Sure, a real phone number would be nice, but the boyfriend has a number I can give out when need be and he and I communicate with Skype so paying $40 for a phone and then $40 per month for service just doesn't seem necessary. It wouldn't benefit anyone stateside as that would cost too much $$, so they always would call my google voice anyway.
So, instead I wanted a mifi. You know - those little devices that provide wifi for up to five devices. This way I could carry it with me all over Paris and have wireless all the time.
I did some research before hand and discovered that Orange carries them. Once I got here I also spoke with SFR and Bouygues Telecom. All sold the hotspots, as they are called here. Both SFR and Orange had pre-paid plans available. SFR was the cheapest, so I went with them. I paid 80 for the device. They sell if for 139 if you buy the device by itself and I didn't find out it was 80 for those getting a pre-paid plan until I actually got it so I was ecstatic! That 80 also covered the first week of use. Yippee!
To conserve battery life, I don't turn it on until I need it and then I leave it on until I return home so I can receive calls and texts. So, today, I get off the bus and go into a store to grab me an ice tea pêche when I decide to turn on my hotspot. I go to my phone and it tells me I need to recharge. I attempt to recharge but it rejects all of my cards. Apparently, the fact that the visa and mastercard logos are on their page means nothing. They only take european visa and mastercard. Ugh! If I had known this, I would have chosen a much different route for the day. I modify my plans and head to a SFR store. I'm able to buy a recharge, but then have to make a call to apply it to my account. Well, without the recharge, I don't have a phone so I ask the employees to make the call for me. One of the guys does. The employee who had been helping me was surprised. She kept saying how nice he was for helping me. The plan I choose is 35 for 2GB of data or two months, whichever ends first. Since I have wifi at home, I expect 2GB to last me the full two months. Thus, it'll be half the price of a regular plan back home. I'm really liking this!
I love my little hotspot.
But, what I really loved when I first saw it, was the charger. I bought something that includes a european plug!!!!!!!! I totally actually live here! Even when I lived in Lyon for an entire year, I never bought a european plug. Fast forward fourteen years and I actually have a need for it. Can't believe I lived without a computer back then. :)
I did buy the european cord for my mac and the european plug for my iOS devices from Apple last summer after my plug adapter broke. So, that combined with my brand new surge protecter means I'm fully electronically frenchified!
The one problem I have is the talkatone app isn't working on my phone very well, but it works great on the iPad. On the phone it keeps dropping, has delays, and is a horrid call experience. Last year I used it a lot and never had a problem. This app is the only one that allows me to use google voice as a phone. I can't exactly whip out my iPad and headset on the metro whenever I want to make a call. And how could I enjoy a crêpe while meandering through Paris while talking on the iPad?
So... I need to get talkatone working well. Otherwise, I'll either need to get a phone or he'll need to upgrade to the 4S. Neither of which is an option I like.