Cell phones

Old May 4th, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Cell phones

Travelling to UK in fall; what kind of cell phone recommendations for about 3 weeks usage? Prepaid? Rental? We use prepaid in US as we don't use them a lot, but I'm sure they're different over there. Don't want bells & whistles, just service at a reasonable cost.
Thanks!
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Prepaids are widely used in UK, you can easily "top up" (add value) at grocery stores and newsstands. I took an old unlocked quad-band phone and bought the SIM there, but if you search on this forum, you'll find guidance on where/how to purchase a cheap phone when you arrive.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 10:59 AM
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like kayd suggested get an unlocked GSM phone online. then purchase a sim card overseas or ahead of time

this was one i used : www.maxroam.com
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Old May 4th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Rental is likely to be the least attractive of all the options. It might have made sense in the 20th century...

There are least three options:

1. Use your phone as is. This depends on the carrier and the phone's capability, neither of which you have posted. t-mobile USA prepaid plan does WORK in Europe at high minutes cost provided that the phone can operated on European 900/1800mhz GSM.
2. Use your phone with UK SIM. This works if your phone is carrier unlocked to accept a UK SIM and also capable of operating on 900/1800mhz GSM. This is probably the cheapest, and you already know how to use your phone. This is what kayd used.
3. Buy phone+SIM in UK.

Depending on your usage, you might not need a mobile phone at all. Are you making outgoing calls only from your hotel with free Wifi? You can make calls using Skype at not cost to user using Skype or can be used to call toll free numbers without having to fund the Skype account.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Thanks for the input! I'm pretty sure the prepaid (Tracfone) is not compatible with UK SIM. (We can call the UK, but not from there.) Have thought about Skype; need to check it further. Probably won't need a phone at all, but, since we have no set itinerary, I like to think someone could reach us if need be.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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Leave your phone at home. Stop by a CarPhoneWarehouse.


http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/pay...o/shopybyprice

You won't believe how easy it is to pick up a phone in the UK or
how cheap it is.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 01:49 PM
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BTW... I find having a phone very useful in Europe... especially if you have no firm itinerary. You can phone ahead to hotels and B&Bs, make restaurant reservations and all sorts of things. Friends were recently in Paris and found their hotel unsuitable... they found it really useful they had a phone as they called around to other hotels to find a room.

Regarding Skype... you aren't going to get a smart phone for the price of a cheap PAYG so forget Skype. Some rates, like Lebara's, are so low you won't need Skype anyway.
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Old May 4th, 2012, 07:32 PM
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As others mentioned, the last thing you want to do is rent in this day and age. Tracfone will not work like as you mentioned. get a cheap unlocked phone that has the 900/1800 bands at least. Then get a sim card when you get there. They give sim cards away. You just need to top it up.
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