Received Orders From US to Lakenheath, UK - Which carrier in UK?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Cyclone Chris, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. Cyclone Chris macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2008
    Well, it looks like I'll be moving to Lakenheath, England (Suffolk Area) in a few months.

    I've been doing some research, and I see that there are 3 major providers over in the UK.


    My question is to find out which service provider offers the best iPhone data experience in the suffolk area, and also roaming in Europe as I plan on taking advantage of all the locations.

    A couple of my co-workers told me to go with Vodaphone; however, after looking at their plans, it looks like they only give 1 Gig of data on your plan.

    I need a 2 line family plan similar to what I have now, which is:
    1400 Anytime Minutes
    Unlimited SMS/MMS on all lines
    Unlimited Data on each line
    Unlimited Night and Weekends

    So for the UK folks, which service provider would work best for me? 3G is a must for me. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and the kind of monthly rates I would be looking at.

  2. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    do you already have the phone you want to use or are you looking to buy in the UK?

    also family plans (multiple lines/sim cards on one contract) don't exist in the UK, you just get a contract per number, so you can break your requirements down (ie one number needs 1000 mins the other needs 400 or something similar, and there isn't a difference between night and day either so you might want just plain unlimited mins on both, you could also do the same with the texts.)

    orange, o2 and vodafone are the only ones with the iphone but there are also 3 mobile and t-mobile, and o2 and vodafone have a tower shareing deal so if you can get a signal with o2 you can with vodafone and vice versa, also orange and tmobile and 3 and tmobile have the same agreement.

    for the data all the 'unlimiteds' are all soft capped as in nothing really happens if you go over a few times, on 3 mobile you can just pay £5 a pop for 1GB of data valid for 30days so if you were always going to go over the 1GB in a month that migh be an option.

    if you post back what each phone/sim/line needs I'll find you some deals from each of the networks. also if there is need for a contract if so how long or if a 30 day sim only plan is required.

    hope I haven't baffled you too much
  3. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    ok I've just looked at the coverage checkers and vodafone looks the worst for the lakenheath area with ~zero, o2, tmobile and orange all only have 2G though orange looks worst and 3 mobile says that they have indoor and outdoor coverage for calls, texts and internet (may only be 2G internet though), looking only at the maps 3 mobile does look best, but in real life it may be different, and the best way is to get personal testaments

    vodafone is the only one that has sure signal (the other networks are supposed to get something similar but noone knows when) which is a box that uses your home internet and creates a 3G area in your home that only your registed phones can use, there are upsides and downsides to this as it garrentees signal in your house but you may not then get it in the street outside your house.

    the maps for the networks (may have to put lakenheath in)
    3 mobile
  4. Cyclone Chris thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 14, 2008
    Thanks for the info.

    If I had to break it down per line, then I would normally use about 400 - 500 mins, with about 1-2 GB of data and maybe 500 texts, while the wife would use about 900 mins, under a gig of data and over 1500 texts. And yes, I would probably want to stay with an iPhone. I have a couple of iPhones, but I wouldn't mind getting new ones.

    More than likely, I'll end up living in Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, or Downham Market.

    Any great locations you would suggest around 30 miles from Lakenheath?
  5. kAoTiX macrumors 6502


    Oct 14, 2008
    Midlands, UK
    Vodafone have a fair usage policy of 1GB as far as I'm aware but you should get an 'unlimited' plan if you take out a contract with them.
    The trouble is actually finding a phone that is going to work in most areas you will be, not just one location and then you find you go somewhere else and get no signal at all.

    As you said you wanted roaming for Europe this is why I'm talking about vodafone. I think they have the best roaming package and EU coverage as well. But don't quote me on that :p
    I've also just checked the vodafone coverage map but its split in two halfs for the area you're on about.
    One area says 2G or normal services and the other says 3G. You would need to look at the map yourself to work out if it is beneficial.

    Another option is to call all 3 carriers, tell them your situation and see what they can offer you.
  6. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    I agree even the best deal would be useless without a signal, but the best I saw was the O2 iphone simplicity 30 day which is here here this would be great as you already have an iphone and O2 apparently has the best 'unlimited' though noone knows where the upper limit is. it is set on the 30day contract but depending how long your in the UK the 12 month simplicity contract here saves you £5 a month compared to the 30 day one.
    (on the 30 day one if you got the 600 min and your wife got the 900 min one that would only be £55 ($83) per month (12 month £45 ($69 including taxes))

    the other option (would mean using a different phone) is 3 mobile specifically because all (including pay and go) offer 100% free skype calls even able to use skype credit which may be very beneficial to you if your going to be calling the US, you could buy a cheep pay as you go phone,
    or look into just getting 3 mobile the have 300mins, unlimited texts, unlimited 3-to-3 calls and unlimited internet for just £15 with all the skype calls to boot. also 3 require a 3G phone

    I guess it depend who your going to be calling as the skype may save you a ton of money if your going to be calling to the US a lot and then the ease of having just one sim then go with contract aswell.

    as for the european question I dont know mush about them, I know that they have just passed some laws limiting it to ~90p a MB which is really expensive and other laws limiting the price of SMS, MMS and calls too, it was true that you bought a special travel sim as that gave you the best deals before you went but as I say I dont know much about them anymore.

    hope I've helped, all of the area around cambridge is really nice, hope you have a great stay
  7. stuarthatto macrumors regular

    Nov 5, 2008
    Anywhere around the Cambridge/Ely area will be nice, although Cambridge is expensive to live and too full of bicycles for my liking.

    Lakenheath is in a beautiful part of the UK, some great peaceful, picturesque villages.

    If you are looking for the bright lights and night life you will be a bit disappointed though - Newmarket is a dive frankly, Bury is historic but a bit boring. Cambridge is your best bet for bright lights, but London is only a 50 minute train journey away.

    Lakenheath is also in a great area for English wine - yes indeedy! Check out the vineyards around Bruisyard St. Peter. And the whole area has some fantastic country pubs with excellent food - I am sure there will be lots of G2 on this on base.

    Welcome to the UK, hope you enjoy yourself in the area!

    As for your original question - 3G coverage is patchy at best in the UK, and in the countryside around Lakenheath I doubt you will get a particularly good signal from any provider. In Cambridge and Ely you should get a 3G signal however.


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