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Using iPhone in Poland, which carrier to buy a SIM for? And other questions...

CashCache 4 | 12  
26 May 2009 /  #1
I am leaving for Poland in a few days. This will be the first time I will be wanting to use my iPhone while there. I think I have the unlocked part of this figured out, but I don't know what carrier to buy a SIM card for - or where to buy it.

I will be all over Poland for the next couple of months, so I want a solution that gives me the best coverage possible. Another thing is Data. How does this work with SIM cards. Can I just pre-pay for a data plan when I buy the SIM card?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

30 May 2009 /  #2
There is no problem using your iPhone with SIM card from Poland. You can buy some in stores around the airport (called "kiosk").

Names f

For prepaid and data (and phonecalls) IMO you can select between two best options:

1. "TakTak" - from EraGSM - cheap charges and wide coverage over the country;
2. "Play Fresh" - from Play - cheapest option on prepaid and internet, but 3G range and speed is best on large cities only. of course GSM range works wide country;

Data option is not an option :) This works perfectly after inserting SIM card into you Apple Phone. Some selections over the phone is available, but better way is call to technical support (number is available with any new SIM purchased in store).

TIP: With lot of prepaid's you can buy a plan for data transfer. For Data, (e.g. in "Play Fresh" prepaid cards) fee is charged at 100kb of used data.

Any kind of information about Data transfer, fees, is available with support - english is available of course.
OP CashCache 4 | 12  
31 May 2009 /  #3
Hi Mika,

Thanks for your response. I am in Poland now and picked up a sim card at a Plus kiosk before reading your message. Everything seems to be working great, but I am not sure how the data will work out. This sim card only cost about 10 zloty, so I am sure data will drain that pretty fast.

There is a Play kiosk in the same store (Real) that I go in all the time. I will go in there tomorrow and see if I can find out more about it. I'll take my wife this time so she can help translate ;-)

Thanks again...
alice - | 1  
1 Jun 2009 /  #4
best option at the moment in Poland is Play Mobile, pay as you go 30plm for ~ 2gb
1 Jun 2009 /  #5
CashCache - I take it you are from the UK & like me stuck using o2? I am PAYG and a trip to Poland is planned for July. I would love to hear anymore feedback from you as to how you got on with using your Iphone as i`m pretty annoyed having just found out how much o2 want to charge me to use mine. I mostly use it for MSN messenger, Skype, mail and the other great apps i`ve got! All feedback greatly appreciated, Dzięnkuję bardzo in advance.
OP CashCache 4 | 12  
5 Jun 2009 /  #6


I am having a great time using my iPhone here in Poland. I'm actually from the US and am using what's known as a Piggy Back Sim that allows me to use any sim card I want - Since iPhones in the US are locked to ATT I have to do this.

I stumbled into a Plus kiosk when I first got here and they got me up and running quickly. It may not be the cheapest, but I can't complain with the service I am getting - much better than I get while at home.

I started out with a SimPlus sim card - this worked well and is very cheap for minutes, but I found that I could use the iPlus sim card and pay a bit more for my talking minutes and have much cheaper data rates. I use more data than I do talk on the phone, so this was a great option for me.

I can't speak to ERA, TakTak, Orange or any other carrier here, but if I start to run low on Złoty, I may experiment with another carrier now that I know what questions to ask.

I am here until the middle of July, so I would love to hear your (or anyone else’s) experiences.

MJL 1 | 6  
7 Jun 2009 /  #7
. I'm actually from the US and am using what's known as a Piggy Back Sim that allows me to use any sim card I want - Since iPhones in the US are locked to ATT I have to do this.

Could you explain the piggy back SIM? I too am going to be in Poland with an ATT iphone and would like to use it without paying the huge fees. Is the original SIM card removed and replaced with a new one? I don't even see how to get at the SIM card in this phone.
7 Jun 2009 /  #8
Cześć CashCache,

Thanks for such a comprehensive reply, it`s very much appreciated but I`m afraid I also need an explanation of the piggy bank SIM as i`ve never heard of it. The iPlus sim card you mentioned sounds ideal as I too use more data than i talk (unless it`s on skype using wi-fi). How have you found the coverage? Lots of wi-fi hot spots?

What did you mean about not being able to speak to the carriers over there? I dont talk a lot on the phone but i would definitely need to be able i can find out which shop my wonderful girlfriend is occupying ;-). Thanks again! Dziękuję (spelt properly this time lol) bardzo!

You get to the sim with the white loop thing you got with your phone (it looks a bit like a speech bubble). On the top of your phone beside the headphone jack socket is a small pin size hole, which incidentally, if you lose said speech bubble (like me) is an ideal replacement.
OP CashCache 4 | 12  
8 Jun 2009 /  #9
JtheScot & MJL,

I am currently in Dzwirzyno (on the Baltic Sea) and everything is working great. I am staying (with my family) in a small little condo that does not get 3G speed, but it does get the Edge network with Plus. In fact, I am replying to this post using my laptop tethered to my iPhone. I am very happy with how this is working so far. From here we are headed to Germany and London, so I will continue to report if anyone is interested.

I will explain the piggy back Sim here:
AT&T locks the iPhone so the only carrier you can use is AT&T. They subsidies the cost of the phone when you buy it, so you can’t really blame them. However, they do not have service here in Europe, so I took it upon myself to find a solution. There are many ways to unlock your iPhone and allow ANY sim to work. I picked the easiest way and bought what is known as a “Piggy Back” sim card. I purchased mine from a company called This sim chip slips right under any new sim card you buy while abroad (such as my Plus sim card). You can find out the details of how it works by visiting their site. They are not the only game in town, but this is what I did and it has been working flawlessly since the beginning. A note of caution: these guys have horrible customer service. The product works great, but if you need support, Google is your best friend - not these guys.

MJL, you can take your ATT sim card out by pushing a paper clip through the little hole on the very top of the iPhone. All iPhones require a sim card and this is the place you change it.

As for Wi-Fi hotspots, you don’t really need them if you are able to get mobile service. I use my iPhone to connect my notebook to the internet all the time and find that I get no better speed on a traditional hotspot than I do if I can find a location with 3G speed. I have found a local café that has a hotspot that I will use once in a while, but for the most part, I use my iPhone to stay connected to my business and friends.

As I stated before: I am using iPlus and data is costing me PLN 0.03 per 100 KB. I am sure other carriers have even better pricing, but so far I have found Plus to be fantastic. I have been all over Poland and have had great service. The only place where it gets a little rough is on the train, but then again, I am supposed to be sleeping anyway ;-)

I will continue to report how this works for me if anyone is interested. So far my expectations have been blown away.

17 Jun 2009 /  #10


Once again thank you very much for all the info, it`s very much appreciated! Unfortunately (for you) i have more questions!

I`m sure you`re aware the new phone is coming out any day, i`ve just finished downloading the new update and i realized that it doesn`t say anything about the 3.0 update on that unlockediphone site you sent. Any idea if it`s still a good idea to get the "piggy back" sim now (and get updates?) or wait until they release the updated sim?

I hope you can answer or they update the page soon...we go in 3 weeks! I also hope you and your family are having a great time, thanks again for your help!

Na zdrowie & Slainte Mhath !!
deanwysocki 1 | 4  
27 Jun 2009 /  #11
Isnt true that you cant get 3g connections in poland using an iphone? Did the net work immediately or did you have to program some special information?

Has anyone had luck with a blackberry?
13 Aug 2009 /  #12
After reading all the posts and going to the stores, Play, Era and Plus I decided to go with Plus. So far, no problem on my jailbroken and unlocked iPhone 3GS. In total it cost me about $20 dollars to get 250mb data and 100 minutes. I use a lot more data so I don't care much about the voice minutes. With 250mb I can use Skype over 3G/Edge to call back to the States.

I did try a Play sim but it isn't letting me on data for some reason. Going back to the store and find out why.

My suggestion..... Whatever you go with do NOT leave a store without them fully programming the sim/phone for the package you want to buy. I bought two sims for wife and my iPhone. Hers was given the proper credit but mine ran out of data after only 10mb of usage. I went back to the Plus store and they were very friendly and corrected it to 250mb.

Natiis - | 1  
13 Oct 2009 /  #13
hi. I have another question. i leave in Poland for whole my life and i wolud like to buy iphone 3gs the new one. but i dont want to but here because it's so expensive. so i've already found i phone in USA in apple website. but i am not sure that if i buy it will be working in my country?? or i should to use first card from At&T and after from my country for example Play Fresh?? or i can buy in this website unlocked this mobile? i hope you understand my question and help me.... Best regarts Natiis
12 Nov 2009 /  #14
Hi Nattis,

In order to use an iphone from any other country you will need to unlock it. This process is only possible after "Jailbreaking" the iphone. After the phone has been unlocked using Blackrain or another similar tool you will need to use Ultrasn0w inorder to unlock for use on Polish carriers.

The problem at the moment is that the latest firmware is not currently unlockable with ultrasn0w. The thing to check before buying any iphone 3gs will be the baseband of the iphone. By the time you have done all this you will probably find its easier to buy one there.

Anyway, I hope this helps a little.

milmber - | 9  
12 Nov 2009 /  #15
Actually, "blackrain" does unlock the latest iphone firmware and baseband so that any sim can be used in the iphone.....
Ajb 6 | 232  
12 Nov 2009 /  #16
"blackrain" does unlock the latest iphone firmware

No blackrain is a jail breaking program.... you have to use ultrasn0w to unlock

I am one fo them unlucky ones who upgraded their firmware without thinking and am stuck with a Iphone which im using as a egg timer! lol
13 Dec 2009 /  #17
Hi folks

I live in Scotland, but am a frequent visitor to Krakow, about 4 times a year, where I have a house. I currently have a Polish mobile with an orange sim on pay as you go.

I have just upgraded to an iphone on the UK provider O2. The good news is that O2 are now officially unlocking iphones, and after applying last week, they sent me an sms telling me my iphone was now unlocked. Great news.

The question now is, the same as the original post, to which I see there are mixed responses, but wondered what the current position was, ie - What is the best Pay as you go or prepaid sim to use for data and voice whilst I am `home` in Krakow for 2 week at the end of December?

Am I better ditching the Orange SIM? or adding a data package? or start with a new provider?

Many thanks



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