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Motel75 (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 10:57

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Originally Posted by LOTL View Post
We will have very little time to get a phone when we arrive. Being that Bristol appears to be a decent sized city, i would imagine i should be able to email one of the carriers and arrange to pick up a phone on a specific date and possibly even get a number from them before we arrive.
Crikey. You can pick up a brand new phone within a few minutes for very little money, possibly at the airport, or otherwise just about anywhere else. Britain is about the most competitive telecoms market anywhere, and there are phone shops on nearly every corner (note that #1 Carphone Warehouse does not actually sell car phones anymore, but the old name has stuck). You can't e-mail ahead and request a number (and there'd be no reason to - once you've got the phone, just call home and tell them what your number is).

If you get a Vodafone SIM, you can call the US for 5p a minute, and there are other cheap deals available - see PrePaidGSM: United Kingdom. (And if you do decide to get a nice phone rather than a 5 pound throwaway, do get one that's quad band, so you can use it in the USA.) You can even keep your UK SIM active so you can use it on future visits, even years later, by occasionally doing something with it like sending a text message every six months.


Current DE: Vodafone, Netzklub; PL: Klucz, Virgin; UK: Giffgaff, Vodafone; US: T-Mobile; CA: 7-Eleven; IT: Vodafone; UA: Kyivstar; FR: Bouygues; GR: Vodafone
Former DE: Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2, Blauworld, 01051mobile, Solomo, Lycamobile, Simyo, Congstar, Fonic, Edeka Mobile, Lidl Mobile; PL: Heyah, Era, Virgin, Sami Swoi, Orange, POP, iPlus, Carrefour Mova, Telepin Mobi, Play, Lycamobile, T-Mobile; UK: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin; US: T-Mobile, AT&T, Lycamobile; CZ: Vodafone, Oskar; ES: Lebara; GR: Vodafone, Wind; UA: Vodafone; IL: Orange; TR: Turkcell
   
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LOTL (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 15:19

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Originally Posted by MATHA531 View Post
Do yourself a favor...I just did a quick ebay search and saw oodles of listings for phones (new ones at that) quad bands unlockedfor less than $50...choose any one you want (saw what seems a nice Sony Ericsson for $30, saw a Motorola for
$20)....if you want to then go to any of the web sites and have free sim cards delivered to your first hotel, that's easy enough or just order one of the sim cards I suggested...fort less than $30 you'll be all set and simply have to top up (a very very simple matter and indeed can be done at the airport upon arrival...just don't see why you would want to start up and have a phone waiting (if you order from one of the carriers, it will probably be locked anyway).....at these prices, how can you go wrong?
Matha thanks for the push, i think ill grab one of the Motorola V195 or V197 phones and decide on which one of the cards from Ebay that you suggested would work best.

Is there a difference in reliability/coverage between Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile? Or are they all about the same?

I should have known better than to post late last night after going out shopping for Tents, Backpacks, Sleeping Bags etc.
   
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 15:48

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Originally Posted by LOTL View Post
Matha thanks for the push, i think ill grab one of the Motorola V195 or V197 phones and decide on which one of the cards from Ebay that you suggested would work best.

Is there a difference in reliability/coverage between Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile? Or are they all about the same?

I should have known better than to post late last night after going out shopping for Tents, Backpacks, Sleeping Bags etc.
Probably not a big difference but I'm not familiar with the areas of England you will be in...certainly in the cities there shouldn't be much of a difference; that is where, as I said in my first response, we could use some help from our British colleagues here. From what I've heard and read previously, T Mobile is probably slightly behind tyhe others in coverage...you probably can't go wrong with either Vodafone or Orange; Orange sim cards require registration, not a big deal and can be done online before they assign you a number...so putting that all together leaves us probably with vodafone. As noted, you can get a plan with them with calls to the USA at 5p/minute....you have to do a little bit of homework and read up on their web site the text message you have to send to sign up for that plan but none of this should be a deal killer!
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LOTL (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:02

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Originally Posted by Motel75 View Post
If you get a Vodafone SIM, you can call the US for 5p a minute, and there are other cheap deals available - see PrePaidGSM: United Kingdom. (And if you do decide to get a nice phone rather than a 5 pound throwaway, do get one that's quad band, so you can use it in the USA.) You can even keep your UK SIM active so you can use it on future visits, even years later, by occasionally doing something with it like sending a text message every six months.
Motel75,
Thanks for the link to the UK Prepaid page. I did check them out and i didnt see 5p for calling the US with Vodafone. It was 0.99 for landline and 1.21 for cell.
T-Mobile was 10p pr/minute to both Landlines and Cell.
Orange is 0.20 - 0.24

Ill have to look into it more to see what their packages include. The link to the prepaid T-Mobile card that was posted earlier T-Mobile UK Prepaid PAYG SIM Card w/FREE ROAMING & MORE - eBay (item 150425602949 end time May-19-10 14:17:41 PDT)
mentions that you can receive calls within the UK for free, and can receive text for free ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD including the US!

T-Mobile seems like the way to go and their coverage map appears the same as Orange and Vodafone.

Hopefully a few more hours of research and the info i have gotten from the people here, will help with the decision.
   
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Malkav (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:03

If you want to call home a lot....try one of the mvno's like Lebara, Nomi, Lyca, Vectone i have some spare sims of each of these if you want...will swap 1 for 1...there numbers are already supplied on the sim


Current networks: Orange 3g UK, 3 pay monthly, Virgin pay as you go UK, 3UK payg, Tesco payg, Asda mobile

Active phones: Blackberry Torch (02), Google Nexus one (Vodafone)
Inactive Sims: Oskar Czech R, BT Genie Pay as you go UK.

Spare (unused phones)
NEC 616, Ericsson t68/i, Nokia 3310, Sendo m550, Mototorola v66i, Motorola a1000.lg u880, Sony Ericsson t230. Orange spv m5000, Samsung z400, Motorola SLVR (Red)!, lobster tv700, spv m700, prada phone, motorola l7e, Skype phone, siemens sl65, blackberry 8810, Nokia 6500 slide X2.
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:18

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Originally Posted by LOTL View Post
Motel75,
Thanks for the link to the UK Prepaid page. I did check them out and i didnt see 5p for calling the US with Vodafone. It was 0.99 for landline and 1.21 for cell.
T-Mobile was 10p pr/minute to both Landlines and Cell.
Orange is 0.20 - 0.24

Ill have to look into it more to see what their packages include. The link to the prepaid T-Mobile card that was posted earlier T-Mobile UK Prepaid PAYG SIM Card w/FREE ROAMING & MORE - eBay (item 150425602949 end time May-19-10 14:17:41 PDT)
mentions that you can receive calls within the UK for free, and can receive text for free ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD including the US!

T-Mobile seems like the way to go and their coverage map appears the same as Orange and Vodafone.

Hopefully a few more hours of research and the info i have gotten from the people here, will help with the decision.
You have to sign up for vodafone international to get 5p/minute to the USA. See International Calling - Vodafone

Lebarra as suggested above is 4p/minute to the USA

T Mobile UK can be 3p/minute to the USA but you have an extra step to call a firm called yourcall world (see www.yourcallworld.com)......

Orange camel plan is 6p/minute to the USA but as above you can use yourcallworld to make it 3p/minute......

T Mobile UK straight up has a plan you can sign up for 5p/minute to the USA
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Malkav (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:27

nomi its 6p and 11p for texts International Mobile Rates | Cheap Phone Rates

lyca its Lycamobile Plus Tariffs
4p and 4p

vectone its 3p with texts at 10p Tariffs - How much do international calls on Vectone cost?


Current networks: Orange 3g UK, 3 pay monthly, Virgin pay as you go UK, 3UK payg, Tesco payg, Asda mobile

Active phones: Blackberry Torch (02), Google Nexus one (Vodafone)
Inactive Sims: Oskar Czech R, BT Genie Pay as you go UK.

Spare (unused phones)
NEC 616, Ericsson t68/i, Nokia 3310, Sendo m550, Mototorola v66i, Motorola a1000.lg u880, Sony Ericsson t230. Orange spv m5000, Samsung z400, Motorola SLVR (Red)!, lobster tv700, spv m700, prada phone, motorola l7e, Skype phone, siemens sl65, blackberry 8810, Nokia 6500 slide X2.
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MATHA531 (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:34

I'm still hoping vodafone will go mad again this summer and offer free roaming throughout Europe like they did last summer...did they make money on that or did they lose their shirts? Oh well, a fellow can hope, eh.
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:41

Also to add to those international rates from UK SIM's, Three UK now have some impressive tariffs from their prepaid SIMs. You need to just dial a short 3 digit prefix before dialing the international number. USA and Canada is just 3p/min.
See: 3 - Pay As You Go - International calling rates
   
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petkow (Offline)
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Default 20-04-2010, 16:45

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Originally Posted by MATHA531 View Post
...did they make money on that or did they lose their shirts?
Good question. After all, they still make some termination money on their UK network on incoming calls, and having it free just encourages people who would not normally be using the phone to keep using them just like it home. In most of Europe, their own networks will ensure that they do not pay any further inter-operator terminations.
   
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