Travel to UK, where/how to buy o2 SIM card?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rex3, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. rex3 macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009

    I'll be in the UK for 2 weeks, and want to take my US/ATT iphone 3g with me. I'd like to have data service, for use with maps, etc. I would like to get the o2 pay-as-you-go SIM card, favourite place, with unlimited data bolt-on, for a £10 top-up.

    I see people selling these on ebay for £30 or more, plus shipping to US, which seems outrageous to me. My question is, can I just walk into an o2 store or supermarket and buy one of these sim cards, or will it be hard to find in London? Should I buy one on ebay so I have it before I leave? Will o2 sell one to me without any hassle about my (soon-to-be) jailbroken and unlocked US/ATT iphone?

    I haven't traveled internationally since owning a mobile phone that works overseas, so I'm a total newb to all this.

  2. danpass macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2009
    Miami, FL
  3. Que macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2009
    yes. go to an o2 shop. there are plenty in london.
  4. allymac macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Just go into any O2 shop - there's one about every 200 yards in London. :D Should be pretty painless, they will want some details from you like name and address, that's about it - you're good to go. Can't remember what the minimum spend is for a SIM card - it's £5 for normal ones, but knowing that you'll want an iPhone one it'll probably be £100 :D <--- joke
  5. mrochester macrumors 68000

    Feb 8, 2009
    AFAIK you can't buy a pay as you go Iphone sim without also purchasing an iPhone. You can walk in and buy a normal pay as you go sim, but that won't include data. iPhone pay as you go sims are sold for just a few pounds on eBay, which you'll then have to top up with £10 to get going.
  6. Woomy123 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2009
    U can go into any o2 store or carphone warehouse store, just ask for an o2 pay and go sim card, will cost you £5 to get on in the shop, you will be sent a couple of texts when u activate the sim card one of those texts will give u a 4 digit number to ring and from there u can chose you bolt on that you would like to have every time you top up, if your iPhone is unlocked I suggest u get a t-mobile pay and go sim as they give you 5 days of free unlimited 3g data access and the sim is free you just have to top a minium of £5
  7. wingnut8 macrumors 65816


    Jun 8, 2007
    So would the phone have to be unlocked to use O2?
  8. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Is there any particular reason you want to go with an O2 SIM? I'm assuming your phone is unlocked (otherwise it won't work with any SIM from the UK, including O2), in which case you can put a SIM in from any UK provider and it will work (all 3G service providers in the UK are compatible with the iPhone).

    O2 have probably the worst coverage and Vodafone have (reportedly) the best, but depending on where you are going you might want to do some research on the various websites to get the best deal.

    The big providers in the UK are:

    Orange (
    O2 (
    3 (
    Vodafone (
    T Mobile (
  9. Dave4 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2008
    I've never had a single problem with 02 coverage. That includes regular trips to my parents in Inverness, Scotland.
  10. just21 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    I have been testing all five Uk networks 3g data speed on my blog.
    I would recommend the 3 network as version 3 of the iphone software holds onto the 2g signal even when a 3g signal is available. The 3 network is 3g only, avoiding this problem, using other carriers 2g network where they do not have coverage. I got 1.4mbs on 3 yesterday which is better than the 1.2mbs on o2 if you can get a 3g signal.
  11. petemwah macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    if you want a free o2 pay&go simcard i can send you one for free if you PM me a UK address. i got sent one and don't need it...
  12. soulghost macrumors regular


    Mar 1, 2009
    LOL.......Seriously, do you work for 3. They must be the only network where you still have to leave the building to make a call.
  13. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    You need to unlock your iPhone or the O2 SIM will not work. Then just walk into an O2 store, say you want a SIM with unlimited data bolt-on and you'll be fine.
  14. rex3 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2009
    Thanks all, I'll just find an o2 store when I get there and walk in. I decided on o2 just because they had the most straightforward pricing for pay as you go, and with the favourite places setup it will be cheaper to call the US than with the others, as far as I could tell, but I've already spent too much time figuring this all out.
  15. saldawop macrumors regular

    Sep 1, 2007

    I think you will find it quite expensive to phone the US (not sure how expensive as I dont need to phone there) . The favourite place refers to where you are phoning FROM. You tell them the postcode (zip code) and calls from within that postcode are free (UK landline and other O2 users)

    Actually, without an international bolt on it will cost you £1.50 per minute to phone USA or Canada.

    There is another tariff from O2 called Your Country . For £10 you get calls to USA at 15p per minute PLUS an extra 50 minutes.You dont get any data ,although I think you can add it on for £7.50
  16. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    How did you unlock/jailbreak your phone?
  17. Benjic macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2007
    Madison, WI

    There is an entire forum dedicated to this. Go look for that.
  18. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    Thanks for being snarky but my post was intended to get through to the OP the importance of unlocking the phone (which he hadn't yet addressed/acknowledged in any of his posts) before going overseas. I've been here since 2005, don't lecture me.

Share This Page