One of the most common questions when our students arrive in Ireland is if they should have an Irish telephone number or, in other words, if they should buy a pre-pay sim card in Ireland. Personally, even though you will probably find Wi-Fi almost everywhere, not only in coffee shops or restaurants, but also on some means of transport; even if you are planning to stay for just a short time, I think you should buy one of them.
The reasons are, simply, that it is going to make your life easier and costs very little. Paying around 20€ per month (depending on the company) you can have access to the Internet, make calls and send texts, and this is something that you would need to do very often.
- Firstly, when searching for a house, you can use your Irish number to call directly to the owners or people that are renting the house/room. It is advisable to call rather than send an email or message, and gives us a better chance to talk with them directly and convince them that you are the perfect new housemate.
- Secondly, you will show more reliability for employers to contact you. It will show them that committed to staying in Ireland for a while, so they can hire you without problems. Furthermore, through a phone call you can talk directly to them and this is like a first interview that will help you to get a job.
- Thirdly, if you choose a plan which includes Internet data, you can use it for a lot of things. For example with GPS you can find all the places in your new city. Maybe after a few months you won’t need it anymore… but at the beginning is very useful, believe me!
- Fourthly, it is the best tool when contacting anyone or meeting friends.
Every month, you will need to top-up the pre-pay sim and you have a few ways to do it: you can go to the shop, use the website, call or send a text.
Now that you know that this is something that will facilitate your stay in Ireland, its time to know the most popular companies and their pre-pay plans. There are so many, so you will choose the one that best suits your needs.
Three is one of the most popular brands in Ireland and its pre pay plan is not bad. The All You Can Eat plan costs 20€ every 28 days and includes 6GB data of Internet, unlimited texts and unlimited Three to Three calls (for people that use Three as well). This plan is perfect if you don’t need to make a lot of national calls (you have 20€ to spend during the whole month), or if you don’t need to make international calls.
Another prominent telephone company in Ireland is Meteor, which offers five different plans. The first one costs 10€ and you can have unlimited calls, without data internet or texts. Paying 20€ you have three alternatives: unlimited calls and 15GBof data Internet, no texts; unlimited texts and 15GB of Internet, no calls; or unlimited calls and text, no Internet. Finally, you can choose the last plan, which costs 30€ and you will have all the services: unlimited calls and texts, and 15GB of data. Remember that all call and text allowances can be used in Ireland and in the EU.
Tesco is a supermarket, yes, but here we can find phones and pre-pay plans too. I have to admit that the price is very good because for only 15€ you can have unlimited calls, 10GB of data Internet and unlimited Tesco Mobile texts (for Tesco users).
If you need to make internationals calls, Lyca mobile is the best company to choose but there are a lot of plans, some of which offer similar services to what other companies offer.
The national plans are the following:
- 15€: unlimited texts and calls, and 15GB data Internet.
- 9€: no internet, 450 texts and 450 minutes of calls
- 9€: 1GB of data Internet, 300 texts and 300 minutes of calls
Moreover, you can select instead an international plan, but each of them will depend on where you would like to call. For example, for Europe there is a 10€ plan, which includes 300 minutes of international and national calls and 3GB of data. For international calls to Asia, you pay 10€ and you receive 500 minutes of calls and 3GB Internet data to use in Ireland. Check out all the plans on the website.
Finally, if you only want Internet, you can have it! You can choose between these plans: 4.99€ 3GB, 6.99€ 5GB, 9.99€ 10GB, 3€ 1GB, 13€ 20GB and 2€ 500MB.