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Prepaid SIM - UK/Great Britain/England/Scotland/Wales

Prepaid SIM - UK/Great Britain/England/Scotland/Wales

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Old Jul 26, 17, 10:07 pm   -   Wikipost
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This is a stub Wiki for this thread - the idea is that any member can edit it to keep it up to date as a distillation of the best info from the thread.

3 - 200MB Free data SIM
3 - 15 pounds for 300 minutes, 3000 texts, and unlimited 3G data for a month (http://store.three.co.uk/view/searchSimOnly?tariff=112) The deal might not be dead but to buy the addon you need to switch WiFi off (!!) and open http://three.co.uk/my3 on your device as this unlinked support page says. Three customer service and store both says this doesn't work with tablets -- however customer service are idiots and doesn't know what is a tablet only knows phones and iPads (both phone and chat -- this is apparently company level). Tread carefully. Anyways, this method still worked on January 13, 2015.

Note the GBP15 all you can eat deal has now been pulled(Note 8/3/16: All in one with All you can eat data is now GBP25): http://www.threemicrosites.co.uk/AIO20B

If you don't want to buy a bundle or a plan, Three's flat rate for calls is now 3p per minute. The expiry time of one month or three months for topups has now been removed. So you pay only 3p per call minute for what you use.

Three's data is only 1p per MB, and you can buy packages (eg 500MB for 5 pounds). The packages ("add-ons") may not save money directly, but those data packages are eligible for use in "Feel at Home" countries (Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Indonesia, Macau, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Sweden, USA) at no extra charge. See http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-...se=EXT(EM11925)


EE: http://shop.ee.co.uk/price-plans/free-sim

Vodafone: https://freesim.vodafone.co.uk

O2: https://www.o2.co.uk/freesim/

giffgaff: www.giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/nfh (£5 free credit) or www.giffgaff.com/orders/free-sim (no free credit)

Three: https://www.three.co.uk/Support/Free_SIM/Order

How do I top up with an overseas card, or can I use PayPal?

Strangely, some firms insist that you must use a UK issued credit card to topup. Some do take PayPal:

Giffgaff
Vodafone

But it is not as prevalent as it should bein this day and age admittedly. There is a firm that some people have reported success with and they are:

https://www.mobiletopup.co.uk/

What frequencies are used in the UK?

There are a total of 5 different frequencies used in the UK used by the mobile networks to deliver their 2G, 3G and 4G mobile services.

800MHz (Band 20)
900MHz (Band 8)
1800MHz (Band 3)
2100MHz (Band 1)
2600MHz (Band 7)

Here's a chart for iPhones and which bands each model can use. http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

If you're not sure which model you have, look on the back of your iPhone or go into Settings-->General-->About-->Legal-->Regulatory

iphone 5 users note that: iPhone 5 cannot get 4G/LTE on the 800MHz or 2600MHz frequencies but it can on the 1800 frequency.

For other users there are a number of resources to check the frequency your phone supports including:

Global Certification Forum

As an example this is the data for a Samsung J1 Ace SM-J111F

GSMARENA

What frequencies do the different operators use?

Each operator in the UK utilises different frequencies to deliver their mobile networks with the core networks being EE, O2, Vodafone and Three. Then there are also operators, called mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), who utilise the backend of the core networks to offer their own services.

The frequencies used by the major UK networks are:

EE (2G) 1800MHz (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 1800MHz & 2600MHz

O2 (2G) 900MHz & 1800MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz

Vodafone (2G) 900MHz & 1800MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz & 2600MHz

Three (2G) N/A (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz & 1800MHZ



The frequencies used by UK’s MVNO’s are listed below:

Asda Mobile (2G) 1800MHz (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) N/A

BT Mobile (2G) 1800MHz (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz, 1800MHz & 2100MHz

iD Mobile (2G) N/A (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 1800MHz

Freedom Pop (2G) N/A (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz & 1800MHz

GiffGaff (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz

Lebara Mobile (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) N/A

LycaMobile (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz

TalkMobile (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) N/A

TalkTalk (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz

Tesco Mobile (2G) 900MHz (3G) 900MHz & 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz

The People’s Operator (2G) 1800MHz (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz, 1800MHz & 2100MHz

Virgin Mobile (2G) 1800MHz (3G) 2100MHz (4G LTE) 800MHz, 1800MHz, & 2600MHz

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Old Jun 13, 15, 7:40 am
  #241  
 
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
They now have adverts featuring a purple puppet.
Yes, an that's about the only difference I spot :-)
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Old Jun 14, 15, 9:57 am
  #242  
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In view of the discussion above about giffgaff, you can order a free giffgaff SIM card with £5 free credit to be sent to a UK address (e.g. a hotel) using this link. If you need a SIM card to be sent to a non-UK address, then you will need to create a giffgaff user account and ask someone in the giffgaff help forum to send you one.

Last edited by NFH; Jun 15, 15 at 1:54 am Reason: Reinstating referral link which complies with http://www.flyertalk.com/help/rules.php
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Old Jun 20, 15, 5:55 pm
  #243  
 
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Post Office has released a new sim. On EE network. 3G only, but GBP5 inclusive of 500MB data and 250 minutes is pretty good. 30 days validity Other packages are available. Can order free sim card directly on the Post Office website.

http://mobile.postoffice.co.uk/call-rates/bundles/
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Old Aug 4, 15, 4:04 am
  #244  
 
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Originally Posted by theworld View Post
Post Office has released a new sim. On EE network. 3G only, but GBP5 inclusive of 500MB data and 250 minutes is pretty good. 30 days validity Other packages are available. Can order free sim card directly on the Post Office website.

http://mobile.postoffice.co.uk/call-rates/bundles/
Just want to add my recent experience with the Post Office sim.

No problem ordering, arrived to my UK address within about 2 days of requesting. You get the sim and a top up card. You are told you can either top up online or at a post office.

Online top up via credit card is a minimum of 10GBP (not any use to me as I only wanted it for a month at 5GBP). Tried topping up at a few post offices (tried four in total) and none of them had heard of the sim card!! So total fail there.

Ended up just using a giff gaff sim.
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Old Aug 4, 15, 8:08 am
  #245  
 
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3:
- buy a SIM for 99p in a corner shop, phone shop etc
- at same place or a tesco Express etc buy a top up voucher with a value of at least 15 pounds
- insert SIM in device
- reboot
- call 444 from the phone to top up using the voucher number you bought
- enter the 16 digit voucher number when prompted
- when you get a confirmation that you have the credit on the account, wait on the line, dont hang up
- you get asked if you want to buy an add-on
- type 1, and then 1 again
- select the All-in-one 15 pound add on ( http://store.three.co.uk/view/searchSimOnly?tariff=1129
- you now have unlimited 4G data for the month, plus 300 minutes and 3000 texts ( http://www.three.co.uk/_standalone/P...=1220464365215)
- if you add on more money into your account before leaving the UK, you can also use the card while roaming in several other European countries for a flat rate per day
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Old Aug 10, 15, 9:56 pm
  #246  
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What's the best deal to stick in a mifi? Not sure the Three deal would work?
Cheers
Howie
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Old Aug 10, 15, 9:59 pm
  #247  
 
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Originally Posted by stockmanjr View Post
What's the best deal to stick in a mifi? Not sure the Three deal would work?
Cheers
Howie
giffgaff gigabag would work:

https://www.giffgaff.com/gigabags
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Old Aug 11, 15, 8:48 am
  #248  
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Originally Posted by stockmanjr View Post
What's the best deal to stick in a mifi? Not sure the Three deal would work?
Cheers
Howie
Originally Posted by theworld View Post
giffgaff gigabag would work:

https://www.giffgaff.com/gigabags
And if you want me to post a giffgaff SIM to you for you to activate once in the UK then I am currently in the US and can pop one in the post.
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Old Aug 11, 15, 11:45 am
  #249  
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
And if you want me to post a giffgaff SIM to you for you to activate once in the UK then I am currently in the US and can pop one in the post.
Thanks SF, but I'm leaving the US before it would reach me via post.
Cheers
Howie
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Old Aug 16, 15, 5:07 am
  #250  
 
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Originally Posted by mgo72 View Post
Yes, an that's about the only difference I spot :-)
I think it's more just to draw attention to the pre-existing fact that Three is by far the best deal in the UK
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Old Aug 16, 15, 7:34 am
  #251  
 
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I think a lot depends on whether you want to go penny-pinching for the cheapest deal out there, or whether you'd prefer to go with the best carrier out there and concentrate on finding the best deal they have.

In my case I don't really care about a few bucks here or there - I simply want to enjoy the best speeds and coverage on offer. In the UK this is extremely simple: go with EE.

The competition is lagging behind and even price-wise you'll often get a better deal with EE than with other carriers, something that came as a nice surprise during my last trip to the UK. Either way, I wouldn't bother with anyone else as EE stands a class above the rest.
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Old Aug 20, 15, 8:45 pm
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
I think it's more just to draw attention to the pre-existing fact that Three is by far the best deal in the UK
BTW Three has just pulled the GBP15 all you can eat deal:

http://www.threemicrosites.co.uk/AIO20B
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Old Aug 20, 15, 9:19 pm
  #253  
 
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Originally Posted by theworld View Post
BTW Three has just pulled the GBP15 all you can eat deal:

http://www.threemicrosites.co.uk/AIO20B
So it's now 20GBP. Not the worst thing that could of happened.
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Old Aug 22, 15, 3:28 am
  #254  
 
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Originally Posted by aster View Post
I think a lot depends on whether you want to go penny-pinching for the cheapest deal out there, or whether you'd prefer to go with the best carrier out there and concentrate on finding the best deal they have.

In my case I don't really care about a few bucks here or there - I simply want to enjoy the best speeds and coverage on offer. In the UK this is extremely simple: go with EE.

The competition is lagging behind and even price-wise you'll often get a better deal with EE than with other carriers, something that came as a nice surprise during my last trip to the UK. Either way, I wouldn't bother with anyone else as EE stands a class above the rest.
3 is still a good sell if volume of data matters more. I mean, I liked the higher speeds of EE, but I just don't see myself paying the prices they charge when they're not having a promo. (10GB for £10? Absolutely! 3GB for £15? Not so much.)

Also a good sell if you plan on traveling to a Feel at Home destination after. For example, I went to HKG two weeks after I left London. Since I was arriving in the middle of the night it was nice to be able to turn on my phone and have data service just like that without worrying about finding somewhere to buy a SIM. Speeds were atrocious (I was getting like 300k down and 100k up) but that was quickly rectified the next morning by getting a native SIM.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 6:12 pm
  #255  
 
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Originally Posted by jamar View Post
3 is still a good sell if volume of data matters more. I mean, I liked the higher speeds of EE, but I just don't see myself paying the prices they charge when they're not having a promo. (10GB for £10? Absolutely! 3GB for £15? Not so much.)
3 might be dodgy with their UK coverage though. This has traditionally been their weak point but they could have improved in recent years.

During my last trip EE had the best price and I got so much data that most of it was never used. It might have been that £10 for 10GB promo and I was only there for 3 nights.

Not sure what the regular price is, but you can also get their data SIMs (maybe they can be used in a mobile to accept calls as well?) where for £30 you get 25 gigs. Not bad if you are a data-heavy user. And the network is truly the best in the country since EE is a merger of Orange (has always been the best network IMO) and T-Mobile infrastructure.
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