Are you planning a trip to France and looking for the best SIM card or eSIM option? Getting a local SIM card or eSIM is highly recommended to stay connected with mobile data and make affordable local calls during your France visit. In this detailed guide, we will provide everything you need to know about using Bouygues mobile network and their SIM cards or eSIMs in France as a tourist.
Table of Contents
1. Quick facts about Bouygues
Bouygues is a French multinational conglomerate operating in over 80 countries worldwide. Here are some quick facts about Bouygues Telecom:
- Bouygues Telecom got permission to operate in 1994 and started its mobile network services in 1996.
- Bouygues Telecom is the 3rd largest mobile network operator in France with over 14 million subscribers.
- It has excellent population-wide 4G LTE coverage and rapidly growing 5G availability.
- Bouygues offers prepaid SIM cards, tourist eSIMs as well as long-term resident SIM and eSIM options.
- Prepaid SIM and eSIM options are available for short-term tourists with flexible data packages.
- Bouygues network provides high-speed and reliable mobile data all over France.
In summary, Bouygues is a large diversified French conglomerate with leading positions in construction, telecoms, media, and transportation infrastructure worldwide.
2. Bouygues Coverage and Speed in France
As one of the major mobile network operators in France, Bouygues provides telecommunications services across the country. Here is more on Bouygues’ coverage and speed in France:
2.1. Bouygues coverage in France
Bouygues has 98% population coverage with its network in France. It has extensive 4G LTE availability and fast-expanding 5G coverage in major cities and tourist areas:
You will get a strong Bouygues mobile signal and high-speed data connectivity even in smaller towns and rural regions. Only in very remote mountainous areas, you may face occasional coverage gaps:
- Population Coverage: Bouygues Telecom’s 4G network is available to 99.8% of the French population as of May 2023. This is on par with Orange and SFR which both have 99.8% population coverage.
- Outdoor 4G Availability: The percentage of time Bouygues subscribers can access a 4G connection outdoors is 93%. This is slightly lower than Orange at 94.2% but higher than SFR at 92.7%.
- Indoor 4G Availability: Bouygues customers can access 4G signals indoors 82.8% of the time. This is lower than Orange’s indoor availability of 85.3% but higher than SFR’s 81.8%.
- 4G Video Experience: Bouygues has a 71.7 out of 100 Video Experience rating for its 4G network. It is less than Orange’s 74.3, but more than SFR’s 68.5.
In conclusion, Bouygues-Telecom has wide 4G coverage all over France both outdoor and indoor, but its speeds and availability are a bit behind market leader Orange in terms of Opensignal report.
2.2. Bouygues speed
Network speed and performance are among the top priorities of Bouygues Telecom to offer the best experience to its customers. Here are some key details about Bouygues Telecom’s speeds across its mobile and fixed-line networks:
- 4G Download Speed: OpenSignal data from May 2023 shows that Bouygues users enjoy an average 4G download speed of 41.2Mbps.
- 5G Speeds: One of the first companies to deploy 5G in France, Bouygues. It averages 5G download speeds of 300 -400 Mbps with highs over 1 Gbps in specific areas.
- Fiber Optic Speeds: Bouygues provides fixed broadband through FTTH/Fiber at download speeds of 300Mbps up to 1Gbps.
- Speed Testing Results: Additionally, other independent speed tests average Bouygues 4G speeds between 30-50Mbps depending on location. As of August 2022, its network speeds were ranked 50th fastest globally according to the Speedtest Global Index.
- Network Upgrades: The company is always enhancing its infrastructural facilities through technology such as 5G, fiber rollout, and fiber-to-the-antenna. This increases speeds periodically but access is conditional and varies with location.
- Factors Affecting Speeds: In the real world, speeds are often site-dependent. These depend on the actual location, level of network congestion, device, and the number of users on any given day. The speeds of Bouygues are usually faster than the national mean.
In summary, although Bouygues offers similar speeds as those of the market leader Orange, it is slightly lagging in comparison to Orange’s 4G and fiber broadband average speeds.
3. Bouygues connectivity options for travelers to France
Bouygues Telecom offers both SIM cards and eSIM connectivity options for tourists visiting France:
|Prepaid SIM card||- 30 GB data and unlimited calls in France and Europe - No contract or activation fee - Can be ordered online or bought in France||- Requires a compatible unlocked phone - May not work in some remote areas - May have limited validity periods|
|eSIM card||- Instant activation on a compatible device - No need for a physical SIM card or device swap - Various plans to choose from||- Requires a compatible device with eSIM technology - May not work in some countries or regions - May have a limited validity period|
|WiFi hotspot||- Free access to over 16 million WiFi hotspots in France - Unlimited internet access with portable WiFi device rental - Can be used with multiple devices||- Requires a Bouygues sim card or eSIM card for free WiFi access - May have limited coverage or speed in some areas - May have additional cost or deposit for portable WiFi device rental|
For most travelers visiting France, purchasing a prepaid SIM card rather than using an eSIM. Prepaid SIMs have wider device compatibility, may provide better coverage in remote areas, are easier to activate and manage, offer longer validity periods before expiration, and are better value for typical tourist trips lasting 1-2 weeks.
While eSIMs work well for short targeted visits, the prepaid SIM card option provides more reliability and flexibility overall given the varied needs of most leisure travelers exploring France. In summary, the prepaid physical SIM card is the premier connectivity choice for most tourists.
4. Best Bouygues SIM cards for tourists & cost
Here are the best Bouygues prepaid SIM cards for travelers to France:
|Type||Plan||Cost||Data||Calls and texts||Validity||Requirements|
|Prepaid SIM card||My European SIM||~ 40 USD||30 GB in France and Europe||Unlimited in France and Europe||30 days||Compatible unlocked phones|
|eSIM card||My European eSIM||~ 20 USD||15 GB in Europe||Unlimited in Europe||30 days||Compatible device with eSIM technology|
Overall, the Bouygues plans assessed offer travelers to France solid value, flexibility, and peace of mind in terms of internet access during their travels. Between the options, the traditional prepaid SIM provides better compatibility, simplicity of use, and a small cost saving. For these reasons, the prepaid SIM is the better primary option for most tourists, though the eSIM could work well as a backup plan if needed. Both are good solutions from Bouygues.
5. Does Bouygues France support eSIM?
Yes, Bouygues Telecom launched the eSIM service in 2020 and it has steadily expanded eSIM availability.
Currently, Bouygues prepaid eSIM profile can be purchased online by tourists visiting France. However, there are fewer data bundle options compared to their physical SIM cards.
Bouygues postpaid plans also support eSIM for long-term residents. You need to show proof of address in France for postpaid eSIM.
All iPhones after the iPhone XR and newer Android phones support eSIM activation. So you can use Bouygues France eSIM if you have a compatible phone.
To take advantage of a fast 4G/5G network with eSIM while traveling in France, consider purchasing a France eSIM plan from francesim.com. Affordable data packages lasting 3-30 days that can be instantly downloaded to your compatible device. Visit francesim.com today to check your device compatibility and find the perfect eSIM plan for your France trip.
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Get 1-3GB per day for 7 days in France for just $6.50 with francesim.com’s France eSIM 7 Days plan. Buy now!:
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6. Where can you buy a Bouygues SIM card and eSIM?
Travelers visiting France have convenient options for accessing Bouygues’ reliable connectivity by purchasing prepaid SIM cards or eSIM profiles both before and during their trip.
6.1. Where to buy Bouygues SIM for France
You can purchase a Bouygues Telecom prepaid SIM card:
- Direct from Bouygues Telecom in France: You can purchase a SIM starter pack directly from Bouygues retail stores or customer service centers located throughout France. Look for stores near major airports and train stations. Find the store near you here.
- Bouygues SIM retailers online: Some third-party websites sell Bouygues SIM cards that can be delivered internationally. Make sure to choose a reputable retailer.
- Purchase at a French newsagent/tabac: Tobacco shops and press kiosks (tabacs) in France sell prepaid SIM cards from all major carriers like Bouygues. They may be more convenient to find than a carrier store.
- Airport: Many French airports have stores or carrier kiosks near arrival areas selling prepaid starter packs from Bouygues and other networks. Check for places accepting cash/cards.
- Order online for delivery in France: You can order a Bouygues SIM card online from their website and have it sent to a French address for activation upon arrival. Check delivery timeframes.
The most convenient way is to buy from francesim.com for an easy eSIM option or purchase directly from a Bouygues location or Tabac when you land in France for the fastest activation of a local SIM.
6.2. Where to buy France Bouygues eSIM
Bouygues prepaid tourist eSIM profile can be purchased:
- Direct from Bouygues: Bouygues is a major mobile network operator in France. You can purchase an eSIM plan directly from their website. The plans are in French but you can usually figure it out or use an online translation tool.
- Amazon France: Amazon.fr sells Bouygues eSIM plans that you can activate online. Search for “Bouygues eSIM” on their site.
- Telecom eSIM: This site allows you to purchase eSIM plans from various French carriers including Bouygues. They deliver the activation codes digitally.
For tourists, it’s best to get Bouygues France eSIM online before departure or buy a France eSIM after reaching France.
7. How to activate Bouygues France SIM and Bouygues eSIM
Once you’ve purchased a Bouygues eSIM plan from Francesim.com, following these simple steps will ensure easy activation of your cellular data connection on the Bouygues network everywhere in France:
7.1. How to use Bouygues France SIM card
- Get the standard SIM card. It may come with a pre-installed plan.
- Insert the Bouygues SIM card into your unlocked phone.
- Turn on mobile data and make calls.
- If SIM is not activated, call 614 or check SMS to activate.
- Use the MyBouygues app to recharge and manage SIM.
7.2. How to activate Bouygues France eSIM
Follow the steps below for Bouygues prepaid tourist eSIM:
- Purchase Bouygues eSIM profile online and get the activation code.
- On your phone, turn on WiFi then go to the eSIM installation section.
- Enter the activation code to install the Bouygues France eSIM profile.
- Follow the prompts to activate your eSIM and reboot your phone.
- Bouygues eSIM will be ready for use.
- Use the MyBouygues app to recharge and manage eSIM.
Both Bouygues SIM and eSIM are easy to set up directly on your device. You can then use mobile data, make calls, and send SMS in France.
8. France Bouygues Call & SMS rates
Bouygues Prepaid SIM card has the following rates after using up your bundled international minutes:
|Local calls (within France)||~ 0.35 USD per minute calls calls|
|Calls to EU countries||~ 0.50 USD per minute|
|Texts (SMS) within France||~ 0.10 USD per SMS|
|Texts (SMS) to EU countries||~ 0.30 USD per SMS|
Receiving calls and texts is free in France. EU roaming calls are charged per minute (no per-second billing).
9. Useful USSD codes for Bouygues France SIM/eSIM
Here are some useful Bouygues USSD codes to check account balance and other info:
|Information||Code to Check|
Enter these codes directly on the phone dial pad to get relevant info. No need for data or SMS balance.
10. How to top-up Bouygues France SIM/eSIM
You can recharge your Bouygues SIM card or eSIM using the following methods:
- Online via MyBouygues app using an international credit card
- At any Tabac shop show number and pay cash
- Vouchers bought online and enter code on the MyBouygues app
You can also buy French Bouygues top-up vouchers on recharge.com.
11. Alternatives to France Bouygues
Some alternatives to consider instead of Bouygues in France:
- Orange Holiday SIM – The most popular prepaid SIM for tourists
- SFR Tourist SIM – Fast 5G coverage, good for cities
- Free Mobile SIM – Cheapest base rates, limited 4G speed
- francesim.com – Easiest eSIM option, daily plans
Do your research based on coverage needs and required data amounts. Bouygues overall provides the best balance of network quality and prepaid plans.
12. FAQs about Bouygues in France
Does Bouygues have good coverage in France?
Yes, Bouygues has over 99% population coverage in France with extensive 4G and growing 5G availability. You will get good Bouygues signal in cities and most rural areas.
Is Bouygues SIM card easy to get in France?
Their prepaid SIM card can be purchased online and shipped globally or bought at Paris CDG and Orly airports. The easiest option is to order it online before your France trip.
Does Bouygues allow tethering and hotspots?
Yes, standard tethering and hotspot usage are allowed with Bouygues France SIM cards and eSIM. You can connect to other devices easily.
How to refill or top-up Bouygues SIM in France?
You can conveniently top-up your Bouygues SIM/eSIM directly via their MyBouygues app using an international credit card.
Does Bouygues SIM work in all of Europe?
Bouygues SIM cards and eSIM come with standard EU roaming. So you will have coverage and usage throughout Europe.
13. Final words
The guide you have been reading is, therefore, the ultimate resource for utilizing Bouygue mobile SIM cards and eSIM when traveling in France. Bouygues Telecom has wide high-speed coverage, good prepaid plans, and is very easy to activate. They allow you to order their tourist SIM or eSIM just before boarding a flight and stay connected during the entirety of your trip in France.