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fernytickles
15th Jun 2014, 18:57
If I'm looking to have a UK sim card installed in my US iPhone while in the UK, and the nearest shop is the Car Phone Warehouse, is that a wise place to go, or would I be better driving out of my way to avoid them? So far Vodafone has been recommended but I can't see one listed near where I'll be....

Thanks :)

OFSO
15th Jun 2014, 19:37
Silly question but will it work in the UK ?

I use a UK-sourced Android tablet, cost 107 quid, when I am in the UK, with a Virgin Big Data tarif SIM card. Ten pounds paid one month and you have one gig of data plus 3000 SMS's the following month.

BTW most and all tobacco and newsagents shops (certainly in London) sell the SIM cards, cost a pound each. Buy, insert in phone, set up, load with cash, and you are away.

Flying Lawyer
15th Jun 2014, 20:13
FT

Carphone Warehouse has been in business since 1989 and has 1700+ stores across Europe.
I've used them a few times over the years and always found them to be reliable and reasonably priced.

However -

Is your iPhone 'locked' under a US contract?
If it is, then installing a UK simcard may not be as simple as it should be.

eg I have an iPhone under a Vodafone contract and assumed it would be a simple matter to use a local simcard when spending a month in Australia last year. Wrong!

G-CPTN
15th Jun 2014, 20:24
Carphone Warehouse claim to supply unlocked phones (from 99p - yes, really - plus 20 top-up) that will accept your sim - or a PAYG sim with 20 credit - or is it that you want to continue using your phone? Without your simcard it will have to have a different number and the numbers in your phonebook will not appear (unless stored in the phone itself).

I suggest you 'invest' in a 99p phone and a 20 simcard and keep your existing phone for referencing the phonebook numbers.

I have no connection with Carphone Warehouse and have never parted with money to them, but they have provided advice when I've needed it to help me decide what I need to do.

Nokia 105 pay as you go deals and upgrade offers from .99 | The Carphone Warehouse (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/phone/nokia/nokia-105/ppay?colourCode=BLACK&gift=undefined&giftType=undefined)

Samsung E1190 pay as you go deals and upgrade offers from .99 | The Carphone Warehouse (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/phone/samsung/samsung-e1190/ppay?colourCode=SILVER&gift=undefined&giftType=undefined)

Samsung E1200 pay as you go deals and upgrade offers from .99 | The Carphone Warehouse (http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/phone/samsung/samsung-e1200/ppay?colourCode=BLACK&gift=undefined&giftType=undefined)

ExSp33db1rd
15th Jun 2014, 21:53
In 1999, when I last worked in the UK, I bought a cheap, pre-pay cellphone from CarPhone Warehouse, then brought it to NZ and tried to fit a local SIM card, but was told that it was 'Locked' to UK use.

I wrote back to C/Warehouse and complained bitterly that I hadn't been told that a) the phone would be locked, and b) I could have paid them to 'unlock' it before I left. ( probably never thought to ask ! ) They apologised and sent me a refund - which paid for a local NZ phone -which I still use !!

I'm considering taking the original back to use in the UK in August, but it's probably less hassle to just buy another one and throw it away.

Who does the cheapest, simple, pre-paid deals for holiday use now ? ( and will it work in France )

Keef
15th Jun 2014, 21:58
There are lots of deals around in the UK these days. I use Giffgaff, who sell a 10 a month package with 500 minutes, unlimited texts, and 500MB of data. That's 3G (you'll pay more for 4G).

Using Giffgaff outside the UK will cost more - for the odd phone call or the odd SMS, it's not worth bothering, but if you want to use data then local SIMs are the way to go. I've paid 15 for a month of calls, SMS and data in Italy and Germany.

My iPhone is unlocked and on the European channels, so it's the work of a few moments to change SIM and be online again.

Gertrude the Wombat
15th Jun 2014, 22:05
my US iPhone while in the UK
You've checked that your US phone will actually work in the UK? - some won't, they use funny frequencies in the US.

Ovation
15th Jun 2014, 22:14
You need to be careful with SIM card sourced in the UK if you think you'll need to top-up the credit on-line. Most will not allow a top-up unless the credit card was issued in the UK.

G-CPTN
15th Jun 2014, 22:24
Many garages (filling stations) and convenience stores will top-up PAYG phones.

PAYG would seem to be preferable to a contract for short-term visitors as there is no minimum contract period or cancellation fee.

You can check how much credit remains (dial 450) and top up almost anywhere (no credit card needed).

mzunga
16th Jun 2014, 01:12
I was in UK last year for a few months and I got a Tesco sim card. I think it was only 5.00 I just went to a Tesco to top up. The Tesco calling cards are good for international calls as well.

Don

Fareastdriver
16th Jun 2014, 01:41
Locking mobile phones is a ploy used by the mobile companies to recover the cost of the phone when you open a contract and seems to be a European thing. After two or so years they will then issue a new one and the redundant phone ends up on the market. There are innumerable shops that will unlock a mobile phone so it can use any sim card.
I bought an O2 sim from the pound shop which, when loaded, enables me to talk to the Far East at 1p a minute. Having a mobile bought in Asia it has two sims so I use one for overseas calls and the other for UK calls and 4G.
The Americas and South Korea use a different frequency setup than the rest of the world but any phone bought in the UK in the last few years can handle both. Whether USA sourced phones can do the same I do not know.
On that basis somebody coming from the States MIGHT have difficulty using his phone in Europe. He will find out if he cannot receive calls from home. It that case nip along to the nearest pawnbroker, money shop or similar and buy a cheap phone. Should it be locked buy a 1 sim to suit and top it up.

ExSp33db1rd
16th Jun 2014, 03:36
...........unless the credit card was issued in the UK. WTF ?? Why are we all automatically assumed to be International Money Launderers with millions to play with ?

World's Gone Mad.

Bl**dy Banks ( again ) just tried to remove - not add - Mrs. ExS. from a joint account with the Natwest in UK ( at her request, and voice on the telephone ! ) Cannot, please call in to your branch. Did you hear me say that I was calling from New Zealand ? Oh, really, what time is it,what's the weather doing, do you know a Hobbit ? Can we write to you ? No, need face to face identification in person.

Oh, for Chr***s sake, forget it.

ExXB
16th Jun 2014, 05:18
You've checked that your US phone will actually work in the UK? - some won't, they use funny frequencies in the US.

All iPhones have GSM, the standard used in Europe and most of the world. Some US (and Canadian ???) also have the US standard.

Espada III
16th Jun 2014, 05:41
A friend from the US visited the UK last year and he could not get his iPhone to work. So check carefully that yours will, or buy a cheap PAYGO here. CPW are as good as anyone but also the supermarket chains like Tesco and ASDA also sell PAYGO phones.

MFC_Fly
16th Jun 2014, 05:58
Anyone that travels a lot should take a look at Toggle Mobile (http://www.togglemobile.co.uk).

You get a normal UK mobile phone number on the SIM card (and can port your current mobile if you wish) but the card can also hold up to 8 other temporary mobile numbers. These are used when abroad to get a 'local' mobile number in that country (Toggle currently operates fully in 11 European countries as well as Australia and the USA, and has low-cost agreements in 15 other countries). That 'local' number can be obtained free for 30 days or 5 to keep it for a whole year.

Calls to the UK from a Toggle country (with a local number) are 3p a minute to either land-line or mobile whilst incoming calls are free.

If you have one or more 'local' numbers then dialling any of them OR your normal UK number will get through to you. 'Local' numbers are best used for calls to your mobile made from within that 'local' country.

If you are in a Toggle country then incoming calls are free - so if someone calling you has free inclusive minutes to UK mobile numbers the call may very well be totally free for both parties (they call your UK mobile number for free - you receive the incoming call for free!)!! The same may apply in the 'local' countries if they can call your 'local' number for free - but I've not checked this out. In the 15 Toggle agreement countries incoming calls cost 16p connection charge. In all other countries normal per minute rates apply.

I have no connection or other personal interests in Toggle Mobile other than think this is a great system and also know of many very happy users that rely on their mobiles whilst travelling abroad. Well worth a look.

These SIM cards are available in many shops (including Carphone Warehouse - bloody pricey here though!!) and online - you don't have to buy through the Toggle Mobile website.

mixture
16th Jun 2014, 09:34
Locking mobile phones is a ploy used by the mobile companies to recover the cost of the phone when you open a contract and seems to be a European thing. After two or so years they will then issue a new one and the redundant phone ends up on the market.

No its not a ploy. No its not a european thing.

Its your choice. Either you pay for the phone upfront and receive one in an unlocked state, or you amortise the cost of the phone over the duration of the contract. The mobile phone company is not exactly going to give you a free phone, you are going to pay for it one way or another. :ugh::ugh:

With amortisation, after you have fulfilled your contractual obligations, then the mobile phone company will happily unlock the phone for you.

There is no obligation to buy locked phones in Europe, and indeed there are a multitude of options out there for unlocked phones, from iPhones purchased from Apple ranging downwards to cheap unknown brands that don't have internet.

Europe is the best place to buy mobile phones, especially with all the consumer protection laws Brussels have introduced. The US is the place you want to watch out for dodgy tricks !

Metro man
16th Jun 2014, 13:36
In Australia a network locked prepay mobile can usually be unlocked by topping up a certain amount of credit which is then forfeited.

A USA iPhone is very likely network locked as I don't think they can be purchased as a stand alone in the US, unlike some countries. As stated earlier, frequencies may be a problem as well.

Consider a prepay wifi modem and make your calls on the iPhone through Skype, you can obtain a Skype in number as well.

India Four Two
16th Jun 2014, 15:36
I've bought unlocked iPhones in both NZ (Vodaphone) and Australia (Apple store). Of course, you have to pay the full price.

I've used them with local SIM cards in Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, UK, Canada and USA. No problem.

If your phone is locked, you can get it easily unlocked at most independent phone stores and even "jail-broken" if you wish.

Note: there are currently three different iPhone models - two GSM and one CDMA. Don't buy the CDMA model (which I think is only available in the US)

Gertrude the Wombat
16th Jun 2014, 18:49
All iPhones have GSM, the standard used in Europe and most of the world.
The GSM protocols are standard, but the US uses funny frequencies.

G-CPTN
16th Jun 2014, 18:58
US uses funny frequencies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GSM_frequency_bands#Americas).

North American tri-band phones utilize 850, 1,800 and 1,900 for widespread North American service but limited worldwide use.

Apple iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S support quad-band GSM at 850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz, quad-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA at 850/900/1,900/2,100 MHz, and dual-band CDMA EV-DO Rev. A at 800/1,900 MHz, for a total of 'six' different frequencies.

mixture
16th Jun 2014, 18:59
The GSM protocols are standard, but the US uses funny frequencies.

Yeah but if you actually bothered to compare the specs would find Apple sell the same models worldwide (e.g. Apple US Specs (http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/specs/) vs Apple UK Specs (http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone-5s/specs/))

And to be quite frank, in all the times I've been in the US with a non-US phone, I've never had a problem.

1DC
16th Jun 2014, 19:00
Was caught out in Oz earlier this year, bought a simcard to use in an old phone and was told i had to put $30 on every 30 days for calls, e mail and internet with Telstra, if i forgot the simcard would shut down and i would have to buy a new one. To make sure i didn't forget i put the second months $30 on after 27 days and the 30 day cycle reset from when i put the money on and i lost 3 days. I couldn't get it back either. Will use someone else next year..

ExSp33db1rd
16th Jun 2014, 21:44
.....to put $30 on every 30 days for calls.....

Yes, that's a NZ rip-off too.

A new provider joined the market a couple of years ago, and allows some carry-over to the next month and is scooping the market as a result, still not perfect but a little better.

G-CPTN
16th Jun 2014, 22:20
put $30 on every 30 days for calls, e mail and internet I've been enquiring about PAYG internet access and told that there's a 1GB/month SIM available - with the option of missing a month - presumably no internet access (or phone use) during the month you don't pay (and no carry over either).

I don't currently have any mobile internet access (or a smartphone) so I'm cautious about committing myself to significant charges. I only spend about 1/month on my PAYG basic mobile.

Your data allowance will expire once you've used it all, or when the allocated time period has been reached, whichever come first.

Fareastdriver
17th Jun 2014, 04:11
Apple in particular.
In the UK, the most basic unlocked iPhone 5S costs 549!

Not only the UK. In Shanghai an Apple 5S is about 4.900 yuan, approx. 480.

I bought an ASUS Phonepad which is a smartphone that docks into a tablet. Twin sims, 4G Android for 2,000 yuan, approx. 195.

India Four Two
17th Jun 2014, 04:58
A new provider joined the market a couple of years ago,

Who is that? I'll be needing a new NZ SIM in September.

ExXB
17th Jun 2014, 08:27
The basic iPhone 5s is CHF779 here. (EUR638 USD866)

ExSp33db1rd
17th Jun 2014, 11:19
IndiaFourTwo

Who is that? I'll be needing a new NZ SIM in September.2Degrees, and if you stay at the Mercure Hotel on Quay St. Auckland, they have ( or did have last month ) a tub of Free Sim cards on the desk - you do have to buy a Prepaid voucher tho'. Not sure if the cheapest is $10 or $20. 2Degrees are the cheapest provider, and you can change your number to one that you can remember. ( if available ) Their network starts with 022 xxx xxxx

2Degrees use the Vodaphone cell towers, so you get cover wherever you can see the Vodaphone cover. ( No one provider is totally 100% over NZ, and the Southern end of the West Coast has none. ( this is called progress ! )

mixture
17th Jun 2014, 11:46
and the Southern end of the West Coast has none.

Actually, after all the horror stories I'd heard, I found coverage to be surprisingly good on South Island and the West Coast. Maybe I didn't go far enough south... but I got a signal everywhere on the West Coast apart from the Doubtful Sound.

But satellite phones with PAYG minutes can be bought fairly cheaply as a backup these days.

mixture
17th Jun 2014, 11:51
and the grossly inflated prices charged by some phone manufacturers, Apple in particular.

I wouldn't call Apple's pricing "grossly inflated" given the build quality and components are light years better than the plastic rubbish churned out by other manufacturers.

Plus, unlike other manufacturers who use Android or some other third party OS, when you buy Apple hardware, part of the profit is necessary to fund the development of software and firmware which is all done in-house, as well as their R&D.

The perceived gross profit margin with Apple may seem big, but the net margin is doubtless far more reasonable and not "inflated".

Finally, looking at the Samsung range, the S5 / S4 / whatever the top of their range is ... are not exactly cheap either !

mixture
17th Jun 2014, 11:54
Who is that? I'll be needing a new NZ SIM in September.


Just get a Vodafone PAYG sim and be done with it.

mixture
17th Jun 2014, 11:55
Maybe Fareastdriver was referring to the enormous profits made by service providers

I think you'll find any "enormous profits" are made on minutes billing and roaming rather than any hardware offering.