Vienna travel guide, Phone plans, Contract SIM cards

Vienna travel guidePhone plans – Contract SIM cards

In this part of Vienna travel guide, we look into phone plans available for travelers (long/short term) and learn about contract SIM cards. We also understand why it is important to buy a local SIM card in Austria then using the one from your home country. 

But first, lets take a question from Mr. John Brown regarding SIM Cards options in Austria for tourists.

Q” I am traveling to Austria this summer and wondering what are my options for Phone plans and Conctract SIM Cards (Voice & Data) for short and long term? – Mr. John Brown

Hello John,

In Austria, there are 3 major operators (below) and they all provide voice/data SIM Cards  with different value and package for travelers and residents alike.

  • A1
  • T-Mobile
  • 3 (= “Drei”)
Vienna travel guide, Phone plans, Contract SIM cards
Top SIM Cards for Austra

A prepaid SIM card in Austria is called “Wertkarte“. This is a specific Austrian expression, not used in Germany. Unlike to most other European countries, SIM cards in Austria are still anonymous and don’t need to be registered.

Data rates in Austria are among the lowest in Central Europe. Ironically, there are hardly any good EU roaming offers for prepaid: While data are sold domestic for as low as 0.1c per MB, EU roaming rates are still mostly around 6c per MB.

Online top-up vouchers are available for most networks at without surcharges. Note that if you would like to use your credit or debit card on this website, payments are possible with Mastercard Securecode , Verified by Visa , Diners Club and Maestro Cards that have Mastercard Securecode enabled. Visitors from some EU countries may also use their Online Banking account to buy Top Up. Since this is restricted to certain countries/banks, check beforehand if your country is in the drop down menu. Further, you need to be able to receive text messages to you home sim, so if you dont want to connect it to a network in Austria, this method wont work.

You may find the information on this website very useful on deciding which SIM card suites you best.

Vienna travel guide, Phone plans, Contract SIM cards
Tourist with SIM data package

If you plan to stay for longer period of time in Austria then opting for Contract SIM cards is the best way forward.

Contract SIM Cards:

Under contract SIM cards option, you get to choose from different monthly tariff options:

Choosing the right tariff is very important, as this determines how much you will be paying per month. Tariffs changes in price depending on whether you choose a handset tariff, or if you just want a SIM-only tariff (Contract SIM Cards) to use for your existing phone.

  • Handset tariffs: Different tariffs are available with a phone at no charge, or at a reduced upfront cost. The value of the handset is built into your line rental, so you’ll pay it off slowly over your monthly bills. Contracts with a handset generally run for 24 months.
  • SIM-only tariffs (Contract SIM Cards): Since you’re not paying for the cost of a handset, SIM-only tariffs generally offer a lower monthly price and/or more allowances in your bundle. You can also choose a shorter commitment, with monthly rolling or 12-month contracts available.

What’s the best network for me?

Mobile coverage varies from network to network. If you want to check coverage in your area (including 4G coverage), it’s a good idea to use a network’s coverage checker, which can usually be found on their website. If you’re a regular commuter, don’t forget to check coverage both at home and away. There are various perks which are offered by different networks, so don’t forget to compare those too.

 If I order a 4G tariff, am I guaranteed a 4G connection?

No, as not all phones are 4G compatible. If you want to use 4G, make sure you’re also ordering a phone that supports a 4G connection.

I hope you find this guide helpful.

Please have a look at my Austria/Vienna Travel Guide and don’t forget to check out the Travel Q&A section for useful answers to 100s of worrying travel question.



Vienna travel guide, Phone plans, Contract SIM cards
Best Phone Plans

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