mobile phone usage in Scotland

Old Jul 18th, 2005, 10:37 AM
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mobile phone usage in Scotland

Our group of 4 is touring various regions of Scotland. We will not always be together through out each day. We will not always be in large cities. We'd like to continue to keep in touch with each other(saftey, conveniency). What is the cheapest/easiest way to get a short term cell phone. Our current cell phone & company does not have SIMS card capablity. Can we buy a cheap phone with calling time on it ("phone to go")@ the Glasgow airport? Other options?
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 10:42 AM
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You can buy fairly inexpensive mobile phones in Scotland but they will probably be locked to one provider.

Pay as you go is the way to go in the UK. If you are going to be basically calling among yourselves it doesn't matter which company you use.

I responded to somebody about mobile phones in Glascow a day or two ago. Click on my tag above and see some of the things I suggested.

As you will be in the UK, you might also wish to look at the offer of Mobal which is offering a very cheap phone and service that is very cheap within the UK or even if the phone is locked, you can get an O2 sim card as soon as you arrive and be in business that way too.
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Here is a link to xyz123's previous informative thread;

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...en_name=xyz123

Jim
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 07:11 PM
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Thank you for alerting me to your numerous moble phone advice threads. My new concern - our friends will use a sim card for their Cingular phone on our UK trip. Will they retain their USA phone number? If I purchase a "pay as you go" phone and electronic swipe card, will my rate to call my friend's USA mobile number be more than $1.50/minute? Should I buy a Mobal?
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 08:46 PM
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Your friends will retain their US number if they use Cingular international roaming so you will pay whatever the carrier's fee is to call North America. For example, if you use Virgin Mobile UK you will pay 20p/minute timed to the second (5p minimum) to call your friends mobile even if they are standing 1 meter away from you but...

they will pay Cingular's rip off roaming rate to receive while international roaming something like $1.29/minute or thereabouts..

If they call you they will dial your UK number and pay $1.29/minute but you will pay nothing to receive....

Using a US sim to roam internationally is very very expensive, you pay both to make and receive calls.

Using local sims is much much much cheaper you pay to make but don't pay to receive calls.

Since they already have GSM phones, they can get the phones unlocked (you may have to wait till you get to Glascow to get them unlocked), buy a Virgtin Mobile UK sim and simply switch sim cards and when you are finished they can put their origi8nal sim cards back in their phones. You see it is the sim card, not the phone, with GSM that determines the phone number etc. Unless it is for emergency use of one or two calls at most, it is highly recommended you do not use US carrier international roaming.
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 09:04 PM
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Just one other alternative for you...you can look up mobal.com and buy their service...their cheapest service costs $49 includes a locked gsm phone and an O2 UK sim....wince you are on O2, you would pay nothing to receive but their rates are asininely high to call North America...

Solution open up an account with cllbackworld.com and you would then pay something like 30/minute to call North America.

That might be easiest for you although I still think virgin mobile UK is a somewhat better soluton.
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Old Jul 18th, 2005, 10:19 PM
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Scotland is a pretty large place, and mobile phone coverage in Scotland varies very considerably by supplier. There's really no point in buying a SIM for a company that doesn't have good coverage in the part of the county you're planning to be.

Here's a link for a list of coverage maps. www.mobileshop.org/buyguide/coverage.htm

Click each supplier's name for their map. Buying a SIM for the supplier you choose is relatively easy practically anywhere, EXCEPT:

There isn't a SIM-selling shop that I can recall available to arrriving passengers at Glasgow airport. (Resident Scots on this board might advise us on whether the Dixons airside, available only to departing passengers, stocks SIMs. But that's pretty useless for you).

If you're picking up a hire car at Glasgow airport, pop into Paisley and go into any electronics shop. If you're taking public transport into central Glasgow, SIMs are available from practically anywhere with a cash till.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 11:01 AM
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Thank you for the education on mobile phones in Scotland. I'm looking forward to a relaxing trip with the knowledge that our group can easily stay in touch. Thank you
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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After researching Virgin Mobile UK, it appears it's coverage disappears in many areas around golf course/ countrysides. Therefore we will only have a paperweight when we are out in the country. Is this true? Or did I read the colored maps wrong. Virgin Mobile appears to have coverage only in cities? Are Mobal's phones on O2?
O2's coverage looks good everywhere.
Their web site did not say what network they use.
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Old Jul 19th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Yup, mobal's coverage is that of O2....
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