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750XL
31st Aug 2013, 03:37
Hoping that someone more clued up than me can help :}

I currently have an iPhone 4S on Vodafone, 300minutes, unlimited texts and 500mb data for 33 - I also pay an extra 5 a month for another 500mb of data, giving me 1gb. My contract is due to run out soon and Vodafone have been pestering me to renew it for another 24months but I'm sure I can find better elsewhere.

I've been looking at a few 'Sim Only' deals on various networks, the best being Virgin who offer unlimited calls, texts and data for 15 a month - Bargain! Only problem is data roaming charges.

I'm out of the UK on a fairly regular basis and I almost always take advantage of Vodafones 'Take your contract abroad for 3 a day' type thing. Basically pay 3 per day you use your phone while in Europe and you can use your UK priceplan, very good for data roaming. I've had a look at the other big networks but can't find anyone who have similar reasonably priced data roaming plans.

So, here's where I need the help :O

Does anybody have any advise for data roaming in Europe? WiFi isn't always an option and I love having the ability to use data on my phone, particularly for maps etc.

Thanks

Background Noise
31st Aug 2013, 08:11
This any help?

BBC News - Three abolishes roaming charges for seven countries (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23896896)

sisemen
31st Aug 2013, 08:20
On a similar tack .... I'm due to hit the UK next week for a 5 week stay. I thought that the best bet would be to get a pre paid UK SIM card and also a dongle for the laptop. Which is the best company to go with? Phone is a 4s and I'll need data as well as calls.

Adam Nams
31st Aug 2013, 08:46
I think if you Google 'Tethered IPhone', you can use it as a mobile wi-fi hotspot, so no seperate dongle required.

mixture
31st Aug 2013, 08:50
Does anybody have any advise for data roaming in Europe?

Yes.

The Vodafone option you refer to (I think it's called data traveller ?) is a bloody good deal and Vodafone has the best coverage out of all the UK/EU operators.

There are indeed very few alternatives, infact the nearest alternative I know of is an MVNO called Truphone.

But as I said, they're an MVNO and knowing a few people using them, it does apparently take a while for the SIM to lock on to the fact its now in a different country. But once it's got itself re-orientated the service does work OK apparently... never used it myself though.

Have you tried the old trick of threatening to leave and talking to the retentions team at Vodafone ? :E

mixture
31st Aug 2013, 08:55
Which is the best company to go with?

In the UK, Vodafone is king, particularly for coverage.

Even in the middle of London, it never ceases to amaze me how a Vodafone handset is pretty much never without a signal (unless you're on the tube etc.) whilst you'll witness T-Mobile, 3 and other subscribers struggle to get even a minimal signal.

Sure Vodafone are not the cheapest. But then it's up to you, which direction do you want to go.... tightwad stingy git or actually be in with a more than decent chance of being able to use what you've paid for when you want/need to.

OFSO
31st Aug 2013, 08:59
Virgin UK is the best deal - the one you mention for the SIM card is excellent. I have their Big Data PAYG on my tablet for UK.

For Europe you need a local sim card, get a phone with two sim card slots if you travel a lot, otherwise get used to swapping cards. Pop into local supermarket upon arival and buy a PAYG card - for France Carrefour seems cheap.

Incidently in Spain free wifi is just about everywhere. Even in villages.

mixture
31st Aug 2013, 09:04
Virgin UK

Virgin are an MVNO on EE (previously known as Orange + T-Mobile).

Neither Orange/T-Mobile had a particularly good reputation for coverage and reliability, and I've got no reason to think it would be any different under the post-merger brand (infact I would think you've got an even greater chance of seeing weird system integration issues when you try to roam between ex-Orange and ex-T-Mobilie base stations).

I would still put them below Vodafone on my list.

Its the old "pick two" debate OFSO..... does he want to prioritise the stingy git tightwad element (or "best deal" as you diplomatically put it) or does he want something reliable and useable.

Not saying your suggestion is bad OSFO, just saying I'd bear in mind where Virgin come from. :E

Fareastdriver
31st Aug 2013, 09:26
I have a twin sim mobile that always has a UK card in and a local sim. Saves big money communicating in whatever country you are in plus being contactable from the UK.

Lon More
31st Aug 2013, 09:32
I had a case for the iPhone 4 that held two sim cards. Easy to switch between the normal an a local one. Cost about a tenner IIRC

Background Noise
31st Aug 2013, 10:03
On a similar tack .... I'm due to hit the UK next week for a 5 week stay. I thought that the best bet would be to get a pre paid UK SIM card and also a dongle for the laptop. Which is the best company to go with? Phone is a 4s and I'll need data as well as calls.

I think if you Google 'Tethered IPhone', you can use it as a mobile wi-fi hotspot, so no seperate dongle required.

You don't say where you are coming from but generally calls are more expensive when 'roaming', data is astronomically expensive. Whilst iPhones (and others) can be 'tethered' to provide a data link, the sim-only or pay-as-you-go sims often don't allow it.

One option may be to use your own sim for calls turn of data roaming) and get a data dongle eg the one below from the 3 network. It's on a one month contract and you can route your calls through it using skype/viber etc which will save on the roaming call charges.

See the 'Mobile Broadband 5GB 1 Month' deal on this page: http://store.three.co.uk/view/product/ql_catalog/threecatdevice/2566

750XL
31st Aug 2013, 14:49
Thanks for the replies :ok:

I had a look at the dual sim option for iPhone 4S which seemed interesting. However, I'd like the ability to use iMessage/Whatsapp etc when roaming off my UK phone number. I think I'm correct in saying I'd have to use data off my second sim card (local one) which wouldn't allow me to use iMessage/Whatsapp with my UK sim card?

Has anyone got any experience with 'MiFi'?

mixture
31st Aug 2013, 16:29
which wouldn't allow me to use iMessage/Whatsapp with my UK sim card?

Unless you've missed some critical piece of information in your description, I'm not quite sure what you're worrying about ?

As far as I know, iMessage/Whatsapp are data apps which merely rely on your username/password for the service and an internet connection ? I don't think they care much what SIM card you are using as long as there is a data connection on it !

750XL
31st Aug 2013, 16:57
Aren't iMessage/Whatsapp based on your phone number rather than 'login' details?

If my iMessage/Whatsapp are SIM1 phone number, if I use SIM2 for data they won't work?