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Buying SIM card in the UK

 
 
news.rcn.com
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      08-09-2006
Hoping this isn't too OT but I am coming to the UK next week and wanted to
use my American mobile phone

Not sure if there have been changes in UK service charges but last time I
tried this, I was charged about fifty times what I had ever been charged
before to do this. Learned my lesson on receiving my phone bill.

I cant (or haven't yet) found a cellular phone which will let me use my VOIP
service, nor do I think there are any open networks near me I can log on to
and I have no broadband access in the UK as far as I know.

Are there any places I should look in particular for a UK (presumably
pre-paid?) SIM card or are they all about the same price? (or do I mean are
all the call charges about the same price?) I have T-Mobile, a Vonage
account, and a VoipFone account. Is there any service I should avoid?


 
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{{{{{Welcome}}}}}
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      08-09-2006
Thus spaketh news.rcn.com:
> Hoping this isn't too OT but I am coming to the UK next week and
> wanted to use my American mobile phone
>
> Not sure if there have been changes in UK service charges but last
> time I tried this, I was charged about fifty times what I had ever
> been charged before to do this. Learned my lesson on receiving my
> phone bill.
> I cant (or haven't yet) found a cellular phone which will let me use
> my VOIP service, nor do I think there are any open networks near me I
> can log on to and I have no broadband access in the UK as far as I
> know.
> Are there any places I should look in particular for a UK (presumably
> pre-paid?) SIM card or are they all about the same price? (or do I
> mean are all the call charges about the same price?) I have
> T-Mobile, a Vonage account, and a VoipFone account. Is there any
> service I should avoid?



If you had been using your own mobile account, as in your USA SIM card
when in the UK, then yes, like everywhere else in the world, you will
get stung by high roaming charges, same as when people in the UK go to
the USA we get hit by high roaming charges, not quite so high in other
parts of Europe.

Tesco Mobile and Virgin mobile seem to have fairly low costs to call the
USA, if you use a UK SIM the good thing here like virtually everywhere
else in the world you are not charged for receiving calls, so you can
save plenty of money there. There are some call through providers you
can use to get the calls back to the USA cheaper.

There are one or two phones I believe that let you use VoIP, I know
T-Mobile here has blocked VoIP access.

If you could access the website:
http://www.webcalldirect.com/en/index.php on your mobile, you could use
a public phone box for example, enter that number and your destination
number in the USA and then the system will call you and then your
destination, and the entire call back to the USA will only cost 3 (Euro)
cents per call.

I'm sure someone else will be able to help you further.

Also uk.telecom.mobile maybe able to help.


--
DVD rental: www.southeastbirmingham.co.uk/dvd
PAYG Mobile Offers: www.southeastbirmingham.co.uk/payg
Items for sale: www.dodgy-dealer.co.uk

 
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Mark
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      08-09-2006
On Wed, 9 Aug 2006 16:13:49 -0400, "news.rcn.com" <news.rnc.com>
wrote:

>Hoping this isn't too OT but I am coming to the UK next week and wanted to
>use my American mobile phone
>
>Not sure if there have been changes in UK service charges but last time I
>tried this, I was charged about fifty times what I had ever been charged
>before to do this. Learned my lesson on receiving my phone bill.
>
>I cant (or haven't yet) found a cellular phone which will let me use my VOIP
>service, nor do I think there are any open networks near me I can log on to
>and I have no broadband access in the UK as far as I know.
>
>Are there any places I should look in particular for a UK (presumably
>pre-paid?) SIM card or are they all about the same price? (or do I mean are
>all the call charges about the same price?) I have T-Mobile, a Vonage
>account, and a VoipFone account. Is there any service I should avoid?


Seeing as you have a Voipfone account then make use of their call-back
service to make outgoing calls from your UK mobile number (UK and
Intl). You need to be able to access the Voipfone website to set this
up.

The Voipfone callback rate is cheapest for the O2 network. (8.4p/min
plus Voipfone's outgoing charges). That will easily beat O2 PAYG
rates for UK landline calling. Only Vigin mobile's PAYG rates for the
UK come anywhere near that, and then you need to use 5mins/day at
15p/min before the 5p/minute rate kicks-in.

You can get an O2 SIM card for around 10 at various outlets including
O2, CarphoneWarehouse shops etc. (Virgin Mobile SIMs are a bit
cheaper). Online they are sometimes free, but you probably won't be
able to take delivery

I assume your phone is GSM-capable and can work on either or both of
900/1800MHz.

If you are bringing a laptop you can use Skype for free at
QinetiQ/Broadreach ("ReadyToSurf") hotspots which are at many London
mainline rail stations and other locations.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4312101.stm

Finally, if you get an IPKall.com number you can point it at your
Voipfone account. Forward your Voipfone account to your UK mobile
number and US callers could call you very cheaply (or free). You will
obviously pay the UK divert charges (at the usual Voipfone rate).

HTH

Mark
 
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news.rcn.com
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      08-10-2006

"Mark" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Wed, 9 Aug 2006 16:13:49 -0400, "news.rcn.com" <news.rnc.com>
> wrote:
>
>>Hoping this isn't too OT but I am coming to the UK next week and wanted to
>>use my American mobile phone
>>
>>Not sure if there have been changes in UK service charges but last time I
>>tried this, I was charged about fifty times what I had ever been charged
>>before to do this. Learned my lesson on receiving my phone bill.
>>
>>I cant (or haven't yet) found a cellular phone which will let me use my
>>VOIP
>>service, nor do I think there are any open networks near me I can log on
>>to
>>and I have no broadband access in the UK as far as I know.
>>
>>Are there any places I should look in particular for a UK (presumably
>>pre-paid?) SIM card or are they all about the same price? (or do I mean
>>are
>>all the call charges about the same price?) I have T-Mobile, a Vonage
>>account, and a VoipFone account. Is there any service I should avoid?

>
> Seeing as you have a Voipfone account then make use of their call-back
> service to make outgoing calls from your UK mobile number (UK and
> Intl). You need to be able to access the Voipfone website to set this
> up.
>
> The Voipfone callback rate is cheapest for the O2 network. (8.4p/min
> plus Voipfone's outgoing charges). That will easily beat O2 PAYG
> rates for UK landline calling. Only Vigin mobile's PAYG rates for the
> UK come anywhere near that, and then you need to use 5mins/day at
> 15p/min before the 5p/minute rate kicks-in.
>
> You can get an O2 SIM card for around 10 at various outlets including
> O2, CarphoneWarehouse shops etc. (Virgin Mobile SIMs are a bit
> cheaper). Online they are sometimes free, but you probably won't be
> able to take delivery
>
> I assume your phone is GSM-capable and can work on either or both of
> 900/1800MHz.
>
> If you are bringing a laptop you can use Skype for free at
> QinetiQ/Broadreach ("ReadyToSurf") hotspots which are at many London
> mainline rail stations and other locations.
>
> http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4312101.stm
>
> Finally, if you get an IPKall.com number you can point it at your
> Voipfone account. Forward your Voipfone account to your UK mobile
> number and US callers could call you very cheaply (or free). You will
> obviously pay the UK divert charges (at the usual Voipfone rate).
>
> HTH
>
> Mark


What I really need is to be able to call UK numbers reasonably
inexpensively: It is useful that my customers can call me from the US
without it costing them a fortune but calls to the UK from the US tend to
cost 2.4 cents a minute if you know what you are doing and if you don't,
you probably don't care anyway.

So buying an O2 card when I arrive seems to be the way to go? I don't
imagine I will be able to get one free at my London address before I arrive
on 22nd August? It might be worthwhile trying: Is there a site somewhere
and how do they work, do you have to 'fill them up' with prepaid minutes in
some way when you are there? (I did this in Portugal four years ago and
could fill a card up from any ATM but the cost of calls was astronomical)
And then at what SORT OF rate do they charge you for calls you make?


 
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news.rcn.com
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      08-10-2006
BTW Thanks for posting my question for me: (I didnt know about the NG)

Trying to use voip doesnt seem to have many advantages, especially if there
are no open networks near my home!


 
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Ivor Jones
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      08-10-2006
"news.rcn.com" <news.rnc.com> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)
> BTW Thanks for posting my question for me: (I didnt know
> about the NG)
> Trying to use voip doesnt seem to have many advantages,
> especially if there are no open networks near my home!


Especially as using someone else's network (open or not, other than a
genuine hotspot) without their permission is an offence.

Ivor


 
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zacnici
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      08-10-2006
You will have NO trouble buying a prepaid/prepay/pay as you go SIM in
the UK particularly London, in fact you could probably buy one at the
airport and certainly in London's Oxford Street (Madame Tussaud's,
Baker St etc), between the cheap and nasty plastic souvenir policeman
helmet stalls virtually every second shop is selling mobiles, SIM's
etc.

Dual band 900/1800 GSM is standard, you can pick phones up anywhere for
as little as 30 or so with credit, you can get it unlocked for future
travel for about 10, virtually any mobile shop on Oxford street will
do that as you wait but go for Nokia or Motorola as they are easier to
unlock. A dual band will function in Europe, Africa, the Middle East,
the Far East and Australasia.

Triband phone, as above but you can also use it back in the US (quad
band would be better but not all that common in low end phones). A
Motorola Triband V220 is cheap and cheerful, say about 40 or so.

You can top up credit at many ATM's, post offices, petrol stations,
newsagents, shops, supermarkets etc.

All incoming calls are free on UK networks.

I would suggest TalkMobile World if you can buy instore
http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/com...ILE.HOME.FRESH

Essentialy a 'virtual network' from carphonewarehouse
www.carphonewarehouse.co.uk
Calls to standard landlines and all networks 15p minute, calls to USA
5p minute thereby obviating any need to go through access numbers

I think you can buy instore from Carphonewarehouse but not sure, check
out the link and email for confirmation and also locations of their
stores relative to your itinerary

My next suggestion would be Virgin or T Mobile as you can pick those up
from anywhere:
Virgin
http://www.virginmobile.com/mobile/t.../shop_menu.jsp
15p minute first 5 minutes of each day, then 5p to standard landlines
and Virgin mobiles, 35p to other networks, voicemail free. Calls to US
20p minute


T Mobile
http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/Dispatcher...mid=pas_pp_pla...


Everyone tariff, all calls to standard landlines and mobiles are 12p
minute, voicemail 10p, Calls to US 70p minute, pricey!

My own opinion is that Orange, O2 and Vodafone are pricey for visitors
so haven't bothered to list them.

The cool thing about pay as you go mobiles in the UK is that the credit
generally does not expire, so you can keep it for a future visit. You
will probably have to make a chargeable call every six months so make a
5 second phone call back in the US every 4 or 5 months and your number
is safe.

Regards

 
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Joe Harrison
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      08-10-2006
Looks like O2 SIMs are free right now, why not order one to be sent to your
London address. I have several of these and they arrive quite quickly,
certainly in time for 22 August.

http://shop.o2.co.uk/shop/o2uk/jsp/t...y&hideTab=true


 
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Joe Harrison
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      08-10-2006
Ooops, got that wrong, those are actually free SIMs on a minimum 1-month
contract which is probably not quite what you want. But check the O2 site
daily as their Pay and Go SIMs are very frequently 99p or 0p.


 
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news.rcn.com
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      08-10-2006

I would suggest TalkMobile World if you can buy instore
http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/com...ILE.HOME.FRESH

Essentialy a 'virtual network' from carphonewarehouse
www.carphonewarehouse.co.uk
Calls to standard landlines and all networks 15p minute, calls to USA
5p minute thereby obviating any need to go through access numbers


Many thanks: I had thought htat Vodaphone was the cheapest so long as you
arent sure to whom you are going to be able to call AND that most calls
woudl be to land lines? But I DO have a TalkTalkOnetel account and wonder
if this woudl be of assistance or put me on some better plan?


 
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