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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 14, 16, 2:29 pm
  #346  
 
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Does anyone know if there's a store in LHR T2 that sells pre-paid sim cards?

thanks
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Old Jul 20, 16, 2:21 pm
  #347  
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What do the prepaid sims for o2 or Three typically cost for the card?

I've got an Irish SIM but looks like I won't be going back to Ireland this year. Trying to decide if it's worth it to get a UK SIM, or just use Verizon TravelPass while I am there.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
What do the prepaid sims for o2 or Three typically cost for the card?

I've got an Irish SIM but looks like I won't be going back to Ireland this year. Trying to decide if it's worth it to get a UK SIM, or just use Verizon TravelPass while I am there.
The Three SIM that I bought a couple of years back was 99p with no airtime. Some places sell cards with bundled air time but it is cheaper to buy them separately.

WH Smith has them, at least in LHR T5 and MAN.
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Old Jul 20, 16, 3:44 pm
  #349  
 
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When bought in the UK, the sim card itself is pretty cheap. It is FREE. Can't get much cheaper than that. However, you have to top it up. You can consult the web sites of the various UK carriers (O2, 3, Vodafone, EE, Lebarra). In almost all of them, at least for now, you can have a FREE sim card or two posted to your hotel of arrival for free. You then follow direction to top up either at a company store or convenience store. You then choose the plan best suited for you or you can go into a chsin like Carphone Warehouse where you may find a knowledgeable clerk who can explain your options (of course some may have an incentive to recommend one company over another). You can get great pay as you go (PAYG) packages for as little as £10. Also at least for now you can add on other options like dirt cheap, and I mean dirt cheap, calls .from the UK to various other countries. But you should read through the various company web sites. You also get the advantage of the continual progress of the eu in lowering to othing roaming rates within the eu (of course brexit may change this when the no roaming comes into effect next year). It is worthwhile to consult the web sites of the various operators and since you are on this board, I assume you can understand English.

But as always, the caveat is the times they are changing and can get better or worse liteslly at a moment's notice.
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Old Jul 26, 16, 10:21 am
  #350  
 
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Originally Posted by nmenaker View Post
So how is that billed if you buy, say, the 10GBP plan. Does it reduce your data or voice faster? Or do they charge extra?
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Old Jul 28, 16, 3:52 pm
  #351  
 
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Did three uk get rid of all you can eat data on prepaid? The link in the wiki advertises 300 minutes/3000 texts/12gb data for 20quid a month.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 4:30 pm
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http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...-sim-best.html


Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Did three uk get rid of all you can eat data on prepaid? The link in the wiki advertises 300 minutes/3000 texts/12gb data for 20quid a month.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 5:45 pm
  #353  
 
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I'm not referring to three at home. I'm referring to the fact that the data allowance on the 20GBP package has changed.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 6:35 pm
  #354  
 
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Was there ever unlimited data available on PAYG (which is what most visitors would be most interested in). Of course, for Americans, T Mobile USA has been ushing unlimted 4g data for July and August in Europe. Whether this is a one time deal, one will just have to wait and see. Also what will be the ultimate effect of the eu doing away with all roaming fees next year and whether Britexit will affect this.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 6:35 pm
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Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
I'm not referring to three at home. I'm referring to the fact that the data allowance on the 20GBP package has changed.
Since the 20GBP plan allows airtime, text and data I think it's a pretty good deal over T-Mobile and Fi.. Only issue I have is no 4G and as you can tell from the speeds, you barely get 3G.. I have not used it in Europe so I don't know. But the linked thread says you don't get 4G in Europe when roaming.
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Old Jul 28, 16, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR View Post
Was there ever unlimited data available on PAYG (which is what most visitors would be most interested in). Of course, for Americans, T Mobile USA has been ushing unlimted 4g data for July and August in Europe. Whether this is a one time deal, one will just have to wait and see. Also what will be the ultimate effect of the eu doing away with all roaming fees next year and whether Britexit will affect this.
On prepaid:

2 Years ago it was 300 minutes/3000 texts/All you can eat data for 15 quid a month.

Last year they uped it to 20 quid.

This year it looks like it went away from unlimited data and now to 12gb.
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Old Jul 29, 16, 5:19 am
  #357  
 
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Originally Posted by Islean View Post
On prepaid:

2 Years ago it was 300 minutes/3000 texts/All you can eat data for 15 quid a month.

Last year they uped it Uto 20 quid.

This year it looks like it went away from unlimited data and now to 12gb.
Unlimited 4g?
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Old Jul 29, 16, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by JEFFJAGUAR View Post
Unlimited 4g?
Yes
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Old Jul 29, 16, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Yes
Are you sure it's 4G speeds? The sim I have advertises 4G when roaming, but I barely get 3G. Like I said, I haven't tried it in Europe, but in the other thread someone said you don't get 4G.
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Old Jul 29, 16, 9:41 pm
  #360  
 
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Originally Posted by ewrfox View Post
Are you sure it's 4G speeds? The sim I have advertises 4G when roaming, but I barely get 3G. Like I said, I haven't tried it in Europe, but in the other thread someone said you don't get 4G.
I'm talking about 4G while *IN* the united kingdom. Nothing to do about roaming, but yes I saw 25+mbit on 3 the last time I was in the UK(in Cardiff, in 2014).
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