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Buying SIM cards in Manchester/Windermere, UK

Buying SIM cards in Manchester/Windermere, UK

Jan 10th, 2007, 07:13 AM
  #1  
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Buying SIM cards in Manchester/Windermere, UK

Another question for our trip next June. We are flying from Nashville to Manchester, then taking the train to Windermere. I've searched for mobile phone stores at the Manchester airport and main train station and in Windermere. The only one I've found is an Orange store in Manchester Piccadilly station. Does anyone know of a better option? Or should we hold out till we get to Edinburgh a couple of days later and can get to a Virgin store? It would be great to have to call our B&B in Windermere if necessary, but it's mainly for peace of mind for the folks back home. Thanks as always!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:04 AM
  #2  
 
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If it's som important to you let me make another suggestion...

British sim cards are dirt cheap and they're almost being given away....check out ebay (www.ebay.co.uk)...there are lots of virgin mobile cards available and with postage will cost less than if you wait to buy them upon arrival in the UK.

Virgin mobile cards are nice as they come loaded with £5 of credit, they give you a swipe card for top ups and they can be used right fresh out of the box...no need to activate.

You can also get T Mobile UK cards there also no activation needed but they come with no credit and have to be topped up which can be done at any boots or whatever upon arrival in the UK...you will at least know your number. For £2 you can buy 50 minutes of calls on T Mobile UK to the USA and Canada which works out to 4p/minute.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:31 AM
  #3  
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Thanks for the suggestion! I was hesitant to buy a sim card before leaving, since I've never in my life put one in a phone - but people do it all the time, so it must not be too bad! I know you're the resident cell phone expert - would you recommend going with Virgin over T Mobile or vice versa? I'm anticipating us just using it to call b&bs/hostels if necessary and home periodically.

We'll also be going to Ireland - I had planned to just get a Vodaphone sim card when we get to Killarney, but I may take a look for those online too. It's more important to me to have one there, as we'll be driving.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #4  
 
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Virgon Mobile, T Mobile UK six of one half a dozen of the other...Virgin Mobile uses T Mobile UK towers so the coverage will be exactly the same...

Given my druthers I would probably go with Virgin Mobile as the sim cards come preloaded with £5 worth of credit and calls to the USA are only 20p/minute but no big difference either way.

Both T Mobile UK and Virgin Mobile allow you to roam in the Republic of Ireland and if you're just using the phone there for emergencies, you can check out the roaming rates in the various web sites...it may not be necessary to get a separate Irish sim.
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #5  
 
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BTW you do have an unlocked gsm phone with at least 1800 band which is what T Mobile UK and Virgin mobile operate on, don't you?
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:43 AM
  #6  
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We'll be using it more in Ireland than in the UK, I think - some of our b&bs require that we phone them to let them know when we're coming, that kind of thing. But it may not be worth the trouble to change out the sim card - I'll definitely check into it. Thanks!

One other question - do sim cards usually come with instructions on how to put them in, or is it fairly easy to figure out? Sorry about my ignorance - I've traveled abroad before but this is my first experience figuring out the cell phone issue.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 08:45 AM
  #7  
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Posting at the same time! I don't have one yet, but have searched on eBay a little. We don't leave till the end of May, so I have a little time.
jent103 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 09:31 AM
  #8  
 
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The instructions for the phone explain how to insert a sim card into a particular model...most of the time you remove the back cover, remove the battery (probably if it's a new phone the battery will not already be in the phone) and you will see the slot for the sim card...the sim card has an oblique side and can only go into the slot one way with the gold side facing the contacts...no offense intended to you but most any 15 year old geek can handle it so I have no doubt in the slightest this should be any problem. Usually the sim card comes attached to a larger card which will show a pin # which some but not all sim cards require when the phone is booting up (I don't think Virgin or T Mobile UK or Vodafone require them but some others do but not to worry) and something called a PUK code which you will probably never need (password unlocking key)...if you enter the wrong pin 3 times the sim card will lock and you will need the PUK before you can use the phone to unlock the pin but probably you will never need it).
xyz123 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 12:05 PM
  #9  
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No offense taken whatsoever. Hopefully that info will help others as well. I appreciate the instructions - definitely more than I expected. Doesn't sound difficult at all. Thank you so much!
jent103 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 02:54 PM
  #10  
 
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I have unused T-Mobile and O2 sim card (sorry, no Virgin Mobile) and I'm happy to send it to you FOC.
Just send me an email on alexis2525 @ mail.com (remove spaces) with your mail address, stating which one you require.
A small gift to a visitor to my part of the world!
Alec is offline  

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