Going to England for 20 days need a cell phone

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by GfPQqmcRKUvP, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
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    Terminus
    #1
    Hey,

    I'm going to London for about 22 days near the end of this summer and taking a class at the London School of Economics (just their summer program). I was wondering what the best option would be for cell phone service once I'm there. If possible, I would like to be able to communicate regularly with my parents (who live in the U.S.), with friends over in the states, as well as people who I meet during the summer in the U.K.

    Is there any kind of plan or option I have to be able to do this without being absolutely crushed by ATT's international cell phone usage charges?


    BTW, I don't need any kind of fancy phone.


    Thanks a lot!
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Is your AT&T phone quad-band, and have you been their customer for a few months, at least? You should be able to call them up and ask them for an unlock code for it (or if it's an iPhone, just unlock it yourself). Then you can just buy a prepaid card when you get to London and put it in.
     
  3. J@ffa macrumors 6502a

    J@ffa

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    Jul 21, 2002
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    Behind you!
    #3
    What mkrishnan said. If you need another phone, though, you can pick up a cheap Nokia handset for around £15 (so, $30ish). If your phone is quadband, then I'd recommend picking up a SIM card once you get here and activating that. That way, you've got a temp number good at least for speaking to people here. As for the US, you're probably going to get stung on call rates whichever method or provider you choose. Skype over t3h intertubes is probably the best way around that.
     
  4. GfPQqmcRKUvP thread starter macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #4
    I have an iPhone, so that would be quadband I'm pretty sure. I guess I'd have to turn the data off. Would ATT even unlock it?

    And how much would a phone card run if I wanted to make international calls to the US?
     
  5. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #5
    I am going to with the Why do you need a cell phone. It is not like you could talk with friends and family from home with out paying an arm and a leg in cost. Plus it is only like 20 days and do you really think you will know that many people there during that short time.

    I would say take the chance to get free of the phone for a little while.
     
  6. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

    Mammoth

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    Canada
    #6
    iPhone is quadband. You have to unlock it yourself. Data may be charged if you buy a prepaid SIM and the phone still uses data. Phone cards aren't that much, but when you unlock it, why not install a VOIP client?
     
  7. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    #7
    I just ordered two SIMs from United Mobile. It's a great company I'd heard about on the web, and they have free incoming calls in over 80 countries, and low outgoing rates. You could also get a prepaid local SIM, of course, but with this, you can use it later, and you'll get your phone number ahead of time, so you can pass it around to friends and family before you leave.

    Although like what the person above said, I'd definitely look into Skype, as well as iChat. Use them as much as possible.
     
  8. GfPQqmcRKUvP thread starter macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
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    #8
    I have a cheap quadband phone, so I might go this route. Do the major cell phone companies in the UK sell prepaid sim cards or something? How does this work?

    Yes, I will be doing that.
     
  9. MacHipster macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Chicago/London/Sydney
    #9
    Mobile World through Carphone Warehouse has a plan to call the US for 5p/minute.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Yes, if you're comfortable with it (it's not that bad), use the unlock tools that are discussed in the iPhone hacks section, such as pwnage. Then once it's unlocked, you can put in the new SIM card (the SIM pops out when you press the little paperclip hole on the top). This will also give you the ability to install things on it (for when you're using AT&T or someone else). I'm not 100% sure though, about whether the phone would think it's data roaming and turn off data services, though, so you may wish to be careful about that (e.g. see if you can get a prepaid SIM that doesn't have data services or something?).

    Otherwise, using your other quadband phone might be simpler.
     
  11. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #11
    It is generally called Pay as you go, you can pick up the sim card from the shops (can even get them at the newsagents around the corner from my house). The latest time I got a pay and go sim it was actually free with the £10 credit that I had to put on it.

    You can buy top-ups from most places such as newagents, supermarkets, phone shops etc.
     
  12. PowerFullMac macrumors 601

    PowerFullMac

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #12
    You can get O2 SIM cards from their site for free. They give you five I think (dont ask my why) and you just pop in your iPhone after you unlock it and you can buy vouchers to top it up at newsagents and supermarkets etc.

    Turn off data roaming though! If not the iPhone will send date in the background and waste your credit!

    You can also get special international SIM cards from the Carphone Warehouse that give you cheap calls to the US and other places.
     
  13. weckart macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #13
    I have a PAYG and I can top up by dialing a three digit number and typing in the amount I want to top up with. Easy.
     
  14. PowerFullMac macrumors 601

    PowerFullMac

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #14
    Yep, if you registor your credit or debit card deatils with the network you can do that, too!
     
  15. GfPQqmcRKUvP thread starter macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

    Joined:
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    #15
    That sounds good. I'll have Cingular unlock my cruddy phone, or maybe I'll pwn by iPhone even though I have never hacked it and kind of don't want to.


    So I found this from 02

    http://shop.o2.co.uk/tariffs/Pay_and_Go

    The last option seems best but I can't find any information about it. The only thing it will let me do from there is add it to my basket. Would this be a good option on a pwnd iPhone if I wanted to call the US?

    Sorry for my ignorance, but these cell phone plans in the UK are just so differently worded and everything it's hard to understand.
     
  16. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    #16
  17. PowerFullMac macrumors 601

    PowerFullMac

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    #17
    If you dont wnat ot hack your iPhone then dont, what Cingular phone do you have, I might know how to unlock it for free (Cingular will parobably charge).

    However, if you do what to pwn your iPhone, ModMyiFone has some great tutorials on how to do that that are simple and easy to follow.

    If you pwn the iPhone and will be calling the US more than people in the UK, get the international SIM, this looks good. Calls to USA are 15p a min it says.
     

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