Phone Operators in Germany – Choosing the right Pre-paid Sim Card

Let’s be clear, German mobile phone operators are pretty terrible. They are pricey, do not offer enough data allowance and for many the coverage even within the grounds of Germany is poor. But once you’ve decided to settle in Germany and moved most of your possession with you, you have to accept this fact and make a choice.

There are many German mobile phone operators too choose from and some have rather bad reputation in Germany. To make the right, long term decision, a proper research of the market is required. This is exactly what I and my man did, upon arrival to Berlin.

As foreigners, unsure of how long Germany remains our home, we concentrated on those phone operators with pre-paid sim card offers. We gave every single one a look, wrote down the offers we liked the most and then decided for one. Although this approach was a bit lengthy, it gave us a nice overview of the market to make a smart choice we never regretted. Now, I’d like to share our research with you and help you make that choice for yourself.

German Phone Operators with Pre-paid SIM Cards

Each German operator offers a standard pay as you go sim card. You charge with 15-50 EUR a month and recharge it once you run out of credit. The average price of a call and sms within Germany is around 9 cents per min, SMS or MB. In the below list, we look deeper into the pre paid sim card offers which give you a monthly allowance for SMS, calls and data usage. Most of them belong to Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) – the cheaper kind of operators who usually rent out the network infrastructure from established communication operators. But we also list the giants, which still have a dominant role on the German market.

Vodaphone CallYa

Vodaphone Phone Operator GIGA CallYa

Vodaphone seems to be one of the better well-established German operators with own infrastructure. Their offer of prepaid sim cards runs under the name “CallYa” and has several options to choose from, depending on the volume of calls, sms and data you prefer. To order one is free, without any set up fee or a specific contract duration.

1. CallYa Special: 9,99 EUR / 4 weeks

  • 750 MB + 100 MB Data volume  (speed: 4G / LTE 21.6)
  • Flat Calls / SMS in Vodaphone network
  • 200min Calls / SMS to other German Networks
  • No Connection fee

2. CallYa International: 14,99 EUR / 4 weeks (NEW!)

  • 750 MB Data volume  (speed: 4G / LTE 21.6)
  • 200min Calls / SMS in Germany, EU, Turkey
  • 200min Calls / SMS from Germany to EU, Turkey
  • No Connection fee

3. CallYa AllNet Flat: 22,50 EUR / 4 weeks 

  • 1 GB + 100MB Data volume  (speed: 4G / LTE 21.6)
  • Flat Calls / SMS in All German Networks
  • No Connection fee

CongStar Prepaid

Congstar phone operator logoCongstar is aMobile Virtual Network Operator using the D1 network, belonging to Telekom. With Telekom acting as a premium service, Congstar presents itself as the alternative for the price-conscious customers, seeking quality services. Congstar allows you to mix and match your preferences on call minutes, number of sms or internet you desire. However, the final price proposition might be a bit expensive and the data speed is low compared to other MVNOs.

1. Congstar Prepaid Smart Mix: 10 EUR / month

  • 300 MB Data volume  (speed: 7.2 Mbits)
  • 300 min Calls in All German Networks
  • 100 SMS in All German Networks
  • Connection fee: 9,99 EUR
  • 5 EUR starting credit (if you activate a contract until 30/06/3017)

2. Congstar Custom Tarif: 17 EUR / month 

  • 1 GB Data volume  (speed: 14.4 Mbits)
  • 100 min Calls in All German Networks
  • 100 SMS in All German Networks
  • Connection fee: 9,99 EUR

 

Blau

Blau Phone OperatorBlau is another of the MVNOs, acting as the low cost brand of the O2 network. O2, one of the most well-known and recognised mobile operators, is often criticised by its customers. The coverage should be nevertheless decent and the pre-paid packages of Blau cover are quite extensive. Blau charges a one time set up fee of 9,99 EUR. Now (Jan, 2017) Blau is running an offer: 1st month for free with all pre-paid contracts. Also, they offer a 25 EUR credit for all customer transferring a phone number from another mobile network. (usually, you have to pay your previous operator a fee to transfer, which equals 25 EUR)

1. Blau M: 9,99 EUR / month

  • 750 MB Data volume  (speed: 21.6 Mbits)
  • 300 min Calls / SMS in All German Networks
  • Nano, Micro and Standard SIM available
  • Connection fee: 9,99 EUR
  • 25 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)

2. Blau L: 14,99 EUR / month

  • 1.5 GB Data volume  (speed: 21.6 Mbits)
  • 450 min Calls / SMS in All German Networks
  • Nano, Micro and Standard SIM available
  • Connection fee: 9,99 EUR
  • 25 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)

3. Blau All Net L: 19,99 EUR / month

  • 2 GB Data volume  (speed: 21.6 Mbits)
  • Flat Rate for Calls / SMS in All German Networks
  • Nano, Micro and Standard SIM available
  • Connection fee: 9,99 EUR
  • 25 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)

 

Simyo

Simyo Phone Operator LogoAn MVNO owned by Telefonica in Germany. It is using the recently acquired E-Plus network, by O2. It seems that Simyo has been consumed by Blau recently, therefore you can refer to the pre-paid tariffs listed above.

Drillisch Group

A so called wireless service operating business, operating many low cost mobile brands, using the capacity of Vodaphone and O2 networks. They offer a great coverage both in urban as well as rural areas of Germany, with internet speed reaching up to 50 Mbits/s. I am a user of Maxxim sim card, which proved to be a great choice in terms of value for the service provided. Besides Maxxim, the Drillisch group offer many low cost sim card brands such as: sim.de, yourfone, hellomobil, smartmobile, winsim.de, etc. All the rates are fairly similar.

I will pick a few which have caught my attention in 2017: (focus on data and international allowance)

Maxxim Drillisch Phone Operator Logo1. Maxxim LTE 1500: 14,99 EUR / month

  • 1.5 GB Data volume  (high speed: 50 Mbits)
  • Flat Calls & SMS in All German Networks
  • EU allowance: 100 Min or SMS & 100MB Data  (NEW!)
  • Cancellable monthly
  • Connection fee: 19,99 EUR

Sim.de Drillisch Phone Operator Logo2. Sim.de LTE ZWEI Mini: 8,99 EUR / month

  • 2 GB Data volume  (high speed: 50 Mbits)
  • Flat SMS in All German Networks
  • 100 min Calls in All German Networks
  • Cancellable monthly
  • Connection fee: 29,99 EUR

Yourfone Drillisch Phone Operator Logo3. Yourfone LTE XS: 7,99 EUR / month (first 12 months)

  • 2 GB Data volume  (high speed: 50 Mbits)
  • Flat Calls & SMS in All German Networks
  • Connection fee: 29,99 EUR
  • Contract length: 24 months min (after first 12 month, price increases to 12,99 EUR/month)
  • 15 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)
  • Ultra fast speed internet (225 Mbit/s): 5 EUR / month on top

WinSim Drillisch Phone Operator Logo4. winSIM LTE Mini 3GB: 13,99 EUR / month

  • 3 GB Data volume  (high speed: 50 Mbits)
  • 600min Calls or SMS in All German Networks
  • EU allowance: 100 Min or SMS & 100MB Data  (NEW!)
  • Cancellable monthly (cheaper rates for 2 year contracts)
  • Connection fee: 19,99 EUR
  • 15 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)

Smartmobil.de Drillisch Phone Operator Logo5. Smartmobil.de LTE S (5GB): 22,99 EUR / month

  • 5 GB Data volume  (high speed: 50 Mbits)
  • Flat Calls & SMS in All German Networks
  • Cancellable monthly (cheaper rates for 2 year contracts)
  • Connection fee: 29,99 EUR
  • 15 EUR exchange bonus (if you are transferring from another German operator)
  • Ultra fast speed internet (225 Mbit/s): 8 EUR / month on top

 

Mobile phone operators run special offers very frequently. The above list is updated for the beginning of 2017 and might include some special offers which expire in the coming months. Nevertheless, it is always great to keep an eye on the operators which offer a balanced mix and suit your needs, such as the Drillisch group. For those who seek good internet connectivity, this would be the provider I recommend.

Do you use an operator which offers an amazing deal and which you have a great experience with but you didn’t find it in the list above? Let me know, I’m happy to include it!

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