How to Get and Activate Orange SIM Cards and eSIM: Guide for Tourists

While planning your upcoming holiday to France, staying connected should be one of your top priorities. This is where getting a local Orange SIM Cards or eSIM can make your life much easier.

Orange is one of the top mobile network operators in France with excellent nationwide 4G/5G coverage. Their prepaid plans are quite pocket-friendly and offer great data bundles for tourists.

This detailed guide will cover everything you need to know about getting Orange SIM cards or eSIM for your trip to France:

Orange sim card & eSIM

I. Quick Facts about Orange

Orange, previously known as France Telecom, is the largest telecom operator in France.  Here are some quick facts about this operator:

  • Founded year: 1994 
  • Full company name: Orange S.A.
  • Types of services provided: mobile and fixed-line telecommunications, internet services, television services, and mobile financial services. 
  • Number of subscribers: 287 million worldwide (31/12/2022)
  • Coverage: Orange operates in 26 countries around the world, including Europe, Africa, Middle East, and parts of Asia
  • Customer support:
    • On-call: Yes, 24/7
    • Language: Multilingual support available
    • Time: 24/7
  • Additional information: Orange is also involved in social responsibility initiatives in education, environment, and other areas.

II. Why Orange When You’re Exploring France – Coverage and Speed

Orange has the highest Coverage Experience score — 9.1 points on a 10-point scale — making it the first winner of this award in France. SFR takes second place with a score of 8.7 points, 0.4 points behind the winner, and Bouygues comes third with a score of 8.5 points. Free Mobile places last with 8.1 points.

1. Coverage 

Orange Coverage map (Source: nPerf)

You can see “4G & 5G Availability” in overall and in two parts of the country 

  • 4G/LTE covers 98% of population
  • Average download speed – 45 Mbps
  • Maximum speed can reach up to 150 Mbps
  • 5G rolled out in 2020 and fast expanding: Already covers more than 3500 cities. Orange wins the overall Download and Upload Speed Experience awards with average speeds of 66.9Mbps and 8.2Mbps, respectively.

Rural Areas & Small Towns

  • Very good coverage along highways/roads
  • Small villages may have only 2G

Metro & Subway

  • Full coverage across metro lines/stations in Paris
  • Also covered in Marseille, Lyon, Lille, Rennes etc

2. Speed 

Orange Speed map in Malaysia (Source: OpenSignal)

Orange is the fastest operator with speed of 66.9Mbps. The Download Speed Experience on Orange is around 30.3% higher than that seen on Bouygues and SFR, which tie for second place, and 60.9% faster than Free Mobile’s 41.6Mbps.

Orange upload speed map (Source: OpenSignal)

As with Download Speed Experience, Orange continues to hold the Upload Speed Experience award, with users’ speeds averaging 8.2Mbps this time, just 0.2Mbps (2.7%) faster than second-placed Bouygues. SFR follows with a score of 7.4Mbps, while Free Mobile lags significantly behind with 5.6 Mbps.

Our Recommendation: I believe Orange can provide various plans which are up to your expectation

III. Orange Connectivity Options for Travelers to France

Orange offers prepaid SIM cards and eSIMs for tourists and visitors to stay connected across France:

Buying Orange SIMPocket wifi with OrangeRoaming to Orange
Pros– Easy and convenient to purchase and activate a local SIM card
– Affordable local call and data rates
– Local phone number for easier communication
– Extensive network coverage
High data speed
-No need to change SIM Card– Continuity of using home number
– No need to switch SIM cards or set up a new device
Cons– Requires an unlocked device compatible with Orange’s network
Identification documents may be required
– The device needs to be carried around, which can be cumbersome.
– There may be limited coverage range, typically within a certain distance.
– Some providers require a deposit when renting the device.
– The cost of renting a pocket WiFi device is generally higher compared to using a SIM card.
– The device needs to be shipped to you and returned afterward.
– If the device is lost or damaged, you may be held responsible and have to pay for it
– Expensive roaming charges
– Maybe your current mobile carrier does not have agreements with Orange
An pocket wifi of Orange France
An pocket wifi of Orange France

Recommendation: From the table above, Tourists to France are advised to purchase an Orange prepaid SIM card for their trip.

IV. Best Orange SIM Cards for Tourists & Cost

If you have an iPhone 15 (USA version) or any phone that supports eSIM, and you prefer using eSIM instead of a physical SIM card to avoid the need for disassembly. And Orange totally can support you with various eSIM plans for your consideration.

Below we will show you plans of Orange to have an overall view of Orange’s package:

1. Orange Holiday SIM

Price €14.99
Validity7 days
Data20GB
Calls & TextsUnlimited to France
Orange France SIM Card
Orange France SIM Card

2. Regular rechargeable SIM

Orange Holiday Europe 12GBOrange Holiday Europe 30GBOrange Holiday Europe 1GBOrange Holiday Europe 50GB
Price€19.99€39.99€4.99€49.99
Data12GB (4G/LTE)30GB (4G/LTE)1GB (4G/LTE)50GB (5G/LTE)
Validity14 days14 days7 days28 days
Calls30 minutes from Europe to worldwide*120 minutes from Europe to worldwide*Not included120 minutes from Europe to worldwide*
Texts200 texts from Europe to worldwide*1000 texts from Europe to worldwide*Not included1000 texts from Europe to worldwide*
Additional InformationCalls and texts in Europe are unlimitedCalls and texts in Europe are unlimitedCalls and texts in Europe are unlimited

V. Does Orange Support eSIM in France?

YES. There are many units providing travel eSIM of Orange on the market. With this feature, customers do not need to go to the network operator to register. You can consider Gigago as one of the best reliable and convenience provider eSIM for tourists

Orange eSIM
Orange eSIM

With Gigago, you can receive some benefits when purchasing eSIMs: 

  • Diverse Packages: Gigago offers a wide range of eSIM packages for various destinations around the world. 
  • Good Price: The pricing for Gigago’s eSIM packages is transparent and can be easily accessed on their website, allowing customers to compare and choose the most suitable option based on their budget.
  • Quick Support in Multiple Languages: This feature is particularly beneficial for international travelers who may have language preferences or face language barriers while seeking support.

For France, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 3 days with $3.50 . What is great about Gigago’s France eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $3.50$126.00 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in France, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

VI. Where to Buy an Orange SIM card and eSIM?

Below we’ll explore the most convenient options for purchasing an Orange SIM card and eSIM. You can take them into consider for buying a suitable SIM: 

1. Where to Buy Orange SIM Card for France?

  • Upon Arrival

When you arrive in France, look for Orange SIM card kiosks or counters at the airport. Their representatives can quickly provide you with a SIM card for immediate connectivity. Keep in mind that not all airports offer this service, so it’s best to check in advance.

  • Orange Stores

Orange stores are located in major cities and tourist areas. Visit an Orange store to get personalized assistance from friendly staff. They’ll help you select the right SIM card package and guide you through the activation process.

An Orange store in France
An Orange store in France

Our recommendation: You should bring these documents when buying a physical SIM card for sure

  • Authorized Retail Stores

Apart from Orange stores, you can find authorized retail stores that sell Orange SIM cards. These stores, such as mobile phone retailers, are authorized by Orange and offer customer support. They’re conveniently located in shopping malls and city centers.

2. Where to Buy Orange eSIM for France?

Buying an eSIM is also a convenient option for travelers, as it eliminates all drawbacks of physical SIM cards. We can show you some popular places that sell reliable Orange eSIM: 

  • Orange Website: The official Orange website allows you to purchase eSIMs directly. Visit the Orange France website and navigate to their eSIM section. You can select the plan that suits your needs and follow the instructions to purchase and activate the eSIM.

Link: 

  • Orange Retail Stores: You can visit an Orange retail store in France and inquire about purchasing an eSIM. The staff will be able to guide you through the process, provide you with the necessary information, and activate the eSIM for you.

Advice: You can search map of these stores in Orange app

  • Online Retailers: Some online retailers may offer Orange eSIMs for France. Websites like Amazon or eBay could have listings for Orange eSIMs.

VII. How to Activate Orange SIM/eSIM in France?

If this is your first time using Orange SIM Card, please check the instructions below and your activation process will be easier: 

1. How to Use Orange SIM Card in France?

You only need to follow these simple steps and everything will be ready.

  1. Insert the SIM card: Locate the SIM card slot on your device
  2. Power on your device: Turn on your device and wait for it to recognize the SIM card
  3. Activate the SIM card
  4. Set up APN settings if you can not use the eSIM.
  5. Check your services.
Activating Orange SIM Card with some simple steps
Activating Orange SIM Card with some simple steps

2. How to Activate Orange eSIM?

Getting started with an Orange eSIM forFrance is quite easy as follows:

  1. Install the eSIM
  2. Activate the eSIM
  3. Set up the eSIM
  4. Start using the eSIM: Once the eSIM is activated and set up, you can start using its services.

Please check your detailed instructions below:

VIII. How to Top-up Orange SIM/eSIM

An Orange SIM Card
An Orange SIM Card

To top up your Orange SIM card,  you can follow these simple steps:

  • Visit the Orange Travel website: Go to https://travel.orange.com/en/top-up.
  • Select your offer: Choose the prepaid offer that suits your needs from the available options. These offers provide calls, SMS, and data to keep you connected during your trip.
  • Enter your phone number or SIM card number: Provide the required information to access the top-up catalog.
  • Select your offer and proceed: Once you’ve entered your details, select your desired offer and proceed to the next step.
  • Top up your SIM card: Follow the instructions provided to complete the top-up process. This may involve making a payment using a valid payment method.

Advice: You may need to restart your device for the changes to take effect.

IX. FAQs

Can I use an Orange SIM card for international roaming?

Yes, Orange SIM cards often come with international roaming capabilities. However, it’s important to check the specific terms and conditions, as well as the associated costs for using your Orange SIM card abroad ( because the cost may be much higher than you think)

What devices are compatible with Orange eSIM?

The compatibility of Orange eSIM depends on the specific device and its manufacturer. Generally, newer smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches from popular brands like Apple, Google, Samsung, and others support eSIM functionality. It’s always best to check with Orange or the device manufacturer for the most accurate information.

X. Conclusion

In conclusion, getting and activating Orange SIM cards and eSIM is simple for tourists. Orange can offer extensive network coverage and reliable speeds for browsing and calling. If you have a compatible device, you should use eSIMs as its convenience. If not, physical SIM cards can also meet your needs. Both options provide access to Orange’s reliable network.