Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
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
Wiki Link
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

Please add and edit!
Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Dec 10, 18, 6:51 am
  #481  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K MM, Hertz PC, BAEC Bronze
Posts: 7,484
Originally Posted by Silver Fox View Post
I used to be with giffgaff when they were younger. Now I wouldn't touch them with a bargepole. I'm with 3, speeds are just fine for me whenever I roam, mainly used for maps, reading the news, whatsapp, and that's about it.
Agree entirely. I've had experience in the last ten years with GiffGaff, EE and Three but have kept with Three because, at least for me, the coverage is much better. GiffGaff is generally weak, but EE has some strange bad spots both in London and Cornwall which are the two places I care about. Having said that, Three seems weak around Osterley on the Tube coming in from LHR which is a PITA.
lhrsfo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 18, 9:53 am
  #482  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Programs: Marriott Titanium Elite/Lifetime Titanium, Delta Platinum Medallion, Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 559
Sounds like three is the way to go. Does tethering work currently on three prepaid?
IslesFan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 18, 10:04 am
  #483  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
2019 FlyerTalk Awards
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: GE, Marriott Gold
Posts: 11,826
Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Sounds like three is the way to go. Does tethering work currently on three prepaid?
It worked last year when I went. I'm not sure if it's due to the plan I added, though, as I saw stuff online before leaving about how it's not allowed.
tmiw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Dec 10, 18, 1:17 pm
  #484  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
Posts: 3,031
Originally Posted by IslesFan View Post
Sounds like three is the way to go. Does tethering work currently on three prepaid?
It worked in October in France and the wording seems to have changed. There seemed to be some confusion about whether you needed a data add-on to get the 1p rate so I got one to be safe.
MADPhil is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 19, 1:22 am
  #485  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 8,540
I had a little time so I tried to learn more about Three. I found the Pay-as-you-Go Price Guide: http://www.three.co.uk/termspdf/PAYG...ide_111218.pdf

My conclusion is, even without an add-on:

1 - text and data rates are similar in "Go Roam" Countries as when home in the UK, which includes the US
2 - 3p voice rates only applies when calling UK, not if you call locally (e.g. at US, calling US)
3 - tethering (Hotspot) is allowed (within the Fair Use rules) in the UK and in Go Roam Europe countries only
4 - it does say you have to have ties to the UK to use the Go Roam services or they will suspend your roaming privileges if you don't meet what they specify

I thought I read somewhere earlier that the credits expire after 6 months of non-use but I don't see it now?
username is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 2, 19, 8:56 am
  #486  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
Posts: 3,031
Originally Posted by username View Post
I had a little time so I tried to learn more about Three. I found the Pay-as-you-Go Price Guide: http://www.three.co.uk/termspdf/PAYG...ide_111218.pdf

My conclusion is, even without an add-on:

1 - text and data rates are similar in "Go Roam" Countries as when home in the UK, which includes the US
2 - 3p voice rates only applies when calling UK, not if you call locally (e.g. at US, calling US)
3 - tethering (Hotspot) is allowed (within the Fair Use rules) in the UK and in Go Roam Europe countries only
4 - it does say you have to have ties to the UK to use the Go Roam services or they will suspend your roaming privileges if you don't meet what they specify

I thought I read somewhere earlier that the credits expire after 6 months of non-use but I don't see it now?
Thanks for that summary, which I think is correct. I don't think that the credit expires but there used to be a note that your phone might be deactivated after six months. I'm not sure how you would collect the credits if that happened!
MADPhil is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 19, 2:03 am
  #487  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LHR/SFO
Programs: 1K, *G, Global Entry, Hertz PC
Posts: 14,952
It's best to set a reminder and send a text within a 6 month period of using it in your case to keep it alive. This is what 3 say in their Ts and Cs:

Three will suspend your Pay As You Go account if you don’t top-up or make a chargeable event in a six-month period. According to clause 9.1(h) of the Three Pay As You Go Terms & Conditions:9.1 We may Suspend any or all of the Three Services you use without notice if

(h) you have not activated a Pay As You Go Voucher on your account or undertaken any chargeable events or activities (for example, made telephone calls, sent text or photo messages, accessed content or the internet or any other Three Services for which a charge is made) using any credit or allowance on your account within the preceding 6 month period.
Silver Fox is online now  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: