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PTVMan

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
989
437
My wife and I are traveling to London and Liverpool next month. We both have unlocked iPhones and will be buying SIMS at Carphone Warehouse when we get there. Luckily one of their stores is just one block from our hotel. I was just on the Carphone Warehouse website looking at options and got horribly confused with stuff about tarrif, etc. All my wife and I need to do is have the ability to call each other, text each other and use the internet (when not on wifi). We'll be there a total of 7 days. Can someone help me with what to look for in terms of purchasing SIMS, on which carrier and will we also be able to get calls and text from family back in the U.S.?

Also, is it possible to buy a data-only SIM for my iPad Air?

I really appreciate any and all advice/guidance.
 

derbyshire2013

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2013
69
0
East Midlands
My wife and I are traveling to London and Liverpool next month. We both have unlocked iPhones and will be buying SIMS at Carphone Warehouse when we get there. Luckily one of their stores is just one block from our hotel. I was just on the Carphone Warehouse website looking at options and got horribly confused with stuff about tarrif, etc. All my wife and I need to do is have the ability to call each other, text each other and use the internet (when not on wifi). We'll be there a total of 7 days. Can someone help me with what to look for in terms of purchasing SIMS, on which carrier and will we also be able to get calls and text from family back in the U.S.?

Also, is it possible to buy a data-only SIM for my iPad Air?

I really appreciate any and all advice/guidance.

Yes you'd be able to receive calls and texts from family in the US. If they are non iMessage users you'd pay something like 20p for every international SMS (depending on the carrier you opt for.)

You can also buy Data only SIMs for your iPad Air, select carriers include Three and EE. EE offer 4G LTE in both London and Liverpool.
 

ParishM

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2007
151
1
Naples, Fl
i used GiffGaff on a recent trip to the UK, i looked on their forums and found they have a program where established members can send you a sim and when you activate it you get a £5 credit. i also got a £10 top off PIN from the same member (they don't take US credit cards) i had £15 total credit to start with. he mailed the sim card to me in Florida before i left. i chose their £15 Goodybag which gave me 400 (500 now) anytime minutes, unlimited text and data. worked perfectly with my unlocked S3 for the week i was there. as soon as i walked out of Heathrow i popped in the SIM and within 30 seconds i received a txt with an APN configuration file that automatically setup everything.
 

jimbo1mcm

macrumors 68000
Mar 21, 2010
1,922
477
Not sure about Iphones, but I did get a data sim from 02 for use in London for my Ipad 3. It was incredibly handy for checking theaters, flights, etc. Plenty of 02 stores around. Signal was very good for the Ipad. Good Luck.
 

mjt57

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2013
195
18
South Eastern Australia
My wife and I are traveling to London and Liverpool next month. We both have unlocked iPhones and will be buying SIMS at Carphone Warehouse when we get there. Luckily one of their stores is just one block from our hotel.

We did this in May 2013. Stayed in a hotel in Earls Court, CPWH outlet near the EC railway station. Went with Lyca Mobile. Coverage OK, got a pre-paid on a data plan which lasted us for the two weeks that we spent in London.

Next time, though, I might try a Vodaphone SIM in the iPhone and in the iPad. Better coverage and speed, we were told when there. I'd like to get one which roams thru' Europe, too. But dunno if that can be done.
 

pshifrin

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2010
513
383
I was in the uk last week and purchased a 2gb data only sim for my ipad rmini on EE. Note that when LTE is active on the ipad it says 4G and not LTE and 3G when it is on umts but it is LTE (when 4g). Got upwards of 20mb down in Manchester but much worse in London due to congestion. Hopefully Liverpool will be more like Manchester for you.

Also used it for the train down from Edinburgh to London and it worked almost nonstop for 4.5 hours as a hotspot. Significantly better than the train wifi.

I did not get a local sim for my iPhone as I needed to be reached on my us number but it roamed on all 4 carriers. Note that coverage in London isn't great on any carrier especially indoors. I think we are spoiled in the US as far as coverage consistency goes.
 
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