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- How do I check the credit balance of my prepaid plan?
- Do I have to pay when I get called or when I receive SMS?
- What does a German mobile phone number look like?
- Does it cost me something if I call someone but the person doesn’t pick up?
- Do I need a German bank account?
- Which carrier should I choose?
- Is my phone compatible with the German mobile network?
- How can I reach customer service or a support hotline?
How do I check the credit balance of my prepaid plan?
In order to check your current balance, just type the following code and press the call button. Your credit balance will be shown on your display. Checking your balance doesn’t cost you anything.
Vodafone: *100# or *106#
If you prefer an audio balance check, call these numbers:
O2: 5667, then select “2”
Do I have to pay when I get called or when I receive SMS?
No, when someone is calling you on your German phone plan in Germany or sends you SMS you don’t have to pay anything. Receiving calls and SMS (text messages) is free. However, when you travel outside of Germany you will have to pay a redirection fee for phone calls (SMS are still free to receive). Within the European Union this fee is 0,06€ per minute (by law).
What does a German mobile phone number look like?
Mobile phone numbers and landline numbers look different in Germany and have different logics. A mobil phone number consists of the country code (+49), the carrier code (e.g. 176) and your personal number (12345678):
+49 176 12345678
When being in Germany, you can leave out the country code and just put a zero in front of the carrier code:
Most of the times you can identify someone’s carrier by looking at their carrier code (doesn’t work when they moved their number from one carrier to the other), you can find an overview of the carrier codes >here<.
A landline number will have a city code instead of the carrier code. You can find the complete list of all city codes >here<.
Does it cost me something if I call someone but the person doesn’t pick up?
It depends. If you call someone and get to voicemail, you will be charged for at least one minute.
However, when you just ring a few times without getting to voicemail, you won’t have to pay anything. This means merely “ringing” people is free (if they don’t pick up).
Do I need a German bank account?
No, for most prepaid plans, you don’t need a German bank account. However, a postpaid plan requires a German bank account. Some prepaid plans also require a German bank account to pay for the initial fee.
If you don’t have one, you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be able to help you. You can see all plans that don’t require a German bank account >here<.
Which carrier should I choose?
We have put together a nice overview of the German carriers and which one to chose right here.
Is my phone compatible with the German mobile network?
Usually, most smartphones support various network frequencies and are compatible with the German network. However, if you are unsure, you could check your phone’s supported network frequency bands.
GSM (2G): Voice calls and text messages; some very slow data transmission as well.
UMTS (3G): Voice call and data transmission; speed usually up to 384 kbit/s.
LTE (4G): Voice call and data transmission; speed usually up to 100 MBit/s.
For GSM service in Germany, your phone needs to support the FDD frequency bands 3 (1800-MHz) and 8 (900-MHz).
For UMTS, Germany uses band 1 (2100-MHz) like most of the world (except USA).
For German LTE data service, your phone needs to support the LTE-FDD bands 1 (2100-MHz), 3 (1800-MHz), 7 (2600-MHz) and 20 (800-MHz). If some of the bands are not supported by your phone, your connection speed will probably not reach the usual LTE speed and will be limited.
For example, Vodafone and O2 use band 20 (800-MHz) in rural areas as well as cities.
Deutsche Telekom (Congstar) also uses band 20 (800-MHz) on the countryside, but mostly makes use of band 3 (1800-MHz) in cities. Deutsche Telekom (Congstar) also started using band 8 (900-MHz) for LTE, while Vodafone and O2 still use that frequency band for GSM.