Microsims in the UK -- what's the cheapest option?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by r-sparks, May 7, 2012.

  1. r-sparks macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #1
    I remember somebody here saying the cheapest way to get mobile data is to buy prepay microsims from eBay.

    Is this a good idea? Do I just buy a new microsim each time? Don't the phone companies get wise to this?

    I don't intend to use a lot of mobile data because we get BT OpenZone as part of our landline deal and wifi is free at places like McDonalds and Wetherspoons pubs.
     
  2. Cherimoya macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #2
    The best bet used to be the Dida mobile SIMs but they got blocked by Three last month. My seller was actually very good and offered me a refund for the unused data.

    Given your use is likely to be erratic, you would probably be best going for the Three 12g for 12 months SIM if you can find one. They usually go for around £55. They are meant for MiFis so you may have to cut the SIM down - ask the Seller as some will do this for you.
     
  3. OneBigFatNinja, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

    OneBigFatNinja macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    #3
    I use Three also. 3GB micro sim that lasts for 3 months or until you use the data. 21 pounds in store.

    I have wifi everywhere but at times when I'm out in the car etc the sim is perfect!

    I may look into that 12 month one if I can find one when this one runs out.

    Tony

    EDIT - yes the 12mnth is much cheaper but I didn't know they existed till about an hour ago :)
     
  4. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Thanks for the helpful reply. I've found a few of the ones you mention on eBay. It seems the 12GB can be used all at once, or across the 12 months, which is very useful -- looking at my iPhone's data usage, I see that most times I don't get above a few hundred MB per month but every now and again seem to get up to 700-800MB.

    ----------

    Hi Tony. Doing the sums you're paying £7 per GB. With the £58 12GB SIM you'd be paying about £4.80.

    I also found a seller offering 12GB for £50 but it turns out he sends you 12 individual SIMs, each of which are loaded with 1GB and last a month :rolleyes:
     
  5. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Surely that's a better option, unless you are likely to exceed 1GB. Especially if you may not use data every month
     
  6. OneBigFatNinja macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2012
    #6
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336389429.705205.jpg


    Or just 4 of these?!?

    Wished I'd have looked around on eBay first.
     
  7. kromekat macrumors member

    kromekat

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    #7
    If you looks for the 3 3gb microsim on Amazon, you can get them for about £13 as opposed to £21 - I have one in my iPad 3 now and lready picked up another for when this runs out!

    Edit: just saw the last eBay post - same thing ;)
     
  8. Chairman.Jobbie, May 7, 2012
    Last edited: May 7, 2012

    Chairman.Jobbie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    #8
    One option would be a T-Mobile paygo sim....

    1) Get an paygo number microsim from T-Mobile - free i think or maybe £2.
    2) Put SIM in your smart phone / iPhone if you have one.
    3a) Wait 1 hour, you might then get an offer of a years mobile internet free (it happened to me).
    3b) If not, top up £20 to sim and buy a 6 month internet booster = £40pa / £3.33pm / 76p pw. Text 6MONTHWEB to 441. http://www.t-mobile.co.uk/shop/mobile-phones/price-plans/pay-as-you-go/boosters/
    4) Move micro sim to your iPad and change the three T-Mobile data settings from site below. http://www.rhysadams.co.uk/ipad-cellular-data-settings-for-the-uk.php
    6) After 6 months swap sim to iPhone and buy another booster and swap back to iPad.

    It worked for 18 months with my iPad 1 (then sold), but now i have a Wi-Fi only so I havent tried it on new iPad. My guess would be it will work. And I never got any data fair usage limit warning but my usuage was 90% browsing and app data syncing.

    Worth a try. You can buy a 1 week booster for £5 to try it out. Or if you got a microsim in your smart phone with data try it now. If it works you can just move sim when you need too once you've changed settings.

    Good luck. This worked for me.

    OR maybe just buying a prepair sim is a more simple solution. I didnt know of prepaids when i had my iPad1.
     
  9. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #9
    How about this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Original-Br...1ZH0/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1336399016&sr=8-4

    3GB over 3 months for £11.41. That's £3.80 per gigabyte -- a lot cheaper than most of the £10/1GB per month deals and ideal for anybody who is only occasionally going to be using 3G data.

    The only issue is viewing your account information, should you feel the need to. The only way to get a password for the online account is via a text message sent to the number associated with the microsim. And iPads can't receive text messages.

    You can put the microsim into your phone to receive the text but it'll need to be a Three-issued phone, or unlocked.
     
  10. kromekat macrumors member

    kromekat

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    #10
    You don't need to do anything - you login with the 3 app - it just did it automatically and you can see your balance etc
     
  11. lawrie1947 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    #11
    Hi,

    I might need a bit of guidance here.

    I buy a 3 sim from ebay and I either have to cut it down or it fits?

    Do I have to enter 3 apn settings in the ipad or does it work right out of the box.?

    I have a three mifi. Will the sim work in there as well as my ipad?

    Thanks

    Lawrie
     
  12. LJ50 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    #12
    I have gone through 5 or 6 of them in the last 18 months, plus buying them for parents, cousins, etc. They work perfectly, and if you want to get onto the Three account into just Google "MyThree" with the sim in and you can view/edit account info, such as the balance or expiry date.

    By far the cheapest way I have found to get data access on the iPad.
     
  13. kromekat macrumors member

    kromekat

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    #13
    Just buy the micro sim version then no cutting, and yes it just works straight out of the box, and the 3 login for accounts is automatic
     
  14. Eddafl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #14
    Order a microsim from giffgaff they use the o2 network so great signal, and the £10 goodybag gives you unlimited data, unlimited texts and 250 UK minutes.

    http://giffgaff.com/orders/affiliate/eddafl

    Me and the missus have one each and can chat for free! :cool:
     
  15. Primus84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    You must be joking - great signal? O2 have the worst 3G coverage!
     
  16. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Just to jack this thread slightly, can anyone tell me how to go about getting a PAYG sim for an upcoming trip to northern England and Edinburgh? I'm a US resident. Last time I went to the UK in 2010, no one would sell me a sim without a UK billing address and matching credit card.

    2 years later, can I walk into a carrier shop and buy some a la carte data for my 10 day trip without a hassle? Would one carrier cover both countries or do I have to buy another in Scotland?

    Finally, what's the best company? 3? Vodafone?
     
  17. sparky1499 macrumors regular

    sparky1499

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    Glasgow, UK
    #17
    The goodybags are for devices capable of making and receiving call. The iPad requires a gigabag. £12.50 p/m for 3Gb.
     
  18. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #18
    The answer is provided in this thread. You can buy Three SIM cards from eBay. You're probably best buying a 1GB/1 month card and pay as you go (PAYG). I can't paste a link because I'm on my iPad but just search eBay.co.uk. As far as I know none of the guys who sell these cheap SIM cards will care if you're not a Brit so long as you have the cash :)
     
  19. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    thanks, but doesn't the sim require some sort of activation on the ipad, whereby an address is required? do I just make one up? And does 3 cover Edinburgh?
     
  20. skytears13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    #20
    No activation needed, I put a Three 1GB/1month sim (from ebay) in my ipad about a month ago and it was good to go, no registration/etc needed.

    http://www.three.co.uk/Support/Coverage - looks like coverage in Edinburgh is decent?
     
  21. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    Awesome. Thank you.
     
  22. cdjohnstone69 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2012
    #22
    DONT PAY EXTRA...Use your three iPhone data tethering

    I have an ipad & iphone, my iphone is on a three network "all you can eat" data plan. When on this plan you can tether to ipad or laptop etc at NO EXTRA CHARGE.
    This means I link to my macbook pro and can download music, apps, movies etc at no extra charge to my account.
    I have used over 10gb some months on my ipad & macbook pro as well as linking my daughters ipod touch when out in the car & never a problem.

    Connect the ipad & play internet radio as you drive, my kids sit quite in the back seat on there facebook accounts as we drive too. Three is a great network & not many inactive areas that I drive in so works brilliant 99% of the time.

    -- 64gb iPhone -- 160gb ipod (x2) -- 64gb iPad 2 -- macbook pro 1tb 8gb --
     
  23. RobesNo1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    #23
    lol really!?

    I'm lucky if I get 1mb with o2 on my 4s. My missus is with Three and gets anything between 2-8mb (not that she cares, but I've told her it's good anyway :)). It made me go buy a three MiFI box - 15gb a month @ £15.99 it's a lot of data but now I have my iPad and 4s fully usable wherever I am. Can stream movies/TV shows without worry. :)
     
  24. Azzin macrumors 601

    Azzin

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #24
    Nice referral link you slipped in there to try and earn yourself £5.... :rolleyes:
     
  25. r-sparks thread starter macrumors 6502

    r-sparks

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #25
    Yes we know this but the key thing about using a SIM in iPad itself is convenience. It's as if the iPad says "out of range of your usual wifi? I'll use cellular instead". No need to switch on tethering on the iPhone. No need to tell the iPad to connect to it. Just open the smart cover and you're online instantly no matter where you are. This is the essence of the iPad. No fuss. No messing about. That king of thing is for android users :)

    (Incidentally tethering in the iPhone has been a bit flaky for me; I sometimes have to switch it in and off several times before it appears in the list of available connections on my iPad or laptop. This is either a feature or a bug introduced with ios 5 because I worked like a charm before.)
     

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