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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 Feb 9, 16, 4:48 am
  #301  
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
As for the "automatic" - nope, it will not work for me either. I find that if I am able to select the country from the list then it seems to want me to select it manually. Automatic seems to work if the country is not on the list of countries in the toolkit that I can select from (I don't have them all in there as it is an old SIM now).
I have found that if I click on Toolkit after arriving in a Toggle country and then click on Manual, I can select the local country manually. Soon afterwards, I get a text confirming/reconfirming my local number. I am connected.

I'm not sure whether this is the authorised version, but it works for me. Of course, it presupposes that I have the local number already set up.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 5:46 am
  #302  
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
I have found that if I click on Toolkit after arriving in a Toggle country and then click on Manual, I can select the local country manually. Soon afterwards, I get a text confirming/reconfirming my local number. I am connected.

I'm not sure whether this is the authorised version, but it works for me. Of course, it presupposes that I have the local number already set up.
I pay £5 (or whatever it is a year) to maintain a US number, if I select "automatic" from the Toggle SIM Toolkit it will not connect, and never has done, and I always have to select it manually. It is the same on returning to the UK and automatic will not work, has to be manual.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 11:11 am
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When I was fighting for a refund, Toggle support said "we always tell our users to set the country manually." I pointed out that their manual, marketing, and FAQs pages all say it's automatic. Mine changed automatically between France and the UK but not between the UK and the USA.

Just remember the magic words please send me a deadlock letter if you are charged roaming rather than Toggle-country rates after your phone fails to "latch SIM". ("Latch SIM" is an unexplained term in their FAQs which apparently means "to select the correct country".) Until you use those words, Toggle support will regretfully explain that the charge was so high because your phone was roaming. If your experience is like mine, mentioning the deadlock letter which is the first step of an arbitration system will shake loose a refund.
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Old Feb 9, 16, 5:47 pm
  #304  
 
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If you need to make international calls from the UK then O2 is the ONLY network worth being on. Just get one of their perpaid SIM cards on an international plan and the prices you end up paying are similar to Sk
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Old Feb 15, 16, 2:05 am
  #305  
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02 SIM at Heathrow?

Does anyone know if there is an 02 kiosk or agent at Heathrow? If so, in which terminal is it located?

I am aware there is one store at Heathrow that sells SIM cards but they do not sell 02 cards.

Thanks in advance for any information about 02 and UK.
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Old Feb 15, 16, 8:21 am
  #306  
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Originally Posted by dgcpaphd View Post
Does anyone know if there is an 02 kiosk or agent at Heathrow? If so, in which terminal is it located?

I am aware there is one store at Heathrow that sells SIM cards but they do not sell 02 cards.

Thanks in advance for any information about 02 and UK.
I am not sure, here is a list of "SIM Local" http://www.heathrow.com/shops-and-re...-a-z/sim-local at Heathrow, they also have SIM vending machines at Terminal 2 at the baggage claim. You can get an O2 from almost any shop/store or petrol station so they are not hard to come by, ie. it doesn't have to be an O2 store/kiosk per se.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 4:53 pm
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We just used our Three sim in Austria, which is a Feel at Home country, and Hungary, which isn't.

FYI, you can top up at WH Smith if you've got a layover at LHR. I just asked for a top up voucher at the counter, then added that to our account. Very easy.
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Old Feb 16, 16, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by dgcpaphd View Post
Does anyone know if there is an 02 kiosk or agent at Heathrow? If so, in which terminal is it located?

I am aware there is one store at Heathrow that sells SIM cards but they do not sell 02 cards.

Thanks in advance for any information about 02 and UK.
You dont even need a store. There's a vending machine in the arrivals terminal 2 that has a zillion sim card options. Its on the way into Immigration.
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Old Feb 20, 16, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
You dont even need a store. There's a vending machine in the arrivals terminal 2 that has a zillion sim card options. Its on the way into Immigration.
At significantly inflated prices...
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Old Feb 22, 16, 5:03 am
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Originally Posted by AllieKat View Post
At significantly inflated prices...
Well put.
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Old Feb 22, 16, 7:28 am
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Doing my own little bit of Googling, it looks like the best plan is that if it can wait until you leave the airport, then wait until you leave the airport. You can either buy an overpriced sim from the vending machine, or buy an overpriced (and possibly even worse value) sim from the Sim Local store (if you're at Heathrow)
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Old Feb 22, 16, 8:41 am
  #312  
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I think that it is a good time to say that getting a SIM in the UK is much, much easier than the US and a lot more providers to boot. They are not trying to get you into a store so they can upsell. You can just buy at many places.
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Old Feb 22, 16, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Doing my own little bit of Googling, it looks like the best plan is that if it can wait until you leave the airport, then wait until you leave the airport. You can either buy an overpriced sim from the vending machine, or buy an overpriced (and possibly even worse value) sim from the Sim Local store (if you're at Heathrow)
W.H. Smith sells 3 and other SIMs. The 3 SIM cost me GBP 0.99.
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Old Feb 22, 16, 11:30 am
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Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
W.H. Smith sells 3 and other SIMs. The 3 SIM cost me GBP 0.99.
Was this the W.H Smith at LHR? They didn't require an overpriced top up or anything?
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Old Feb 22, 16, 11:32 am
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Does WH Smith sell EE sims? That would save me a trip if that's the case. Also, do they sell top-ups?
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