iPad- UK 3G carrier options for EU roaming

Discussion in 'iPad' started by jwlbrace, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. jwlbrace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just ordered my iPad, should be here in 10 days, so plenty of time to select and choose the 3G carrier.

    I'm after a business grade plan which will allow data roaming abroad, ideally with a bolt on package to manage cost.

    Any recommendations?

    The chap from O2 wasn't very helpful, he said that O2 microsims cannot roam with an iPad and I'd need to change SIM to telefonica (my main roaming geography is in Spain) and re-register the device via itunes every time I switched. That sounds like bollocks to me, but he wasn't keen to sell, so I didn't push any harder.

    Orange don't seem to offer any bundles with their iPad tariffs, my iPhone is with Orange and it has a data roaming bundle which is expensive, but effective and the customer service is good... why no similar deal for the iPad, or was I just unlucky and the sales person I got was just a bit clueless?

    Voda... hmm, never again is what I told myself a few months ago....

    Three... you're joking right?

    Anyway, what tariffs/carriers are out there, any recommendations for managed cost for browsing abroad?


    James
     
  2. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    Dec 22, 2009
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    127.0.0.1
    #2
    I'm not sure about iPads specifically, but Vodafone do have a special roaming deal called Passport. Why do you say never again for them?
     
  3. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #3
    bad consumer experiences... all carriers have their customers who won't use them again, total lottery really... mine just happens to be Vodafone; however if their service offering is right then I'm not going to stand on ceremony over it; will check out passport, many thanks.

    James
     
  4. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #4
    Hi 0dev,

    Passport is a voice package- normal Voda data roaming abroad £1 per MB in zone 1 (EU) with a spend cap on it... very expensive compared to the Orange data bundle for my iPhone.

    Will keep looking :confused::confused::confused:

    James
     
  5. FlexPen76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    #5
    Probably the easiest way is to get a local MicroSim for the country you're visiting. Although I'm not sure how easy that would be for Spain.

    When i was in the the US last month I just got an ATT one and a preloaded credit card. Simples. And it saved me a shed load of roaming charges. If you have to go with an UK operator, maybe buy a 3 PAYG data sim and cut it? Saves you dealing with the Mumbai elite and there is no tie-ins.
     
  6. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

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    #6
    I assumed it would cover data. Sorry for the confusion.
     
  7. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #7
    Okay this is getting beyond a joke...

    Just confirmed from Orange UK, the iPad does not support international roaming on an Orange SIM... wtf, the iPad is less functional than an iPhone... ffs... what's the point in the iPad if you can't even use it send mail abroad using 3G?

    I'm thinking it's about time to cancel the order... might as well stick to my macbook and dongle for work stuff and just use the iPhone when travelling light.

    James
     
  8. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #8
    no worries- thanks for the suggestion anyway... you'd have thought the carriers would want the business. Orange said the data charges would be so expensive that they are not offering it...
     
  9. Caolan96 macrumors regular

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Location:
    Derry, Northern Ireland, UK
    #9
    I was in germany a few days ago and was able to roam on 3G, using an o2 uk sim, and got o2-de signal.

    No sure about spain though.
     
  10. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 5, 2010
    #10
    weird- that's exactly what the idiot at O2 said wouldn't happen :confused::confused::confused:


    FlexPen- thanks for the suggestion, but switching SIMS in and out for cheaper charges was something I did in the 1990's... I had hoped those days were over.
     
  11. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Location:
    North Central Florida
    #11
    It has to do I'm sure with the deals for data apple set up. It's marketed to switch sims in new locations for the best deal.

    I wish apple had a generic sim that you could fund with itunes cash and then they picked the best carrier for where you were... Pipe dream i guess though.

    Hopefully someone can help you out, but I wouldn't cancel my order!
     
  12. lordgaino macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    #12
    Swapping sims might feel like the 1990s, but you will be paying 1990s style telecoms rates if you dont swap out your sim on arrival!

    It would be utter madness to choose to roam abroad with a uk data sim when the ipad is not locked down to any network!
     
  13. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #13
    Ok well if your on Three (3) then you can use it in UK, Italy, Ireland, Denmark etc.. without any roaming charges - just simply make sure you connect to the three network in those countries and your good to go.


    I use my three sim whenever I visit the UK or Italy. It's great not having to worry about roaming. Especially DATA roaming which is even more of a rip off.
    Limited then, but at least it's better than some (as long as its one of those countries you visit the most).
     
  14. androiphone macrumors 65816

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    Dec 13, 2009
    #14
    roaming is now capped by EU law at €1 per MB, but I would personally never roam and always buy a local sim which would be much cheaper, for the UK 3 mobiles the cheapest if you cut down a payngo sim at £1 for 1GB, you do everything through MY3 on the website so there is no need to speak to customer service - dont be so stuck up on old beliefs that you pay more money for the same or worse service.
     
  15. Kerching macrumors member

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    Jun 26, 2008
    Location:
    Notting Hill Darlink
    #15
    For Vodafone do not use Vodafone - use yestelco.com

    They used to be an independant re-seller of Voda products. They have been bought out finally by Voda. They mainly do business but have the odd personal customer like myself. They will typically use a partner locally to you for the contract and some of the support. In all honesty i have never had a problem with them. When you have a problem you don't phone Voda you phone Yestelco. A person not a machine answers within 3 rings and they sort out your problem - you can even see their photos on the website.

    I have been able to mail them over issues when in Iraq and they have resolved them by return of email usually in minutes and not hours.

    As soon as my contract with O2 expired for my iPhone I was straight back to them.

    Over my years of travelling have always found Voda to have best global coverage and Yestelco the best customer service - which is why they win award upon award for it.

    Check them out.

    PS forgot to add as they are not Voda they can be a bit more flexible in their products.

    I have a 3G USB stick from Voda on contract - can't say i have used it in a while - but i managed to get a Micro Sim sent out, even though out of contract they have let me convert to the micro sim at no charge and to use my data allowance without renewing the contract - something the main Voda site wanted me to do.
     
  16. jjwarwick macrumors newbie

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #16
  17. Mac Martyn macrumors newbie

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    Apr 11, 2010
    Location:
    Birmingham
    #17
    I go to Spain 8-10 times per year and i have found that the best way to roam or not in this case is to get a PAYG Yoigo sim card which charges for data at €3 per day which is unlimited. It put this into a 3 MIFI unit which i have unlocked to allow different networks and then connect via Wifi, this solves the problem of having to connect to itunes each time change sim.
     
  18. FlexPen76 macrumors regular

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    Sep 18, 2007
    #18
    I didn't know 3 roamed for free in some EU countries. You haven't got a list somewhere of where its applicable? I had a look on the 3-UK website but its a hard enough job to find anything on it.
     
  19. mattyboy7110 macrumors member

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    Sep 15, 2008
    #19
    A standard T-Mobile data sim will allow you to use 200MB of data for £40 which I think is an amazing deal for use within Europe. It's available on PAYG as well as contract.

    If the 200MB runs out, buy another 200MB. I can't find a better deal! The 200MB lasts for 30 days or until it runs out.

    I haven't tested it yet but this will be my solution when I go abroad later this year.
     
  20. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
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    #20
    You are correct 3 UK's website is shocking.

    Strangely I can't find any mention of it on the UK site at all? Could it be that this offer only applies to Mobile broadband customers in Ireland with three ? :confused:

    I just simply assumed that if they offered it to us here, then it would be reciprocal for people of those countries listed too - but going on the Uk site it appears not

    Maybe if you gave them a quick buzz and pointed it out that Irish 3 customers get free mobile broadband roaming in those selected countries, and ask if it's open to UK customers - there may actually be some coverage just that they are not publicising it veery well.

    I also see that you in the uk are charged £15 for 5GB - whereas we pay €19.99 for 10GB. Ripoff UK indeed. :eek:

    The offer here is applicable to both pay monthly and prepay too.

     
  21. jwlbrace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    #21
    Thanks for all the feedback- much appreciated.

    I hadn't heard of a MiFi unit before so thank you Martyn... looked it up, data charges on 3 whilst in Spain are £1.25 per MB so not too expensive compared to other carriers, fairly sure my 50GB iPod bundle is 50 quid a month on Orange, so for a non-bundled charge it seems reasonable.

    But it kind of makes having a 3G capability in the iPad redundant if I've got to carry around another mobile device and there'd be little point having an iPad SIM on any other network for UK data... 3 clearly are far better than I gave them credit for, so I will look into their service offering for a micro-SIM.

    Anyone else used 3 in Spain for data? Any good?
     
  22. smr macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    Shropshire, UK
    #22
    You shouldn't HAVE to connect to iTunes to use a new SIM. The carrier settings (APN user name, password etc) can be updated manually once the SIM is inserted (as long as you have done your homework before you travel).

    To the OP - the iPad and iPad tariffs are new and customer services do seem to struggle... As the main summer hols approach I guess we will get more and more reports on here about what works where. I will be taking my 3G iPad to Sweden, France and Spain this summer, and will try to get local SIMs to try out. However, I'm planning to use mainly hotel wi-fi to connect whilst abroad (so making free wi-fi an important criteria for hotel bookings!). Although I have a 3G iPad, the 3G is mainly for UK use when visiting parents/relatives/friends without broadband/wifi.
     

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