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  1. #1
    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    To London with iphone

    I'll be in London for a week and a half next month and am contemplating cellphone options. Ordinarily I see losing phone coverage as a perk of vacation but this trip will be the first time in awhile I will need my phone and data. Verizon wants to charge me $10 a day which is absurd but may be necessary. What are UK sim cards like? Are they worth it? Any other suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    If your phone is unlocked, you can enjoy a wide variety of options here in the uk. You can get a sim at any larger grocery store like Tesco or Asda, or other shops like Argos or Carphone Warehouse. Probably also larger Boots or train stations, though I am not certain. If you are looking online, you want a SIM-only PAYG (pay as you go). Good luck!


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  3. #3
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    I purchased a prepaid SIM when I was in London in September 2016. I got mine at an O2 store and paid 10 pounds. It came with 500mb of data. They had options with more data. Most major companies have similar options at similar prices. I went with a relatively small amount of data because the place I stayed had good wifi otherwise I might have gotten more. I hope this helps. I had no problem putting the SIM in my Verizon phone.

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    Greetings,
    Do you have any idea what your data usage will be?

    The last time I was in Great Britain, I got my iPhone unlocked before I left home. Once I arrived in Edinburgh, there were several phone stores on Princes Street. After checking them out, I went to the one with the best plan for my requirements. It had unlimited data, but the phone calls were by the minute and I could top up as needed. They installed a SIM card and I was all set. Topping up was easy, at any news agent, Tesco store, ASDA, etc.

    500 mg of data does not seem like much. I avoid those plans, as the overage fee can be an unwelcome surprise.

    Good luck! elisa

    Edit to add: The plan I got was ridiculously inexpensive compared to US phone rates for the same service. Note that I did not need to call overseas, just local calls in England and Scotland. Communication back home was via email.
    Last edited by AlaskaGirl; 02-22-2017 at 08:05 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRD View Post
    What are UK sim cards like? Are they worth it? Any other suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
    When you're traveling abroad and looking for a SIM, if you go to a carrier there will almost always been an option for travelers/vacationers. That was the case when I went to Rome at the end of '15 and Berlin '16. Each time, I spent roughly $45 for the card, about 1.5-2GB of data that would be good for a month (even though I was only there for a week and a half), calls and texts, and a leftover balance so I could add more calls/texts/data as necessary. Just make sure to bring your passport with you otherwise they won't sell to you.

    No need to worry about whether a Verizon iPhone is unlocked. All Verizon phones have been unlocked for the past few years.

  6. #6
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    Unlocked phone >GSM >Payasyougo SIM.
    I also own an old school Virgin Mobile phone with a payasyougo feature.

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Make sure that you take a SIM removal tool or a paperclip with you so that you can actually remove the USA SIM card on your iphone, also make extra sure you don't lose your USA SIM card as you will want to re-install it when you get back to the USA.

    Just my 2 cents (or pence). There's a machine that sells SIM cards at Heathrow just before you through immigration and customs. Don't buy your card from that machine. You'll get better rates if you buy from one of the shops post-immigration. And even better rates if you can hold off until you get away from the airport.

  8. #8
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    When you arrive in London, go to Carphone Warehouse, there are lots of them all over, and have them help you. They offer numerous plans, not just one carrier, and will set your phone up for you.

    I used to be with Verizon but when I started traveling overseas, I switched to T-Mobile. Most of their plans include international coverage which is 20 cents/minute for a phone call, unlimited free texts and unlimited free data.

    As stated. make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave or you won't be able to use the phone with another company's sim card. Some VZ Iphones come unlocked.

    And you are aware that with a new sim you get a new phone number.
    Last edited by Frank II; 02-22-2017 at 10:44 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank II View Post
    As stated. make sure your phone is unlocked before you leave or you won't be able to use the phone with another company's sim card. Some VZ Iphones come unlocked.
    All Verizon iPhones since the iPhone 5 have been unlocked.

    All Verizon 4G LTE smartphones come unlocked as a result of restrictions placed on the company by the FCC when they were building their 4G LTE network.

  10. #10
    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone this was really helpful!

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    Forum Member TRD's Avatar
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    Dear friends, thank you so much for the advice. I was able to buy a 4Gig sim card for 15GBP. It also came with more talk and text than I would ever use in a week. I could have gotten a much bigger card for far less than I pay for my current data plan in the US.

    Chalk this up to things that are WAY cheaper in Europe.

    Thank you again, you all saved me a small fortune.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRD View Post
    Dear friends, thank you so much for the advice. I was able to buy a 4Gig sim card for 15GBP. It also came with more talk and text than I would ever use in a week. I could have gotten a much bigger card for far less than I pay for my current data plan in the US.

    Chalk this up to things that are WAY cheaper in Europe.

    Thank you again, you all saved me a small fortune.
    Great news! Where did you end up getting it?


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cristina View Post
    Great news! Where did you end up getting it?
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    The 02 store next to the Angel tube stop. It was definitely more expensive at the airport (not unexpected) but I forgot to take a photo of the rates so I can't give specifics of how much more. I wan to say there it was 15 GBP for 500MB of data or something like that.

  14. #14
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Didn't expect to need this thread, but will now be making a surprise return trip to the U.K., so this will come in handy!

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