Skip to content

Mobile Phone Rates in Germany (2023)

Expatrio 2024-02-15
Mobile Phone Rates in Germany


Whether you’re moving to Germany to study or work, chances are you will need a mobile phone contract or prepaid SIM. Mobile rates in Germany are competitively priced and it’s easy to make savings by doing some research. The right option depends on the length of time you plan on living in Germany for and how much you are likely to use your phone for calls, texting, or mobile data (Internet).

This article will introduce the contract/SIM options, rates, and contract providers and will give you some tips for choosing the ideal option for you and saving money on your mobile phone use in Germany.


There are three basic options for using a mobile phone in Germany

The main two are:

  • a mobile phone contract, which comes with a new phone, or
  • a prepaid SIM which you will need to buy a new or used phone for.

A less common option in Germany is a SIM-only deal, whereby customers pay a monthly amount for a set number of calls, texts and data but the contract doesn’t include a mobile phone. It’s important to note that unlike many European countries, standard mobile phone contracts are 24 or 48 months in Germany.


What if I only want a SIM card in Germany?

All the major network providers, and many smaller ones, sell prepaid SIM cards. You will need to buy your own mobile phone and make sure it is ‘unlocked’ so that you can put a SIM from any network provider into the phone.

Unlike most countries where a prepaid SIM can be purchased and used by anyone, in Germany, you need to provide your city registration certificate (Anmeldungsbestätigung) and verify your identity with an identity card or passport to buy a prepaid SIM card. You will also be asked to sign a contract (Vertrag) when you purchase your first prepaid SIM card in Germany.


How much data do I need?

The answer to this question depends on how you use your phone. If you prefer to be connected to the internet at all times, you will need a mobile contract with a large data allowance.

You can get away with a smaller data allowance if you only use your phone for calls and texts and the odd bit of mobile internet browsing.




All three choices are available with most mobile internet plans: Mobile Internet Only, Telephone Bundles, and Smartphone Bundles (which includes mobile internet and phone calls).


Prepaid SIM

If you decide to buy a prepaid SIM, make sure you allow for buying top-ups (minutes/texts/data) in your monthly budget. The other option is to sign up to a SIM-only pay monthly deal, which may be easier to budget for.


Postpaid mobile phone contract in Germany

If you want a mobile phone contract with a new mobile phone, you have two choices: with or without a mobile phone. The latter is called SIM-only. In both cases, your monthly mobile phone bill will be automatically deducted from your bank.

Is prepaid or contract best?

A contract usually works out cheaper if you’re likely to be in Germany for more than two years, as the best rates are found on the longer contracts.

The longer contracts usually offer the latest phone models as part of the deal and more data allowances. However, those who are not going to be in Germany for as long as two years may be better suited to a prepaid SIM or SIM-only deal.

SIM-only contracts

Although these are much rarer in Germany than in other countries, there are now a few SIM-only monthly deals around too, where customers pay a monthly amount for data/texting/calls but use their own phone. This can be a very low-cost option, especially if you already own an unlocked phone and don’t intend on using huge amounts of data.

Can I use my cell phone in Germany?

You may well be able to use your existing cell phone and use it with a new SIM, provided the phone is unlocked. You can do this with a SIM-only deal or by buying a prepaid SIM card.

It is not advisable to use your existing home country contract as your call rates are likely to be very high for both you and people trying to contact you (unless you are from another EU country which allows for EU roaming rates).


Prepaid SIM

A prepaid SIM can save a lot of money in comparison to a contract if you are going to make few calls and use web-based messaging apps such as WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family. The best (and cheapest) prepaid SIMs on offer can usually be found in discount supermarkets as well as late-night minimarts (Spätis) and electronics stores. 


Rates overview

How much is a mobile phone rate in Germany?

The mobile phone market in Germany is competitive, which means it’s easy to get low rates if you shop around. Average mobile phone rates in Germany for 24 month contracts range from 15 € to 30 €. You can reduce this cost to around €10 to €15 if you have a phone already or buy a second hand one and sign up to a SIM-only contract. The amount a prepaid SIM will cost you will depend on how much you use your phone and whether you make use of WiFi to send web based messages and make Skype calls.

Affordable Tariffs with Contracts:

(Disclaimer: Current prices as of September 2023. These prices may change over time)


If you are under 28 (GigaMobil Young S with 15 GB data volume): 15 GB for €23.99 per month in a 24-month contract plus a connection price of €39.99. Includes unlimited calls to all German networks.

If you are above 28 (GigaMobil S with 24 GB data volume): 24GB for €31.99 per month in a 24-month contract and no connection price. Includes call to all German networks.

O2 (Telefonica):

If you are under 29 (Mobile S Boost with 8GB data volume): 8GB for €17.99 per month in a 24-month contract plus a connection price of €39.99. Includes unlimited calls to all German networks.

If you are above 29 (Mobile S Boost with 8GB data volume): 8GB for €27.99 per month in a 24-month contract plus a connection price of €39.99. Includes unlimited calls to all German networks.

Deutsche Telekom:

If you are under 28 (MagentaMobileS with 20GB ): 20GB for €24.95 per month plus in a 24-month contract plus connection price €39.95.

If you are above 28 (MagentaMobileS with 5GB ):  5GB for €34.95 per month plus a 24-month warranty plus connection price €39.95.

Prepaid- Affordable Tariffs without Contracts:


  • 4GB (CallYa Allnet Flat S)): €9.99 for four weeks
  • 8GB (CallYa Allnet Flat M): €14.99 for four weeks


  • 6GB (O2 Prepaid S): €9.99 for four weeks
  • 12GB ( O2 Prepaid M): €14.99 for four weeks

Deutsche Telekom:

  • 3GB (Magenta Mobile Prepaid M): €9.95 per month
  • 7GB (Magenta Mobile Prepaid XL): €24.95 per month

SIM-only contracts:

  • Simply (from €6.99 per month)
  • WhatsApp SIM from Eplus (from €10 per month)

Prepaid SIM pay as you go phone plans:

What is the best mobile network in Germany?

Although there are many companies that you can sign up to or buy a SIM from, there are only a few that actually provide the network services. The smaller companies rent the airspace from one of the main network providers, either Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom or Telefonica O2.

The best for coverage and quality is considered to be Deutsche Telekom, especially for those moving to small towns or rural areas. However, the most competitively priced deals and fastest speeds are offered by Vodafone.


Keeping an eye out for new deals

This is a highly competitive and changing market, so it’s worth shopping around and keeping an eye out for new deals. Once you sign a one or two year contract, its pricey to get out of it, but if you start with a prepaid SIM and wait for a great deal, you can end up saving money.


Conclusion and Tips

How to get a mobile phone contract in Germany?

The process of getting a mobile phone contract in Germany is fairly straightforward, but have your residents permit, visa, and ID ready as you may need to provide some or all of these. You can easily organize a mobile contract online, too.

A mobile network provider may want to run a credit check on you, which may be a problem if you have just moved. One solution is to buy a cheap phone with a prepaid sim until you have built up a credit score, but this may not be necessary.

Some further tips include:

  • Look out for new providers such as Tarifhaus (Telefonica O2 network) that offer six-month contracts instead of 24- or 48-month ones.
  • The major network providers all offer discounts or reduced tariffs for students aged under 28. Be sure to show proof of your age and student ID to take advantage of this discount.
  • Both SIM-only contacts and normal monthly contracts in Germany tend to come with less data allowance than contracts in other countries. Be careful not to use your phone to stream TV programs or films if you are not using WiFi.
  • A good broadband deal along with a low cost phone contract or prepaid SIM is usually a cheaper option than signing a phone deal with unlimited data but having no WiFi. Phone deals with unlimited data are often very expensive in Germany.

About Expatrio

We're building the best solution for internationals coming to Germany.


This might also be of interest to you

Costs of living in Germany

Costs of Living in Germany

Anyone planning on moving to or studying in Germany needs to know exactly how much it is going to cost to live there. Part of planning this exciting...

A calendar showing german months

German Months

Fundamental to learning any language is becoming familiar with how to talk about days, weeks, months, and years. Mastering how to communicate about...

Schloss Neuschwanstein im Winter

15 Best Places To Visit In Germany [Guide]

Germany is a fascinating country with an abundance of attractions that draw tourists from all over the world. From the vibrant city life of Berlin to...

A german passport

Visa for Germany

A visa is necessary for many individuals moving to Germany to live, work, or study. There are several different types of visa in Germany, and it’s...

A church in front of a forest in Germany

Tourism in Germany

Germany Tourism: Why Germany is one of the top tourist attractions in the world Visiting Germany's most famous cities is a top priority for many. But...

Insurances in Germany

Insurances in Germany

“Germans have insurance for everything” - that might sound superficial but it is true. German insurance system offers a wide choice of ways to ensure...

finance and banking in germany

Finance and Banking in Germany

Want to learn all about banking in Germany? Look no further.

A group of people walking in a german walking street

10 Tips for Living in Germany

Moving to Germany means getting the chance to live in one of the most organized and progressive countries on Earth, where you can enjoy a high...

About Germany facts

About Germany

Germany, or the Federal Republic of Germany as it is known officially, is a central European country attracting thousands of international students...