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wisniak (Offline)
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Question Recommendation for data SIM in UK - 21-04-2012, 06:28

Hi,

I'll be traveling twice the the UK this July/early August, shall be staying in the London/South UK areas.

Is there an updated page showing the prepaid 3G data offers? Full data, not WAP.
I saw the voice page United Kingdom, I was hoping there's a similar page for data.

Further, I wanted to ask about the viability of purchasing a SIM card abroad. The question regards the need for registrations and regarding the card activation.


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NFH (Offline)
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Default 21-04-2012, 09:52

You can order free SIM cards from most UK networks on their web sites for delivery to a UK address. Vodafone is the easiest for micro-SIMs. T-Mobile are doing some good deals for data. If you want to receive the free SIM before you arrive in the UK, you'll need to get someone in the UK to receive it at their UK address and then post it to you. Some cards are pre-activated; others require a brief phone call with no formalities.
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 10:43

Thank you, NFH.

I just found a local site that sells t-mobile prepaid pre-activated SIM cards.

Is there some sort of plan that I need to purchase in order to have data? eg 1/3GB.

Further, are there SIM cards than can do both voice & data?

In 2010 I had a Vodafone SIM card in Italy, it was a mess, huge costs for data (which is my main use). Throughout my 2-week visit I was unable to change the plan I was in to a more appropriate one.
Same happened on a 2009 visit to Paris.

On later visits to other European countries there was no such problem - the SIM worked immediately and had very good 3G coverage - Greece, Spain, Sicily (Italy) and other countries.
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 10:59

I've just checked and it seems that the deal on T-Mobile has ended. The deal was that you could get free data (maybe 500MB/month or something) for a year, just with a one-off top-up of 10. Your best bet is to order a free SIM from each network and then choose which one to use based on who's offering the best deal when you first arrive in the UK. Do you have a friend with a UK address who could post them to you if you order several in advance?
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 11:07

Also don't pay any attention to your previous experience with Vodafone in one particular country. Like most large brands operating in multiple countries, Vodafone is fragmented and the customer experience will be very different in each country.

One use for a Vodafone UK SIM is 5 for 25MB of data roaming outside the EU. Although you're unlikely to want to roam with a UK SIM, you can use this deal on aircraft (OnAir, AeroMobile etc) where the cost of data is usually extortionate.
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 12:22

I'll be in the London area twice in July/Aug, about 1 wk each time.
Knowing my browsing habits, I'll need about 2GB total.
Obviously I'll be using the same SIM.

Are there branches of t-mobile or others in the arrivals hall at Heathrow?
   
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NFH (Offline)
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Default 21-04-2012, 12:37

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisniak View Post
Are there branches of t-mobile or others in the arrivals hall at Heathrow?
Vodafone has a landside shop at Heathrow terminal 5, but according to the Heathrow web site, there aren't any others at other terminals or for other networks.
  • Do you have a friend with a UK address?
  • Do you need a micro-SIM?
  • Would 1GB for each month be enough? O2 have a 10/1GB bolt-on. With any UK network, you should expect to pay around a penny per megabyte with a bundle.
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 13:06

GiffGaff may be better for the data quantity you need. Unlimited data for 10. You could even try ordering an unofficial micro-SIM where the address fields are free text and may accept an address outside the UK.
   
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Default 21-04-2012, 13:59

Unfortunatelly not postcode must be entered in British format.

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CRO: Vip, Tomato, D: Tchibo, UK: giffgaff, PL: Heyah, Plus, UA: Kyivstar, MK: Vip, BIH: Eronet

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Default 21-04-2012, 14:08

Quote:
Originally Posted by zvoneb View Post
Unfortunatelly not postcode must be entered in British format.
So the OP could try entering the postcode of the Royal Mail's Mount Pleasant sorting office, EC1A 1BB, in the postcode and the full Israeli address above it. That way, it will get to one of the Royal Mail's international sorting offices who will then direct it accordingly. I've done something similar when ordering Irish SIMs to the UK and it works.
   
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