iPad Abroad (UK SIM card help)

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Emoo, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Emoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #1
    Next January I'll be headed out to spend five months in Germany as part of my animation major's study away requirements. During that time, I expect to go to the UK for a week or two and take my iPad as my main computing device (Skype for family and friends, GPS, internet, etc).

    I plan to use a local SIM card to cut down on roaming, but I'm wondering if anybody has recommendations on a particular carrier or information about how data limits. So far, I've only looked at Orange (it's the only carrier I actually knew the name of starting out), but I've never tried to figure out carrier services on my own before.

    tl;dr — I'm going abroad next year for school. Do any frequent travelers/UK residents have advice about pay as you go data plans/carriers?
     
  2. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    #2
    Pop into a Three or O2 store and they'll be happy to set you up with an iPad specific microsim for data. Alternatively, you can buy Three sims loaded with data already from somewhere like ebay.
     
  3. normanbates macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #3
    I have just purchased an iPad on 3 (www.three.co.uk). I get 15GB of anytime data and 99% of the time I get 3G connection (unlike my iPhone 4S that I have with Vodafone).

    3 do an iPad SIM plan for £15 per month. It is a 1 month rolling contract, meening there is no minimum conttract term. All you have to do is notify them 30 days before you're due to leave the UK of your intention to cancel the contract.

    Their pay-as-you-go micro Sim only gives you 1GB data though
     
  4. Emoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    Have they got something like weekly rates with a specific amount of data? Mostly I just need to be able to hand them my 20 pounds in store and use the chip for about two weeks. I'll primarily be using it for GPS, since I hope to find WiFi networks I can use to Skype with family in the afternoons/evenings. I don't want to have to go find a store and deactivate my SIM right before I leave.
     
  5. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    #5
    Three offer a monthly deal where you pay £7.50 for 1gb of data but it's a rolling contract, and you have to give them 30 days notice of ending the contract.

    Your best bet is something like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MICRO-SIM..._Home_Phones_Sim_Cards_CV&hash=item5648855416

    It's a 1gb SIM card where you don't have to offer up any sort of payment up front but instead put the SIM in and it'll work. It's a bit more hassle but it's what you're after.
     
  6. Emoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Would it work if I went in the store, paid my money, and then gave them my 30 days notice? :rolleyes: I'd probably prefer to just deal with folks in a mobile phone store than order something off ebay or similar site.

    Oh, other stupid question: If I head over to Scotland or Ireland, that data won't work there, will it? I don't have a solid itinerary, but I want to try and go to Inverness — my parents went there many years ago, and as a child I chopped up a wool blanket that they brought back, so sentiment. :eek:
     
  7. mjcharlton71 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2011
    Location:
    Newcastle upon Tyne, England
    #7
    At the minute, I'd suggest giving giffgaff a go with their "gigabags".

    They're a pay-as-you-go MVNO that run on O2's network, but with contract style benefits of sort. Coverage would be as with O2 at the time you travel and as it's effectively PAYG, you don't need to tie into any contract/notice periods and the like.

    Worth keeping in mind when you do get over here.... been using it on my 4S after ditching T-Mobile UK and the coverage has been generally better than TM by miles.

    If you decide on giffgaff, make sure you have a trawl through the forum and sign up via one of the user links to get a SIM, as it'll get £5 of credit plus benefits for the sender! (I won't flog my link, as it means I'm touting for payback)
     
  8. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Belfast, Ireland
    #8
    That would -probably- work but I can't guarantee it :)

    Scotland is part of the UK so your data will work fine there, likewise in Northern Ireland. The Republic Of Ireland is not part of the UK so you won't have data there.
     
  9. Emoo thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Lol won't know til I try, anyway, and it seems that regardless there'll be some sort of prepay option when I get there. Thanks for all the information!

    My professors keep talking about getting ready for study abroad even while they put off and put off the study away meetings that they have to tell us about the application stage, so until then I get to research the little things like internet access and bits of transport info. And then fun things like Stonehenge. And the London Eye. And the Natural History Museum.
     

Share This Page