Visiting UK with an AT&T iPhone5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by kunaalarria, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #1
    How would this work best? Just going for 5 days so don't need LTE.
    Will unlock it tomorrow.

    Can I pick up a pay as you go nano sim? If not, where's the best place to pick up a micro sim and get it cut down to nano size.

    I need it mostly for 3g data and a call here and there. Any carriers/plans you recommend?

    OR is it completely not worth the hassle and I should just pay $120 for a roaming data plan from AT&T and stick to VOIP? haha
     
  2. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #2
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #3
    Giff gaff are probably the best value but you would have to order SIM in advance which is probably not the best thing for you. What I would do is pop into one of the Mobile phone networks shops and pickup a free pay-as-you-go SIM. "3" are usually the best value and have shops everywhere. The £15 bundle is particulary good.

    http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    coffeemadmanUK

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
  5. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #5
    I've used 3 before. But, given that price, and the duration of your trip, if it were me, I'd probably just roam. $30USD for 120MB.
    I tend to just roam for short trips, and use a local sim for longer trips. But I don't make phone calls when abroad.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    coffeemadmanUK

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #6
    How does that make sense? $30 for 120MB or $24 for unlimited...
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #7
    Well, I never use 100MB in a week, so for $6 I skip the hassle, and keep my phone number.

    Like I said: I do this when I travel for a week or less. It's easier. I travel a lot and seeking out and swapping out sim cards get old.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    #8
    Yeah i think i might just get roaming then.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  9. ikl
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #9
    I don't like swapping SIM cards to my iPhone for my trips abroad, so I purchased a Mifi device.

    When I get abroad (and sometimes even before that) I get a local (prepaid) SIM with a data plan for my device and after that I am able to use my Iphone/ipad/etc. just like home. I also do not use my phone for calls very much while abroad, but if I need to do that, my number is the same as always.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    coffeemadmanUK

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2012
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    I suppose. I still cannot believe that any network allows you to use data for $30. I can't imagine a UK network allowing that for such a low price.
     
  11. macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #11
    I would also just roam.
     
  12. LapsangSouchong, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #12
    AT&T offers exactly that. And it's good enough for me for a week abroad.
    http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/roaming/affordable-world-packages.jsp#data

    Fwiw verizon has a similar plan. They new cheap plans appeared right around the time unlocking became more viable for Americans.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #13
    The roaming prices charged by our carriers are far lower than those charged by the US carriers.

    Don't get me wrong, they're still extortionate, but far less by comparison.

    AT&T's standard rate for data roaming in the UK is basically $20 per megabyte.

    The most expensive carrier here charges £6 ($9.55) per megabyte to roam in the US (on AT&T or T-Mobile).

    The cheapest carrier charges £3 ($4.77) per megabyte.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #14
    An old thread but I thought if add an update...

    I'm visiting UK now for a couple weeks with my unlocked Canadian iPhone 5 (so same spec as AT&T version)

    Cdn carriers have notoriously expensive overseas data roaming costs, for example money-grubbing Rogers recently introduced new "generous" (!) roaming passes of $50/40MB, $100/100MB, $225/300MB Europe data roaming. Thanks, but no thanks!

    So I just picked up a nano SIM from 3 UK for no contract PAYG

    The SIM was free with £15 top up which includes 300 UK voice minutes, 3000 txt and unlimited data for 30days

    *AND* most importantly for me, it supports tethering. Had a hard time from home confirming which UK carriers' PAYG plans supported tethering but once here the sales guy from Carphone Warehouse was very helpful telling me the best choice plan among all the carriers and to confirm tethering.

    I only care about data while traveling and swapping SIM is no problem to save huge $$$. Now I've got cheap data while I'm visiting and can use Personal Hotspot on my iPhone to also get my iPad online. Don't need SMS, I use iMessage and email to keep in touch, and for voice I use the free Fongo app to make and receive voice calls from a Cdn tel#

    Works great, saves money

    ps there are sooo many mobile shops everywhere here, often 4 or 5 within a stones throw of each other, it seems. Easy to pick up a SIM anywhere and so competitive.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #15
    3 is great for that. Before AT&T was forced to be competitive I used 3 in Ireland and England.
    Rogers roaming is horrible, and their unlock policies aren't much better.
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #16
    Thanks for the update b.c.

    I'm curious how you manage to keep in touch over iMessage. Did you have to make sure all your iPhone-owning contacts in Canada configured their iMessage to use your Apple ID rather than your Canadian phone number? Any special configuration on your iPhone (such as forcing it to not use SMS or MMS when you UK SIM is in the phone)?

    I'm asking because, while I don't own an iPhone, my daughter does (unlocked of course), and she will be spending 6 months in the UK next year.

    Personally I use Tesco Mobile, but that's primarily because they never take your phone number away, so provided I top it up before I return home (UK -> US) it's ready for use the next time I land, even if it's been longer than a year.

    Mike
     
  17. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    #17
    I would definitely recommend three if your travelling to the uk

    Their Payg 3-2-1 sim is good value at 3p calls, 2p texts, 1p per mb

    Or simply a 30 day sim. They are about £12 for unlimited data so you can Skype back home and you get 3G pretty much everywhere.

    Or for £18 unlimited data + unlimited tethering plus 2000 mins which you probably won't need.

    Three mobile is 3G but our uk naming schemes means really to Americans its the same as your 4g as we run dc-hsdpa with speeds over 20mbit.

    In some places you could easily stream HD Hulu or Netflix if you want to kill some time.

    The other option is giffgaff who use the O2 network - cheap and 30 day but you need the sim delivered online only. Therefore tesco is only other choice - you can pick up instore and also on O2.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #18
    There's also the £10 ($15) plan with 500mb.

    Roaming is just wasting money, and that's how it is anywhere.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #19
    Giff Gaff will definitely be the best option. 3 aren't always so good for signal since they dropped their 2G support, and that is useful for certain areas.

    Compared to some parts of the world, our phone rates are really good. When you explain to people that handsets are actually given free with contracts they look at you like your nuts.

    iPhones often come with some sort of fee, but right now for £27 a month and £99 upfront you can get an iPhone 5.

    On O2 you get unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB data.
    T-Mobile you get 500 mins, unlimited texts and unlimited data. (Which you can tether too as well)
     
  20. IFRIT, Jul 14, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #20
    edit
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #21
    @wenglish

    As a precaution I told my friends and family members to iMessage me via my email address(iCloud acct) rather than my home cellphone number. My iMessage is normally set up to receive messages at both. No special settings on their side, just use the correct To: address

    Once I got here and put n my 3 UK sim, I notice the iMessage settings now let me only choose the new Uk tel # and/

    Since I'm not using the UK tel# for incoming calls, I set iMessage to only receive (and send) as my icloud acct. send as SMS is also turned off.

    But I had a friend send me some test iMessages - it seems I can still receive ones directed to my normal cell # as well as icloud. So it seems the iMessage service figures it all out.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #22
    Good to know, thanks b.c.
     

Share This Page