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macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 14, 2012
I currently spend time in both the USA and the UK, due to work. It sounds way more exciting and better paid than it is.. I travel back and forth regularly enough that I have pay-as-you-go simcards in both countries. I use my unlocked iPhone 4, after my Vodafone contract ran out.

In the UK I have a Vodafone payg sim. I put a £20 Freedom pack on for 300 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB web access when I'm in the UK.

In the USA I have a MySimpleMobile payg sim, which works on T-mobile network. I pay $40 a month for unlimited minutes, messages and internet. Down side is my iPhone won't use 3G on MySimpleMobile, something to do with T-mobile and 3G. Edge is slow, but better than nothing.

Soon the iPhone 5 comes out and I figure I'm going to buy it unlocked so I can continue using both numbers. I haven't any idea how the nano-sim thing is going to work out, it may be a blocker to getting the new iPhone.

Does it seem likely that if I buy a straight unlocked iPhone 5 in the USA that it will work on Vodafone's fledgling 4G network? Or should I buy the phone in the UK, pay more (!) and hope it works on USA T-mobile 4G?

(the nano sim issue might make this mute, which would save me ~$800 while the nano sims become available)


macrumors regular
Sep 6, 2011
Buy the phone unlocked in the US, pick up a GiffGaff sim in the UK (just google it), and when your US provider stocks the nano sim, they'll give you a free transfer to one that you can continue to use. Just ask the guys at T-mobile.

Incidentally, is the nanomsim just a more cutdown version of the microsim or is it an even smaller plate?

GiffGaff at £10 p/m gives you 250 mins, unlim. Text/data. Free sim. Pm me a UK postal address and I'll send you one with £5 airtime credit pre-loaded when you activate (£10 minimum activation).

As long as the phone isn't CDMA, it will work with Vodafone's 4g network. Don't expect it to be operational until late 2013 in the UK though.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 20, 2007
UK London
GiffGaff have already released a press notice that they won't be getting nano sims for a few months.
Also its not possible to cut down a micro sim to a nano sim


macrumors member
Oct 13, 2010
Im in the same boat. I am in the US for 8 months of the year and back in the UK for 4 months. I have a vodafone contract with my current iphone. I was due an upgrade earlier this year so just decided to stay put but lower my bill to £12 a month. But now it seems Vodafone won't be supporting LTE so I might as well just buy the phone sim free here in the US? I use a pay and go AT&T sim currently.

If and when I buy an unlocked iphone in the US do I need a specific one to support potential future LTE back in the UK?


macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2009
There are two different GSM models

Both will support full 3G in the UK, but only 3G on AT&T in the US (like all other years because the iPhone doesn't support T-mobile US 3G frequencies)

The US version will only support AT&Ts LTE and no UK LTE
The UK version will not work on any US LTE and will only ever work on EE and 3 mobiles LTE in the UK, because it only supports the 1800MHz band (800/900/1800/2600 are the UK LTE bands)

So you plans to buy the iPhone 5 and ever use it on any LTE other than EE or 3 are already scuppered. (or any LTE other than AT&T if you buy the US version)


macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2012
So please clarify then. I buy an iPhone 5 in the USA to ship to the UK to work on 4G with EE it would need to be by a specific compatible version from apple USA. I ask as the cost of this in UK in US dollars is $1134 that's a 64gig. I have relatives in Canada (leithbridge who could pick me one up)
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