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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Silver Fox
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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 Mar 28, 16, 10:03 am
  #331  
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
There does not appear to be, try here: Heathrow shops A-Z
Thanks for your answer and for the link.
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Old Mar 28, 16, 3:48 pm
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Does anyone here know EE's prepaid plans well? Does EE allow roaming on prepaid? If so, how good is the service (particularly data) in countries like Germany or the Netherlands (particularly Amsterdam)? I'll be getting an EE sim from an EE store when I'm there, and I'll be leaving the UK for Germany for a day, before going to Amsterdam. (I'll be transiting Germany on the way home so some sort of cell service would be useful)
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Old Mar 28, 16, 3:53 pm
  #333  
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Can't comment about the service, but there is a lot of detail here: http://ee.co.uk/ee-and-me/why-ee/roa...abroad/roaming
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Old Mar 28, 16, 3:57 pm
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Originally Posted by jacobprince View Post

Also worthy a mention is Freedom Pop, it provides 200mb, 200mins and 200 texts free of charge, for life. Only snag is that you have to call and text through their own proprietary app as they are in fact routed as VOIP but I imagine if you just remember to use the app then calls and texts should work as normal. Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger will work as normal. I'm assuming this would be of use to a light data user in the UK for a week or so.
Has anyone used the Freedom Pop sim in the UK and in "Europe"

in Europe is it Data only or can you buy extra minutes ?

and do they give you a UK phone number ?

thanks
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Old Mar 29, 16, 3:29 am
  #335  
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Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
Has anyone used the Freedom Pop sim in the UK and in "Europe"
The Freedom Pop service offered in the UK is UK only for the free service.
in Europe is it Data only or can you buy extra minutes ?
There is a theoretical international data service. Whenever I have tried to obtain a SIM, they say they are sold out.
and do they give you a UK phone number ?
Yes.
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Old Mar 29, 16, 7:47 am
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Following up on the earlier discussion about 3 SIMs at W.H. Smith at LHR:
The W.H. Smiths in the arrivals halls do carry them, but they're apparently pretty popular. I ended up checking 2 different stores (one in T3, one in T5), and while they both had a spot for them, they were sold out. Granted, it was a Sunday morning, so they may not have been restocked over the weekend. But either way, they were completely out.

I ended up having to go grab something at the W.H. Smith in Victoria Station later that day, and found them sitting right in front of me. Bought them there, along with top-ups for each. Pretty simple. We did later see them at several other convenience stores during the trip.
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Old Mar 30, 16, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by diburning View Post
Does anyone here know EE's prepaid plans well? Does EE allow roaming on prepaid? If so, how good is the service (particularly data) in countries like Germany or the Netherlands (particularly Amsterdam)?
EE allows roaming on prepaid. Service is good due availability of LTE.
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Old Apr 5, 16, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Marschel View Post
EE allows roaming on prepaid. Service is good due availability of LTE.
Which LTE bands does EE use?
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Old Apr 6, 16, 6:32 am
  #339  
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Originally Posted by Siberian_Viktorya View Post
Which LTE bands does EE use?
Google says....
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Old Apr 23, 16, 4:01 pm
  #340  
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Note: I have added the frequencies used by the UK operators into the wiki. If I have got it wrong, or you don't like the format, then feel free to edit it as it is a wiki after all !
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Old Apr 23, 16, 5:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
Note: I have added the frequencies used by the UK operators into the wiki. If I have got it wrong, or you don't like the format, then feel free to edit it as it is a wiki after all !
Good idea. Do you think we should really get detailed and add information for like different model iPhones here(i.e. a VZW iPhone 5s will work fully with 3, but not vodafone for example)?
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Old Apr 24, 16, 3:56 am
  #342  
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Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Good idea. Do you think we should really get detailed and add information for like different model iPhones here(i.e. a VZW iPhone 5s will work fully with 3, but not vodafone for example)?
It's a good point. Speaking to that, the iPhone 5 cannot get 4G/LTE on the 800MHz or 2600MHz frequencies so it narrows the field so I will add that.

I also found this resource for checking frequencies supported for mobile phones last night (this shows the data for a Samsung J1 Ace SM-J111F which I just bought): http://www.globalcertificationforum.....html?view=lte and that site may be useful for checking phones out so I will put that in the wiki too as that may help. I normally use gsmarena but that did not have this model.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
It's a good point. Speaking to that, the iPhone 5 cannot get 4G/LTE on the 800MHz or 2600MHz frequencies so it narrows the field so I will add that.

I also found this resource for checking frequencies supported for mobile phones last night (this shows the data for a Samsung J1 Ace SM-J111F which I just bought): http://www.globalcertificationforum.....html?view=lte and that site may be useful for checking phones out so I will put that in the wiki too as that may help. I normally use gsmarena but that did not have this model.
I haven't gone through the whole thread yet. Perhaps it is in here earlier. But I have found a site...www.willmyphonework.net where you can enter your phone model and the name of a country and an operator in that country and it will give you information on that operator as to whether the phone will work on 2g 3g or 4g. The thing that makes it a bit sticky is that you can have say a samsung mini 5 and there are various sub models.
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Old Apr 25, 16, 12:05 pm
  #344  
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR View Post
I haven't gone through the whole thread yet. Perhaps it is in here earlier. But I have found a site...www.willmyphonework.net where you can enter your phone model and the name of a country and an operator in that country and it will give you information on that operator as to whether the phone will work on 2g 3g or 4g. The thing that makes it a bit sticky is that you can have say a samsung mini 5 and there are various sub models.
Yup, you need the model number (or as that site says "sub-model"), I have a Samsung J1 Ace (2016) and there is a myriad of different variations of it, mine is SM-J111F which makes a difference (and is not listed at willmyphonework) so it is often pot luck. The one I listed in the wiki did seem to be the one that was most current, other people may find different results.
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Old Apr 27, 16, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Good idea. Do you think we should really get detailed and add information for like different model iPhones here(i.e. a VZW iPhone 5s will work fully with 3, but not vodafone for example)?
Android Central just did quite a compressive article detailing 4G / LTE in the UK:

http://www.androidcentral.com/unders...-you-need-know
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