Trip to UK in April. Need advice on data plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by KDR, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. KDR
    macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    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.
  2. macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    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.
  3. KDR
    thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 8, 2007
    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.
  4. macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    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.
  5. macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    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! :p
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2013
    In addition to the above suggestions, also consider giffgaff who offer good deals and unlimited internet:
  7. macrumors 6502

    Jun 1, 2010
    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.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    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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