cell phones in London

Old Dec 1st, 2002, 03:26 PM
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cell phones in London

I know this is a dumb question, but will my U. S. cell phone work in London?
Old Dec 1st, 2002, 03:30 PM
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If you have the service for it.
AT&T does provide international calling service.
Old Dec 1st, 2002, 03:58 PM
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This has been the subject of many threads. The answer is most unlikely.

Basically, British cell phones operate on a system known as GSM. In the US, T-Mobile and Cingular use GSM as does some AT&T service (relatively new) but they operate on different frequencies in the US than in the UK. Non GSM carriers will not work.

But the good news is that British cell phone plans known as pay as you go are relatively cheap and easily accesbile by going to a phone store in the UK. Check back in the archives for some of the info regarding this.
Old Dec 1st, 2002, 06:15 PM
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Old Dec 1st, 2002, 06:18 PM
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My daughter was in London in early Nov. She called me daily on her cell phone. She has AT&T international service. Call and ask.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:24 AM
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A US GSM phone will work so long as it supports GSM 900/1800MHz - the US uses 1900MHz - and so long as your Cellular service provider allows international roaming. They Usually do.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 05:28 AM
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Just to clarify...the vast majority of GSM phones used in the US do not support the European frequencies. They must say they are tri band phones or you can buy a separate dual band GSM phone from many internet merchants for around $70. You can then transfer your SIM card from your phone to the other phone, call your serice provider and you are set. However...

Voicestream (T-mobile) has the most reasonable rates...99 cents a minute to make and to receive calls while roaming in Europe. AT&T is a little more expensive.

But if you go to London with such a phone, you can buy a Virgin Mobile service pack for £10 which includes £5 worth of call credit. Virgin mobile requires no registration or hassle or anything like that. Walk into a phone store, buy the service pack, stick in the SIM card and you now have a British cell phone with a British phone number. Calls from Britain to the US on this plan are 20p a minute timed to the second (talk for 30 seconds and you pay 10p)...and most nicely receiving calls is free! The disadvantage is you have to have a way to let everybody know your British cell phone number but it works and most importantly the time never expires and you can keep the same number for later trips to London or give the phone to a relative or a friend.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 01:57 PM
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Please don't walk into a shop in the UK and ask for a cell phone - we call them mobile phones here, NEVER cell phones.

I agree with xxx though, Virgin mobiles are definitely the easiest way to go.
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:35 PM
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I bought a mobile phone at Gatwick. It wasn't expensive. My guess is that it was 29 pounds for a prepaid phone. There's no monthly charge. I was trying to rent one but couldn't find anyplace to rent one. The cost of buying one was less than in the US where one often has to buy a yearly contract (There are exceptions, like the Tracfone at KMart, etc)
Old Dec 18th, 2002, 05:16 AM
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The advice by xxxx is correct. We just got t-mobile phones & service (you have to get the right phones, as xxx said) that we can use in London. The phones included european adapters for the chargers too. You do have to call the service 48 hours in advance and they will activate the band required to use it in the UK and other points in Western Europe.
Old Dec 21st, 2002, 02:59 PM
TC Rider
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If you are on AT&T, you can call (800) 335-4685 and get a SIM card linked to your US number. There is a 1 time fee of about $25.00 and a 8 or 9 dollar monthly fee. (you can cancel after one month)

You'll pay 1.35/min for all calls in the UK or back to the US.

We borrowed a GSM phone from my office (you can also rent there). The price sounds high, but it made it easy for folks at home to call us in case of emergencies, they just dial the local number in the US.

We got a phone card in London, which was incredibly cheap for making calls back home, $15.00 for 500 minutes. We had rented a car, so the GSM phone was a nice security blanket.
Old Dec 21st, 2002, 09:36 PM
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Look at the prces you are talking about...now compare with walking into a London phone store and buying a Virgin Mobile service pack. Put the SIM card into the phone you borrowed from your office and...

1. Pay GBP 10 for the service pack with GBP worth of calls.

2. Pay 20p a minute to call from the UK to the US. 15p a minute for calls within the UK all calls billed by the second.

3. Inform your friends via e=mail of your UK phone number. Pay nothing to receive calls (the caller pays a higher rate a few cents more a minute).

4. Keep the SIM card and your number for future trips to the UK.

Seems like a no brainer to me.
Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 06:32 AM
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An earlier post in this thread indicated that the "time" doesn't expire for Virgin Mobile....
I was told that all pay-as-you-go plans expired after 6 or 9 months depending on provider. Is this something new that Virgin has introduced, or does time expire with no activity after "x" period of time?
Thanks in advance.
Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 07:41 AM
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That will depend on your model of phone and the network you are on and the contract you have with that network. You have failed to provide any of this basic information and so it is impossible to say whether you phone will work in London. In general though, most US phones do not work in London. In fact most US phones do not work in most places outside of the States and can even be problematic within the States.
Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 09:35 AM
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You can also rent world phones from some cell-phone shops. When I travel, this is what I do -- there is a fee to rent the phone, but then you get a NY number, and you don't get charged for incoming calls. Plus, you KNOW it will work without the hassle of trying to find a phone in the foriegn country.

Rock Bottom Rentals has phones for almost every country I've every been to.

Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 03:39 PM
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Virgin will reinstate service with the time you had left if it expires but I believe a simple way aroud this problem is to call your phone number at least once every few months. I believe calls into your voice mail keep the account active...
Old Dec 28th, 2002, 09:04 AM
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