Using SIM Card of Germany is easier and cheaper in comparison with using your home SIM Card. If you are coming from EU state and are staying temporarily in Germany, it may be logical to use your home SIM Card but for long stay, it is recommended to get a new SIM Card from Germany.
What types of SIM-Card are available in Germany?
Prepaid SIM Card
This type of SIM Card can be used when you load or pay money as credit into your SIM Card. Based on the money you have deposited in your account, you can use the internet, telephone calls and text messaging. There are different network providers that offer this option. Some networks also provide international services and pre-paid packages for a fixed fee that based on target of your calls and usage, you can choose and pay. The services could be open ended which you need to load money again when the credit is used up, or could be based on a defined service for defined time. Hence, when your time or your service is ended, you can load credit again. In compare to using a network based on contract, this system offer you more freedom and control on your use of services, you can even stop to load money or to use if you travel outside of Germany.
You can get a prepaid SIM Card from many stores in Germany including supermarkets. To get the SIM Card you do not need to provide any financial proof or capability. You pay for the SIM Card cheap, register it and based on your money, will use it. For registration of the SIM Card you need to verify your identity via your ID or passport.
A Post-Paid SIM Card is a kind of telecom service that you receive based on a contract and fixed monthly payments. The contract determines your local and international telephone calls, number of text messaging and internet usage. The term of contracts are different while normally the contract providers look for long term commitment by their customers. Contracts could be offered for one or two years term without exit possibility or with possibility to terminate by a three months notice.
Often, these types of contracts are offered with a new set of cell phone, which you basically pay off per month and is already included in the monthly price.
Verification of your identity will take place upon concluding the contract in the relevant shop. If you purchase the service online, you have to verify your identity online the same as for prepaid SIM Cards.
Identity Verification via Video Call
Via video: You must have a video call with the service provider (using your laptop or a smartphone) and show the SIM card and your personal ID into the camera, so that the service provider can verify it. Anytime you purchase a prepaid SIM card there will be instructions on the process as well (usually there is a link to the video identification on the website of the card provider). This method is not always possible for people who are not yet in Germany, since foreign passports may not be identified via the video call. In these cases you need to use the second method.
Identity Verification via Post
Under this system, you will receive a personal coupon, which you have to take with you, along with your personal identification and the SIM Card to the next branch of the German Postal Service (‘Deutsche Post‘). A Post employee will scan the coupon, verify your identity and transmit the information to the phone company, who will then activate your SIM Card.