US iphone in UK

Sep 12th, 2019, 06:27 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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US iphone in UK

Hi all -- We leave for England on Sunday but I'm just learning about US phones needing a UK SIM card. Found this online from years ago. Is the situation still the same?

We bought a card at Heathrow when we landed and got a WAY better deal than anything we found online before we left. The card was the same 1 GB with a lot of minutes (can't remember, wanted mostly for the internet) deal we'd seen online for like 20-25 quid but had 10GB "FREE" because we got it at the airport on a special deal. So you don't need to buy ahead.
guy is offline  
Sep 12th, 2019, 06:37 PM
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Sep 12th, 2019, 07:33 PM
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>>but I'm just learning about US phones needing a UK SIM card<<

Might or might not. Who is your carrier and what sort of plan do you have??
janisj is online now  
Sep 12th, 2019, 08:27 PM
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I have AT &T and I just bought one of their European plans, they have different ones so pick what works for you. I was gone a month and actually I didn't use one bit of data but it depends on how you use your phone. I used airplane mode when out and about and used WiFi when ever it was available. I don't have a lot of stuff stored on my phone, don't pay bills etc, so wasn't too worried about using WiFi. I also turned off a lot of my apps that I don't use or rarely use.

We also had an advantage in London because the hotel provided a free phone that we could use as GPS and make all local calls for free so we used that a lot.

I downloaded an app called Hang Outs and used that to call the US for free. The person I was calling didn't need that app. I had a friend call me, didn't know I was in Europe, and I told her to hang up and I called her back on Hang Outs. I of course was on the hotels Wifi anytime I was in the building.

So, what I did may not work for you and there are people here much more experienced than I with using phones over seas. All I know was it worked, I was happy, except paying for the plan that in the end I didn't need...well except for the access. Actually I was happy the way it all worked and I was covered and was comfortable using my phone and I didn't worry about weird charges showing up and such. I'm a novice anyway, so I'm sure others know more than me.
crefloors is offline  
Sep 12th, 2019, 08:40 PM
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Sorry -- Our provider is Verizon.
guy is offline  
Sep 12th, 2019, 09:42 PM
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You do not need a European SIM. You will pay through the nose for service via your US provider, and CAN get and use a European SIM if your device is unlocked. It will be cheaper but you will have a European phone number.
Seamus is online now  
Sep 12th, 2019, 10:29 PM
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it depends on the usage. The only time I used data was when I urgently had to contact someone (weather delay) or when a family member needed to contact me. So I used my Verizon international plan for that.

it depends a lot on where youíre staying, and who you need to contact. I stay at hostels, and the WiFi isnít reliable. It was less that I needed to contact anyone and more that my various relatives needed to be able to reach me whenever necessary. A SIM card would not have been convenient in my case.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Sep 13th, 2019, 02:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I like to buy a local SIM when travelling outside the country if I plan to make local calls. Otherwise, with Skype, Hangouts, FaceTime, and all the other apps these days it’s easy to stay in touch with Wi-Fi. Turn off roaming and put the phone in Airplane mode. With my iPhone I can turn Wi-Fi back on while the phone is in Airplane mode.
Heimdall is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 06:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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There are many Vodafone retail locations in London. We bought a £10 SIM card from Vodafone in Paddington station which came with 3GB of data and x minutes of calling. It was the best £10 spent on the entire trip. I remember Vodafone also had a £20 SIM with 10GB of data.

Our hotel had free WIFI, and also supplied an android phone for use during our stay. But there are convenience using your own phone.
Reading54 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2019, 11:00 AM
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Vodafone is good, in fact I have a monthly contract with them. You can get a stronger signal in some areas with EE.
Heimdall is offline  
Sep 14th, 2019, 12:23 PM
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Verizon has a couple different International plans. Usually I just go with TravelPass, which allows me to use my usual minutes/texts (unlimited) there. It’s $10 a day and you’re only charged if you use the phone that day. If you don’t use it, you’re not charged. (You could put airplane mode on and just connect via wifi if you want to). I activated the plan and just always leave it on. It’s less for Canada and Mexico ($5 a day I think) and covers everywhere I’ve been in Europe and S. America but not Africa.
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