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OT: Purchasing prepaid sim card for mobile phone at Heathrow?

OT: Purchasing prepaid sim card for mobile phone at Heathrow?

Old Jul 17, 08, 3:05 am
  #1  
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OT: Purchasing prepaid sim card for mobile phone at Heathrow?

Does anyone know if any stores at T5 sell prepaid sim cards for mobile phones?
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Old Jul 17, 08, 3:35 am
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Hmmm, I'm not sure. I know in T3, there's a machine in arrivals (have had relatives use it upon arriving). There's a vodafone (iirc) shop in T5, but it's inside security, so if you're arriving and not transferring, it wouldn't work anyway. If no one responds in the next week, I'll try to remember to check.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:33 am
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You may want to check out the travel technology forum.

IIRC lots of advice about SIM's abroad.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 7:12 am
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If you have lead time this is a great option. Free incoming, cheap local, never expires.

http://www.mobell.com/sim/
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Old Jul 17, 08, 8:42 am
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There's a Vodafone store landside at the north end of the departures level in T5.
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Old Jul 17, 08, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by pjoalfa View Post
If you have lead time this is a great option. Free incoming, cheap local, never expires.

http://www.mobell.com/sim/
I wouldn't say those rates are particularly good for local/ mobile calls in the UK. Just as an example (not a recommendation, as I've never used a prepay mobile) you could get 15p/ min to any landline/ mobile here:

www.freshmobile.co.uk

All networks in the UK (and most in Europe, I believe) give you free incoming calls, so don't worry about that. Unlike in the US, the caller pays ( often handsomely) for calling a mobile phone.

If you need to know your new number in advance, and expiry is important, then Mobell might be worth a look. Otherwise there are better deals out there.

To the OP: you don't say whether you're arriving or transferring at T5. I'll assume your arriving. From the map, it looks like the Vodafone shop (#4) is by check-in, so it would be landside. Might be worth giving them ring:

Location: Terminal 5, Before Security
Opening Hours: 07:00 - 22:00
Telephone: +44 (0)7826 952 062
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Old Jul 17, 08, 4:05 pm
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Thanks for the information guys. I'm landing at T5 and Vodafone does have a prepaid type service so I'll check out the store once I land.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by cp_777 View Post
Thanks for the information guys. I'm landing at T5 and Vodafone does have a prepaid type service so I'll check out the store once I land.
There's a vending machine in the baggage hall with most of the operators in there.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 2:42 pm
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Originally Posted by cp_777 View Post
Thanks for the information guys. I'm landing at T5 and Vodafone does have a prepaid type service so I'll check out the store once I land.
Check what GSM your phone is capable of and if it is unlocked for other networks before you buy!

Vodafone GSM900
Orange GSM1800
O2 GSM900

Any other company is just using their capacity eg Virgin, Tmobile, 3mobile etc.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by globalste View Post
Check what GSM your phone is capable of and if it is unlocked for other networks before you buy!

Vodafone GSM900
Orange GSM1800
O2 GSM900

Any other company is just using their capacity eg Virgin, Tmobile, 3mobile etc.
I thought Three had their own network of masts and just used one other company which I think sadly is Orange (coverage for me sucks) for 2g when out of range of their 3g service.

Certainly being able to call the companies on their US 800 (freephone numbers) for nothing via Skype on my Three mobile has easily covered the cost of the phone not to mention the calls I've made abroad to friends etc.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 5:56 pm
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Was back in the UK in June and T-Mobile had one of the best pre-pay sim deals. 300 minutes any network & unlimited texts for 30 days for 20 pounds.

http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/mobil...u-go/boosters/
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Old Aug 24, 09, 7:56 pm
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Originally Posted by globalste View Post
Check what GSM your phone is capable of and if it is unlocked for other networks before you buy!

Vodafone GSM900
Orange GSM1800
O2 GSM900

Any other company is just using their capacity eg Virgin, Tmobile, 3mobile etc.
I know I've not been following the uk mobile industry much recently, but last time I checked T-mobile was still a real network operator? [GSM1800]

Just to clarify for the OP, while the many virtual networks may just be leasing capacity and do not own their own masts, I'm sure you all would agree that is certainly not a reason to discount them at all.

But obviously you need to checkout who they piggyback on to find out what they use/need.

The virtuals also come in various sizes, Virgin are so well established and abundant that they are not really viewed as a virtual operator in the publics eyes. But it goes all the way down in size, through ones tied to major supermarkets etc, all the way down to tiny outfits no one has heard of (then the caution should probably rise - they deal will probably not be that good as a smaller speculative player behind the venture.).

Also a bit unfair to categorize 3 as not having their own network?

[But, please note I've not really been following things for a couple of years!]
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Old Aug 24, 09, 8:13 pm
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I have a pre paid Talk Mobile Sim for my UK jaunts. The rates to call OS on your mobile from the UK are great. Local call rates are also good. You can get them at the vending machines in the arrivals hall or Carphone warehouse on the high street. Just make sure when you recharge they give you TALK mobile and NOT Talk Talk. 2 VERY different companies.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 8:25 pm
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On somewhat the same off-topic topic... does anyone know how long an unused top-up voucher for O2 should remain valid after purchase? I know the equivalent ones I buy in France for SFR show a date about 12 months from purchase, but the one I bought for O2 at the WH Smith in T5 doesn't show when it expires.

To clarify a bit, I had planned simply to use it immediately, but that was before I discovered my O2 prepaid SIM had gone into "unregistered" status, probably because I hadn't used it within whatever time frame you have to use such chips. I was on a connection back out (and wanted/needed to make a call) so that's why I never really had a chance to follow up with O2 or anyone else about the expired chip - had hoped I could just replace the chip next time I'm in UK, and still make use of the top-up credit then.
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Old Aug 24, 09, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Schultzois View Post
On somewhat the same off-topic topic... does anyone know how long an unused top-up voucher for O2 should remain valid after purchase?
Not sure how long but all my O2 sims PAYG have expired. I use a Tesco PAYG sim now as they don't expire even without topping them up.Tesco also don't charge for receiving text messages when abroad.
Virgin sims don't seem to expire either.

Sorry read that wrong.........vouchers? No idea.
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