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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.
 
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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 Aug 25, 17, 10:30 pm
  #451  
 
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Try this http://www.three.co.uk/terms-conditions/paym-and-payg
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Old Aug 26, 17, 8:21 am
  #452  
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
That seems to conflict with their message to me:

I wonder which is correct.

I couldn't get this to work.
The credit doesn't expire but your number and access to the service might. You can get another SIM/number and have the credit transferred if it does.
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Old Aug 26, 17, 8:24 am
  #453  
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Originally Posted by Jimmie76 View Post
The credit doesn't expire but your number and access to the service might. You can get another SIM/number and have the credit transferred if it does.
Gosh, I'd never have guessed. Thanks.
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Old Aug 26, 17, 9:25 am
  #454  
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Originally Posted by Roger View Post
That seems to conflict with their message to me:

I wonder which is correct.

I couldn't get this to work.
This should work:

Source
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Old Sep 3, 17, 1:08 pm
  #455  
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Originally I was just going to use T-Mobile's free roaming data for my upcoming UK trip. I used my router to cap my phone's IP address to 128kbps, however, and it felt barely acceptable (256kbps felt better but I'd have to give up my grandfathered plan). That has me looking at local SIM options.

Anyway, Three sounds like it's be the best option from a pricing standpoint, but based on this link posted earlier in the thread it sounds like they have less LTE bandwidth than Vodafone and EE. Has anyone found that to actually be an issue, particularly in Bristol and London?
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Old Sep 3, 17, 4:04 pm
  #456  
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Originally I was just going to use T-Mobile's free roaming data for my upcoming UK trip. I used my router to cap my phone's IP address to 128kbps, however, and it felt barely acceptable (256kbps felt better but I'd have to give up my grandfathered plan). That has me looking at local SIM options.

Anyway, Three sounds like it's be the best option from a pricing standpoint, but based on this link posted earlier in the thread it sounds like they have less LTE bandwidth than Vodafone and EE. Has anyone found that to actually be an issue, particularly in Bristol and London?
Not had a problem in London. Never been to Bristol.
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Old Sep 3, 17, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Anyway, Three sounds like it's be the best option from a pricing standpoint, but based on this link posted earlier in the thread it sounds like they have less LTE bandwidth than Vodafone and EE. Has anyone found that to actually be an issue, particularly in Bristol and London?
I don't recall any problems in Bristol last month but perhaps a local will pop up with more detail. I was mostly in the dock area.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 10:42 am
  #458  
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Vodafone's coming out with a new PAYG plan in November that's supposedly capped at £1/day: https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/20/...s-you-go-1-uk/

It seems that the data usage is capped at 500MB/day if I'm reading that correctly, with additional data purchased for £1 in 500MB increments. If you're not a really heavy data user and are only going for a short visit this might be a decent deal.
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Old Oct 29, 17, 6:26 am
  #459  
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Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
I don't recall any problems in Bristol last month but perhaps a local will pop up with more detail. I was mostly in the dock area.
So far it's working well in the city center. One weird thing is that my iPhone seems to burn battery more quickly on 3 than T-Mobile in the US; I can't confirm for sure that it's 3 that's the reason, however. Has anyone else noticed that happening?
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Old Feb 10, 18, 10:06 pm
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I’m going to sound like a complete idiot here but please take pity on this old lady. I will be traveling on a cruise ship from Dover to many ports in England, Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will be for approximately 10days. When I was in NZ on a cruise I purchased a SIM card for my IPAD so I didn’t have to purchase the crazy priced internet on the ship. I would like to purchase a SIM card in London for my IPAD for this U.K. cruise. I don’t need it for my IPhone as I can text from my IPAD and will occasionally use FaceTime (though I know it uses a lot of data). I really want the SIM card so I can surf the web and for when I am in towns/cities and I need to look something up (like bus or train schedules).

So what do the experts here recommend. Thanks so much.
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Old Feb 11, 18, 2:41 am
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This is a good resource for comparing who seems to offer the best deal: https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/ you can usually pick up a SIM at most places (newsagents, petrol stations, supermarkets, corner shops, and of course phone shops) and you will need one that you can top up online or with a voucher. There is also some good information in the wiki at the top. Have a good cruise!
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Old Feb 11, 18, 6:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
This is a good resource for comparing who seems to offer the best deal: https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/compare/sim_only_deals/ you can usually pick up a SIM at most places (newsagents, petrol stations, supermarkets, corner shops, and of course phone shops) and you will need one that you can top up online or with a voucher. There is also some good information in the wiki at the top. Have a good cruise!

Thanks. Much appreciated
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Old Apr 18, 18, 10:45 pm
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Which sim offer good roaming speed in France and Germany? Heard that EE offer 4G but it's slow if not on the Max plan. What about the other options?
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Old Apr 19, 18, 4:05 am
  #464  
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Originally Posted by shevboyz View Post
Which sim offer good roaming speed in France and Germany? Heard that EE offer 4G but it's slow if not on the Max plan. What about the other options?
You might be better off looking in here: Prepaid SIM - France and here: Prepaid SIM - Germany to see what cards are best. As a data point, roaming charges for EU SIM cards have been abolished so one less thing to worry about, you just need to check your phone is compatible with the networks and is unlocked.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 2:52 am
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Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
You might be better off looking in here: Prepaid SIM - France and here: Prepaid SIM - Germany to see what cards are best. As a data point, roaming charges for EU SIM cards have been abolished so one less thing to worry about, you just need to check your phone is compatible with the networks and is unlocked.
I was thinking which of the UK provider is good since I will in London first before heading to the other cities. Will take a look those 2 threads as well.
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