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Old 07-02-2019, 09:17   #1
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Cellular Internet in Greece

We're making plans to sail the 53 down to Western Greece for the summer, and would like to get some idea of how good the cellular service is around the inland sea and the Greek islands in general. 'Been sailing around Croatia and Italy over the past three years, where I can report the service is outstanding with 3G service or better even out to the most remote islands inhabited only by goats; far better than service anywhere in the USA.

Just wondering if we can get by with our cellphones (mobiles) along with our TMobile unlimited data plan, or do I need to add a satellite system to keep in touch with clients. I already know about obtaining local SIM cards etc, but we've had better luck with fewer hassles over the past three years being self-sufficient regarding data rather than running around purchasing SIM cards from smoke shops, news stands and local vendors.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ken
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:29   #2
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

I found cell service to be good enough. I couldn't always use the internet when on a remote part of an Island, but was mostly in contact.

Greek data plans are pathetic. I found it better to use a UK, or Italian sim for large amounts of data 40-50GB.

In towns and cities, as you'd expect there was excellent 4G, but off the beaten track you might be down to voice and sms use only.
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Old 07-02-2019, 10:21   #3
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

We are heading to Croatia and Montenegro this summer. Can you please share details of your T-Mobile unlimited plan? As you say would be easier than looking for a local SIM.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:09   #4
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

Neziak,

The T Mobile plan isn't ideal in that it's a USA based plan for unlimited data, but still charges 5-20 cents per minute for phone calls.... which is not how it's advertised. T Mobile will also cut you off and discontinue all service after three months due to the extremely small print in their contract that allows them to do so if you're continuously out of the US for an extended stay. For us, I get around it by either buying a local SIM card for the final month and suspending my phone number or using another T Mobile account. This year, we'll most likely install a satellite phone and data device, and communicate via text and WhatsApp for a portion of our stay.

T-Mobile USA and T-Mobile EU are two different companies, which I didn't know when I purchased the plan in the USA, so T-Mobile EU does not help us over in Europe in any way, but the service is active from the time we arrive at the airport which is very helpful.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:18   #5
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
We're making plans to sail the 53 down to Western Greece for the summer, and would like to get some idea of how good the cellular service is around the inland sea and the Greek islands in general. 'Been sailing around Croatia and Italy over the past three years, where I can report the service is outstanding with 3G service or better even out to the most remote islands inhabited only by goats; far better than service anywhere in the USA.

Just wondering if we can get by with our cellphones (mobiles) along with our TMobile unlimited data plan, or do I need to add a satellite system to keep in touch with clients. I already know about obtaining local SIM cards etc, but we've had better luck with fewer hassles over the past three years being self-sufficient regarding data rather than running around purchasing SIM cards from smoke shops, news stands and local vendors.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Ken
+/- 95% is covered by 3G or 4G.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:44   #6
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

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Originally Posted by De.windhoos View Post
+/- 95% is covered by 3G or 4G.
ευχαριστώ
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Old 07-02-2019, 13:16   #7
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

Due to my upcoming Med cruising season, I just switched my cell phone service to Google Fi, which works almost everywhere.

Google Fi uses mobile towers from 3 mobile networks, and one of them is T-Mobile. They charge $10/gb, with a cap at 6gb for one line and 10gb for 2 lines. So, the bill will depend on data usage but it is good to have a cap. A data only SIM is $10/gb.

In the S. Pacific I would get a local SIM in every new country. A local SIM is better for local calls but I do not know about data charges. I am not sure about the Med yet. I may use my Google Fi for data.

I also have a dual SIM Samsung Note 8 phone (International version), which makes having two SIM cards easy.
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Old 07-02-2019, 14:01   #8
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

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Originally Posted by boom23 View Post
Due to my upcoming Med cruising season, I just switched my cell phone service to Google Fi, which works almost everywhere.

Google Fi uses mobile towers from 3 mobile networks, and one of them is T-Mobile. They charge $10/gb, with a cap at 6gb for one line and 10gb for 2 lines. So, the bill will depend on data usage but it is good to have a cap. A data only SIM is $10/gb.

In the S. Pacific I would get a local SIM in every new country. A local SIM is better for local calls but I do not know about data charges. I am not sure about the Med yet. I may use my Google Fi for data.

I also have a dual SIM Samsung Note 8 phone (International version), which makes having two SIM cards easy.
the nice thing about the EU is that all countries are in the same zone (zone 1) and providers are not allowed charge roaming fees for data. To be honest, $10/GB is pretty expensive. So my advise is to get a sim in any of the EU countries and use that. And when you go outside the EU (Turkey, Morocco) either get a local sim, or use your Google Fi.
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Old 07-02-2019, 15:02   #9
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by De.windhoos View Post
the nice thing about the EU is that all countries are in the same zone (zone 1) and providers are not allowed charge roaming fees for data. To be honest, $10/GB is pretty expensive. So my advise is to get a sim in any of the EU countries and use that. And when you go outside the EU (Turkey, Morocco) either get a local sim, or use your Google Fi.
Thank you! That sounds good.

I have no problem to get a local SIM card for data, if it is cheaper. Google Fi charges only for what I use. I just need to maintain my US phone number so that friends and family can reach me.
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Old 07-02-2019, 15:05   #10
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

I’ve been dancing around with SIM cards for years now, but the issue which becomes the problem is having a constant phone number where associates and clients can reach me in every country. The local SIM cards don’t solve this problem, because when you return a phone call using an unrecognizable local SIM, people are now in the habit of blocking those calls. So none of your calls go through.
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Old 07-02-2019, 15:08   #11
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
I’ve been dancing around with SIM cards for years now, but the issue which becomes the problem is having a constant phone number where associates and clients can reach you in every country. The local SIM cards don’t solve this problem, because when you return a phone call using an unrecognizable local SIM, people are now in the habit of blocking those calls. So none of your calls go through.
That is why I have my US number Google Fi SIM card. Unlike T-Mobile, they do not suspend your account if you are overseas for more than 3 months.

A dual SIM phone helps also. I only carry one phone. Or, you can have a local SIM on your wife's phone and a US SIM on yours.
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Old 07-02-2019, 17:33   #12
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

My wife and I are on a T-Mobile family unlimited data plan for $50 prr month each, $100/month total. Right when she gets off the plane in Turkey, Itay, Greece or Croatia, she can call me for free using data on WhatsApp. We simply switch phones if I have servis cut off since she spends time in the US.
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Old 07-02-2019, 20:20   #13
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
My wife and I are on a T-Mobile family unlimited data plan for $50 prr month each, $100/month total. Right when she gets off the plane in Turkey, Itay, Greece or Croatia, she can call me for free using data on WhatsApp. We simply switch phones if I have servis cut off since she spends time in the US.
If my wife and I use 10gb+ of data our bill will be $135 ($100 for data and $35 for 2 lines) and we don't get cut off. That's the max charge. We don't reach 10gb often so our bill is usually much less. Last month it was $45. Something to think about.
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Old 07-02-2019, 21:05   #14
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

I checked out the google FI only to find out the rates are higher than I'm paying for the same T-Mobile service by nearly 100 percent. For an additional $49 per month, I can subscribe to a satellite service and have a dedicated phone number which can be dialed by friends, family and business associates provided I first install the proper hardware. For example in Italy, data costs only around 1 euro per GB, and in Croatia, it's about the same cost. So to pay $80 per month for Google Fi which does not even include international calling which is extra, it doesn't make any sense to switch. For the same price as Google Fi on one line, I can have unlimited data and US to international calling on T-Mobile plus a dedicated satellite subscription.

When you cruise, especially with friends aboard, 10GB of data is almost useless since you'll be going through 3-4 times as much each month. I can burn through 10GB every 14 days without too much difficulty just by myself.
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Old 07-02-2019, 21:42   #15
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Re: Cellular Internet in Greece

It looks like you have it figured out for yourself.

I plan to get an EU data sim card for my boat WiFi and a local call sim card for local calls. I just don't want a phone company cutting me off because I'm overseas too much. Call me weird...
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