On my trip to Denmark in 2006 I used a pre-paid Sonofon SIM in my unlocked Nokia N70 to get myself a local number in Copenhagen and the ability to send and receive SMS. On my return trip in 2007 I decided to try a pre-paid SIM from Telia. This was an improvement over the Sonofon SIM because it offered access to GPRS data, which Sonofon didn't. This page has some more information on how I obtained the SIM, and what it cost.
Purchasing a SIM
I purchased my SIM for 99 DKK (about $20 Canadian) from the Telia outlet at the Copenhagen Central Station. The purchase was quick and easy: the salesperson spoke English, I didn't need to provide any identification, and I was in and out in 5 minutes. Note that if you have a non-Danish credit card you'll have to pay in cash, as they cannot process credit card transactions for international cards.
While every pre-paid SIM I'd used to this point had a PIN number that needed to be entered when the phone "booted up" with the SIM card inserted, the Telia SIM didn't: it just started working (it appears that the default PIN on all Telia pre-paid SIMs is 1234, which you can change). The telephone number itself was pre-printed on the back of the pre-paid SIM package.
I never got around to figuring out how to check the pre-paid balance from the phone. However after my first outgoing call I received an SMS from Telia that gave me a password that I could use to check my balance on the web at the Telia website. To do this:
- Visit the Telia Mobil page.
- Click on Abonnementer in the left-hand sidebar.
- Enter your mobile number and the password that was sent to you.
- Click on the Følg dit forbrug link for your balance.
Here's what my balance looked like:
This appears to tell me that I've used the entire 99,99 DKK balance up (which was true -- I could no longer make class nor send SMS), and that I'd used the balance as follows:
- 34,27 DKK on data charges (checking email, using the web)
- 63,10 DKK sending SMS messages (mostly to Plazes and Jaiku)
- 2,62 DKK on voice calls
Clicking on any of the pink links gives more details on each of the data, SMS and voice charge amounts.
The phone will roam on other European network (or at least in Germany, which is where I tested this), but the charges when roaming are a killer: I spent most of the 63,10 DKK on SMS charges while in Germany, where outgoing SMS cost 3,50 DKK (about 68 cents Canadian) as opposed to the 0,35 DKK (about 7 cents Canadian) they cost inside Denmark.
It didn't appear as though I needed to do anything other than selecting the pre-configured Telia Internet access point on my phone to use email, browse the web, etc. Data rate was, I think, 0,05 DKK per KB, which is very reasonable. I never looked up the outgoing SMTP server for sending email; I imagine that Telia has one available.