Shuhei Kagawa

How to set up and top up a prepaid SIM in Germany

Oct 3, 2016

I have moved to Berlin from Tokyo a week ago. I may or may not write about it later, but I'm going to share more practical stuff today.

Since I arrived in Germany, I bought two prepaid SIM cards and set up a SIM-free iPhone and a MiFi (mobile WiFi router). It was harder than I thought because I had never used a prepaid SIM before and most of official instructions were in German. I'd like to share what I did for people like me.

This post is a complement to Germany | Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki | Fandom powered by Wikia. If you haven't read it yet, read it first.

Initial setup

After reading the wiki, I chose O2 as a network provider because of its rate and availability in Berlin's subway.

  1. Go to a large electronics store like Saturn.
  2. Find an O2 prepaid SIM.
  3. Bring it to an O2 representative in the store and ask her to activate it.
  4. Go to the casher and pay for the SIM card.
  5. Insert the SIM card into your phone/MiFi. You can ask shop staffs to open SIM card slot.
  6. Unlock the SIM card. PIN is on the white card that contains the SIM card. Also its phone number (Rufnummer) is on the same card.

Topping up

You can top up your SIM via a call, O2 mobile app or O2 website. I used O2 website because I couldn't make a call with my MiFi and I don't have German AppStore's account. The website is only in German. So it's convenient to use Google Chrome's translation feature.

  1. Go to a drug store chain like dm and buy one of O2 top-up cards like €20. They are usually put next to other prepaid cards like Apple, Google Play, Amazon, Zalando, etc. The actual top-up code is printed on your receipt. Or you can buy a top-up code online at Thanks, Yan Yankowski for letting me know!
  2. Sign up for O2 website.
  3. Enter your phone number (Mobilfunknummer), preliminary password (Vorläufiges Kennwort) and new password (Neues Kennwort). The preliminary password is notified via SMS. If it's for your MiFi, you can access to the MiFi's admin page and read SMS.
  4. Go to Recharge tab (Mein O2 -> Mein Prepaid -> Guthaben & Aufladen) and enter your top-up card's code.
  5. (Optional) Choose your favorite plan (Tarif & SIM-Karte).