Rumour Mill: Orange France to sell SIMs to tourists prior to arrival

Visitors to France will shortly be able to avoid high roaming charges by purchasing an Orange France SIM card before they leave their home country, according to local news source Challenge.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said Orange France is locating point-of-sale terminals in countries outside of France that can be used by tourists to purchase SIM cards prior to travelling. The SIM card service could also be offered online.

The new offering will be branded Orange World, and could initially be introduced in a small number of countries before eventually becoming available in around 100 countries across the globe.

Orange France has confirmed that such plans are underway, but claims any announcement would be premature and that the number of countries that might be involved in the long term is unknown, reports Challenge. The company indicated that commercial tests in one or two countries are likely so as to better understand the business potential of Orange World.

According to the French Telecoms regulator Arcep, roaming costs charged to visitors amounted to nearly €500 million last year. The European Union has issued rules that are forcing operators to significantly lower their roaming charges over the coming years.

For more:
- see this Challenge article (translated via Google Translate)

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