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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:47 AM   #1
KDR
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Trip to UK in April. Need advice on data plan

I will be in London and Liverpool in April, and will be travelling with a US-based AT&T iPhone 5.

I've seen info on hotspot rental, sim cards and AT&T data plans and am trying to decide what to go with. I will need a mobile hotspot for my computer in addition to data for the phone. My work phone line is VOIP and can run off an app on my iPhone, so one option is to turn off the cellular and use the phone in data-only mode.

Any suggestions on how to handle data abroad and the best providers is greatly appreciated.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 11:51 AM   #2
Brian Y
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Best thing to do when you're over here is pick up a pre-loaded PAYG SIM for data. You can get some T-Mobile SIMs on ebay which offer 500mb/month 6 months (10). Or Three over here sell PAYG sims with 1GB for 10, 3GB for 20, or 12GB for 70.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:01 PM   #3
KDR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Y View Post
Best thing to do when you're over here is pick up a pre-loaded PAYG SIM for data. You can get some T-Mobile SIMs on ebay which offer 500mb/month 6 months (10). Or Three over here sell PAYG sims with 1GB for 10, 3GB for 20, or 12GB for 70.
Thank you. How fast is the T-Mobile service over there? Also, do you know if I will have to do anything to unlock the phone? I'm not really familiar with "unlocking" but I hear it mentioned a bit so I assume it could be an issue.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:06 PM   #4
Brian Y
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Originally Posted by KDR View Post
Thank you. How fast is the T-Mobile service over there? Also, do you know if I will have to do anything to unlock the phone? I'm not really familiar with "unlocking" but I hear it mentioned a bit so I assume it could be an issue.
I believe AT&T will unlock it if your account is in good stead, but someone from the US will have to confirm.

And it's OK over here. In major cities such as London and Liverpool you'll get 3-6Mbps in most places on most networks. We have one 4G network - EE - but AFAIK it's not available on PAYG, or anything less than a 12month contract.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:43 PM   #5
cambookpro
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Location: Berks, England
1 month contract with 3 for 12.50 and you'll get unlimited data (and 'unofficial' tethering), some minutes and texts.
Any carrier shop should be able to help you for fairly reasonable prices, unlike the daylight robbery in the US!
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:50 PM   #6
Zyriab
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In addition to the above suggestions, also consider giffgaff who offer good deals and unlimited internet:

http://giffgaff.com
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:06 PM   #7
Furifo
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I recommend Three. They have great prepaid deals with truly unlimited Internet.

I have also seen data speeds as high as 20mbps on Three (over 3G) on iPhone 5 and when I used Three as my carrier, I would consistently get over 12mbps.
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Old Feb 20, 2013, 01:36 PM   #8
barkomatic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDR View Post
I will be in London and Liverpool in April, and will be travelling with a US-based AT&T iPhone 5.

I've seen info on hotspot rental, sim cards and AT&T data plans and am trying to decide what to go with. I will need a mobile hotspot for my computer in addition to data for the phone. My work phone line is VOIP and can run off an app on my iPhone, so one option is to turn off the cellular and use the phone in data-only mode.

Any suggestions on how to handle data abroad and the best providers is greatly appreciated.
Did you buy your AT&T iPhone for a subsidized price? If so, then it's automatically locked and you will not be able to insert a sim card from another carrier and use their service. It's unlikely AT&T will unlock your iPhone even if your account is in good standing unless you are a member of the armed services, have paid an ETF, or fulfilled the length of your contract--they are a bit annoying that way. However, still ask just in case. Otherwise, you'd need to pay for a third party to unlock your iPhone for it to accept a sim from another carrier.

However, if you paid the full retail then call AT&T to make sure its unlocked and if it isn't--request that it be.
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