The Four main operators in France are:
- Bouygues Télécom
- Free Mobile
There are also several MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators) like Lebara, Lycamobile, and LeFrenchMobile.
Pay as you go data prices are generally higher in France than the rest of Europe, and contracts are more popular in France, but not possible for foreigners to get.
Where to Buy?
As a foreigner buying a SIM card in France you will need to show your passport. You can buy SIM cards from the mobile stores themselves, or the magazine store RELAY, of which there are many including at Charles de Gaulle airport. If you are worried about the language barrier, you can find people who speak English in the larger mobile stores in Paris.
Free public wifi hotspots are available in all major cities in tourist offices, cafes, restaurants and hotels etc. just fill out a short form to register your e-mail etc.
If you are travelling on business and need to stay close to Wifi; try a service like hippocket or travel-wifi, that provide portable routers for rent.
So which is the best SIM Card for France visitors?
For most users, we would recommend using Orange for their extensive network and reliable service.
For those on a budget, who are sticking only to the major cities, then you could try using the Free network.
Those with language concerns who want an English-speaking customer service hotline could try using LeFrenchMobile or Lebara.