian plan with unlimited text messages, you could chat abroad for €0.07 per message.

That should cover short trips to France, Italy, Spain or Greece but Turkey (or Switzerland and most of South-Eastern Europe, if you happen to go there on the way) are not included so you could have to pay more when using a Norwegian (or other EU-based) SIM card there. Alternatively, if you are staying a little longer or want more than a few SMS, buying a local SIM card is usually the cheapest option, if you don't mind the hassle.

  • Thanks for the answer, I will probably wait a few more days before accepting an answer to see if there is anything else anyone has to add. But this does help a lot. – Josh H Apr 21 '15 at 13:32
-1

I would recommend myself that you try https://mycall.no/ these are both prepaid cards and plans, MyCall's entire gimmick is that you can cheaply call the entire World/Europe from Norway/to Norway etc..

You can "top up" your prepaid card online also.

  • Hi and welcome. Are you in any way affiliated with the company? – JoErNanO May 6 '15 at 15:57

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