Studying Abroad in London

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Tharius, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Tharius macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    I'm studying in London in August and was wondering what the best option would be in regards for a plan for my phone. Some information: I have an unlocked iPhone 4S and my carrier is Sprint.

    Any advice would be perfect.
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    What do you want!?

    Texts back to the US?
    Calls back to the US?

    A few hints about the UK Cellular market:

    1) You won't pay to receive calls or text messages on a UK plan - even when you're being called from another country - like the US. It might be cheaper for your friends/family in the US to look for good international rates if you are planning to contact home a lot.

    2) Plans are much cheaper here. You're looking at £15 per month ($23*) for a prepaid plan that includes unlimited data as well as a lot of calls and texts (to UK numbers).

    3) Plans are much simpler than in the US. You won't be forced to get a data plan with your iPhone. You just get whatever plan you choose to pay for.

    Your Sprint iPhone will work with any of the UK's carriers (listed in the order of their customer base, highest to lowest):


    You can have a look through these pages and see what seems like good value to you.

    Additionally, there is an MVNO called giffgaff which runs on the O2 network. It offers very low-cost plans including unlimited data, but there isn't as much support available and it's a bit harder to buy one of their SIMs.

    My personal opinion: O2 has excellent 2G coverage, but they did not invest anywhere near as much in 3G as other networks. The plan on offer from Three gives you genuinely unlimited data on a network that only offers 3G (they have a very limited amount of 2G roaming in rural areas). If data is important, then that seems like the best choice.

    *That price includes the standard UK sales tax (VAT) rate of 20%, so you can really see how much cheaper that is compared to the US.
  3. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    In addition to above good advice

    I recommend three

    They do a few options

    Payg 3-2-1.... 3p min calls, 2p SMS, 1p per mb

    Or sim only unlimited data for £12.90 on a 30 day contract.

    Or if you want to tether £18 per month for unlimited data and unlimited tethering.

    Three also use DC-hsdpa across London which is what the u.s.a class as 4g. An iPhone 5 should see 20mbit in some places.

    All these can be picked up from a three store when you get here.
  4. Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    Try a giffgaff sim. ( For £10 per month you can have 500 UK min, unlimited texts, 1GB of data (or you can pay £12.50 for the same but with unlimited data). No commitment.
  5. IFRIT macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2012
  6. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601


    Jun 21, 2010
    I'm sure you're going to want to travel Europe too. Get a SIM that has good roaming rates in other EU countries.
  7. -MRB macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2010
  8. Harrycooke macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2012
    London/New York
    What are your needs? If you want to use it to contact people in UK a Three sim only would do good. If you wanted to contact people back in US, I recommend getting a throwaway phone with a Lebara mobile sim as well as the Three sim only.
  9. Tharius thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2011
    Thanks for the responses!

    I'm looking for a plan that has unlimited texts and data preferably and would have good rates if I travel around Europe. Calling/texting the US isn't a big deal for me as I'll just use Skype and Facebook.
  10. TheProFTW macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2013
    Washington, DC
    I think Three would be the best network for ya, they offer mostly plans with unlimited (and pretty darn fast!) data and lots of texts (Around 5000 on most plans, I believe)

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