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79 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 150864 5-Aug-2014 21:43
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Can anyone recommend a SIM card to get once I arrive in the UK? I am not likely to need many calls or texts, but would like to have a few GB of data available, including for use on a laptop. Unfortunately I had some trouble with these simple requirements last time I was in the UK:

1. I previously had a UK (Orange) SIM card which was impossible to activate without a UK credit card.

2. On non-contract plans, many of the UK networks seem to disallow use of "Personal Hotspot", which would otherwise be the easiest way to get my laptop onto the Internet.

Does anyone know of a SIM card and plan I can get which is suitable for short-term visitors and which allows the paid-for data to be used without too many restrictions?

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2467 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1102938 5-Aug-2014 21:49
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what phone are you trying to "hotspot" with?



79 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1102940 5-Aug-2014 21:52
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iPhone 4S.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1102946 5-Aug-2014 22:10
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ok then, haven't been there in 7 years but some quick Googling gives me this:

http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1803502-Review-of-UK-Mobile-(prepaid)-services-for-visitors-students 
"For iPads: Amazon.co.uk is a good (cheaper) source for prepaid , pre-loaded data sims. Just make sure to order the correct size! They deliver by mail. A 3Gb Sim is around £12. Otherwise you can get the for a higher price at the stores. Data can be used as a hotspot." should be same for iPhone?





79 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1103558 6-Aug-2014 18:57
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Has anyone been to the UK recently? Is there a particular network you would recommend?

236 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1103559 6-Aug-2014 19:02
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The main networks in the Uk are 
Three (good data allowances - not sure on prepay with hot spotting)
EE
O2
Vodadone

There are a lot of MVNOs are listed here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_Kingdom_mobile_virtual_network_operators

Lyca mobile always seems to have some sweet prepay deal on. 

Hope that helps 



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1103586 6-Aug-2014 19:33
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I forgot about the Co-op Mobile PAYG. YOu can just build a bundle with data only  (Not sure about hot spotting)

http://payg.thephone.coop/tariffs-and-bundles/bundles/

You can get the sim cards from any Co-Op store for £2.00 

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1103671 6-Aug-2014 21:29
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Pick up a SIM in the airport. Easy. I ordered one online when I went last year, it was waiting when I got to my destination. I forget which brand it was, I think their brand color was orange, I imagine they're mostly fine. Vodafone is probably a safe bet.




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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1103861 7-Aug-2014 11:03
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It was 2 years go for me, but I got a 3 Mobile prepaid SIM which came with unlimited data for 15 pounds (~$30NZD).  I can't recall if it allowed personal hotspots, but most of the places we stayed at had free/good wifi for our wifi-only iPad.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1108763 15-Aug-2014 01:35
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I recommend Vodafone or EE (I use Voda myself)
However coverage really depends on your location. London is pretty good on any carrier but countryside can be a different story




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598 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1123275 6-Sep-2014 17:47
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I've just got back from the UK. I ordered an EE sim card from hotukdeals.com

It cost £15 ($30), which included 10GB data (inc tethering) + £15 credit to use however. 

Being EE you also get 2 for 1 on cinema tickets, and 2 for 1 at Pizza Express on Wednesdays

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1123321 6-Sep-2014 20:19
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+1 for EE, I am on account with them, and vodafone for work.

Be wary of coverage as most of the UK has very good 2/2.5g coverage, and you get pushed off 3g/4g onto that in fringe areas.

Also because there aren't any really decent hills there are lots of small black spots, especially in ireland and the north of GB.

Jon

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  Reply # 1134461 23-Sep-2014 11:32
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-1 for Orange, last time bought one online with a data/call pack which wasn't activated, and took them 48 hours to process and then never did it.

What would be the 'easiest' to get, for just a week.  With package pre-loaded and no call centre or website needed to get running.. Like the Vodafone $19 Sim can buy in NZ - no fuss for first month package.

Alternatively, does anyone have an active SIM could borrow for a week in late October?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1134471 23-Sep-2014 11:58
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jonb: Alternatively, does anyone have an active SIM could borrow for a week in late October?


I have an active "3" micro SIM you can borrow.

I never did figure out their pricing, it was 1p per mb or your could pay 5 pounds for 500mb.  I couldn't see any sense in paying the 5 pounds.

They also had bigger data bundles.

Send me a PM if you are interested in using it.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1134555 23-Sep-2014 13:37
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Three UK was great (coverage and data bundles) a couple of years ago. Giffgaff had better deals and operates on the O2 network but is harder to get set up if you don't live there because they don't have stores (have to have a UK credit card and address last time i tried). 

598 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1135031 23-Sep-2014 22:10
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Mine should still be active if you wish to use it.

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