Reduce your mobile phone roaming bills by opting for a local SIM.
Andorra is more of a one-stop destination en route to Spain rather than a full-blown holiday, but if you are planning to stay for an extended period, you could save money by switching over to a local SIM card.
Using your home phone abroad could eat up your credit or increase your bills dramatically. Travellers often underestimate how much they could save by switching to a local SIM which will allow them to get cheaper deals, plans and tariffs. So, if you’re planning a trip to Andorra, check out the best SIM card options available on finder.com.au.
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Unfortunately, Andorra has one of the most expensive mobile phone services in Europe. Being a small principality means they are unable to take advantage of large telco deals. SIM cards from both France and Spain do operate in Andorra, but you will pick up slow distant signals that extend from those countries rather than through radio masts positioned in Andorra.
Andorra is not part of the EU, so it doesn’t have to abide by EU roaming laws. Although their one telco service, Andorra Telecom, offers better call and roaming rates than your home phone carrier, they are still unable to compete with French or Spanish carriers.
Andorra’s terrain is extremely mountainous due to being in the middle of the Pyrenees, so although you might be able to pick up a French or Spanish signal when you are up high, you’ll only be able to pick up a good signal on Andorra Telecom in other areas.
Andorra’s one and only operator is the state-owned Andorra Telecom, running the Mobiland SIM. You can get 2G, 3G and 4G prepaid packages if you have an unblocked GSM phone. Once you are in a good coverage area, you will be able to pick up a strong signal.
There are few rules and regulations for buying SIM cards in Andorra. The only thing you will need is your photo ID for proof of purchase. Your passport or national ID card is the best option for this.
You can purchase credit from official stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, tobacconists and at Andorra–La Seu d'Urgell Airport.
Andorra Telecom (AT) is the only operator in this principality, one of the smallest countries in the world.
Considering it’s such a small operator, AT does offer some good deals and plans that could save you money.
Andorra Telecom offering customers 2G on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G/UMTS on 2100 MHz, and 4G/LTE on 1800 MHz and 800 MHz (not yet on prepaid plans). This gives locals and travellers good network coverage as long as they are in a good signal area.
Andorra Telecom’s prepaid packages run under the Mobiland Clic! brand. You can buy a SIM card from Andorra Telecom’s head office on Av. Merixell 112 in Andorra la Vella or at official kiosks, stores and supermarkets. Nano, micro and mini SIM cards are available, and sellers are well-versed on their products and what they can offer you.
A SIM card will cost you €60 but that will also give you the same amount of credit. Unless you intend on staying there for longer than a week, we wouldn’t recommend purchasing one at all.
Once you have used up all your credit, unlike other phone providers, they still allow you to receive incoming calls and texts.
You can purchase top-up vouchers for €15, which are valid for two months, for €30, which are valid for five months, or for €60, which are valid for seven months. Supermarkets, newsagents and phone kiosks sell the vouchers. Call 178 to check your credit balance.
Mobiland data packages:
|€1||50 MB||24 hours||Text 101|
|€3||250 MB||48 hours||Text 102|
|€5||500 MB||7 days||Text 103|
To check your remaining balance, send an empty SMS message to 123.
- The official language in Andorra is Spanish, but nearly everyone speaks French. If you can’t speak Spanish or French, then download Google Translate onto your phone before you travel.
- Ask retailers to set-up the SIM for you. Andorrans love tourists and they are proud of their nation, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find someone to set-up the SIM card for you.
- Remember to make sure you inform your mobile phone provider back home that you are travelling abroad, so they don’t cancel your plan due to inactivity.
To use a prepaid SIM card, Andorra Telecom requires you to have a SIM-unlocked GSM compatible international mobile phone. To double-check if you have this option, contact your service provider before you leave.
- Prepaid credit when required
- No in-store contract needed
- Could be compatible with your current mobile phone
- Cheap handsets are sold in stores
- Andorra’s plans are more expensive than those in Spain or France
- No mobile phone devices offered with the SIM card plans
- Can only be used on SIM-unblocked GSM phones
- Can only be used in Andorra
- Poor coverage can be found on the network
Q: How reliable are French and Spanish SIM cards in Andorra?
A: Depending on your location, they can be quite good. If you are staying on higher ground, then you should be able to pick up a signal quite easily. However, if you are in the lower regions, then it’s better to buy a local Andorran SIM card. Bear in mind, you must already own a French or Spanish SIM card to use them in Andorra since local stores will only sell the Andorra Telecom option.
Andorra, or the Principality of Andorra, is one of Europe’s hidden gems, sandwiched between France and Spain. The country is extremely small with less than 100,000 residents, which means you could probably see everything within a day!