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Telephone and Internet
Many operators offer deals of around €30 per month with free calls to all fixed telephones in France and several other countries, unlimited internet access and digital TV.
Warning: these deals often require a year-long commitment and you will need to open a French bank account.
Until you find your permanent home, you can always connect at Sciences Po.
Many free WiFi hotspots are available in major French cities, in parks or coffee shops.
Paris Wi-Fi (fr.) is a service that allows you to connect for free throughout the city. To use this service, go to one of the 260 municipal sites equipped with Paris Wi-Fi access (fr.).
The four main operators (Bouygues Telecom (fr.), Free (fr.), Orange (fr.) and SFR (fr.)) have many offers, some including the handset, pre-paid or plan. Other operators often have cheaper deals: Prixtel (fr.), La Poste Mobile (fr.), etc.
A Frenh bank account is a must for mobile phone plans but not necessary for pre-paid cards.
Until you open your bank account, you can buy a SIM card to use in your telephone. If you have a (third generation) handset that was bought overseas, you can still use it in Europe. For this you can buy prepaid credit recharges.
Before leaving your country, find out from your operator whether your phone can be used in France.
There are telephone cards that allow you to make international calls. You can find out about the best prices in tobacconists (tabacs), which usually stock them.