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Mobile Phone Rates in Germany

For expats, buying a cell phone in Germany is probably the most convenient way to be contactable, especially during those first few weeks. However, the abundance of providers and services can be confusing. With our help you can learn about cell phones in Germany, about services, rates, and more.
There is a right cell phone plan for everybody in Germany!

Supplements

Most providers cover various deals: they offer long-term contracts as well as pre-paid cards with different conditions. However, not all providers in Germany offer such supplementary features as those described below.

Some mobile phone providers offer supplements with their long-term contracts. In addition to your mobile phone service, you can get an additional mobile Internet flat rate for your cell phone. These companies can also provide you with a so-called “surf-stick” that can be attached to your laptop’s USB port and connects it to the UMTS network. If you are not a frequent Internet user, this may be an alternative option to landline access in your flat. Some providers also offer landline flat rates, allowing you to reach landline connections for free. Whatever you choose, make sure to compare offers as some contracts can be quite expensive and increase your cost of living in Germany extensively.

Rates

There are quite a few mobile phone rates in Germany, and they change rather frequently. Consider signing up with the networks and providers your friends use because rates calls within one operator’s network are sometimes significantly cheaper. In general, you are charged between 9 and 29 cents per minute. The website telespiegel.de offers an up-to-date overview of rates for long-term contracts as well as pre-paid cards in Germany.

No matter whether you decide in favor of a pre-paid card or a subscription model, you need to register with your ID card and address. There are also some shops, e.g. The Phone House, that act as agents for different providers and can give you advice on offers that suit your specific needs. As the name suggests, pre-paid cards are paid in advance. When you sign a long-term contract, though, you receive a bill every month. Keep in mind that, despite low crime rates, cell phones are often stolen. To learn more about the matter, read our article on safety and crime in Germany.

Providers in Germany

The entire mobile phone network is owned by four companies (Netzbetreiber):

In addition to this, there are many other providers that rent their networks and sometimes offer better rates than the Netzbetreiber. This selection is by no means exhaustive:

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.