Traveling to London; can I just buy a UK micro sim?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by mcdj, May 25, 2010.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Seems as if Vodafone is now selling 1 month data plans with a free micro sim.

    I'm London bound for 11 days in June (I live in NYC) I am not keen on paying AT&Thief $200 for 200mb of international data. Vodafone's £15 3GB plan is a steal by comparison. Hell, caviar is a steal by comparison.

    Can I just walk into a Vodafone shop in London, pay for a month of data, get the sim, stick it in the iPad and be on my merry way, even though the iPad was "activated" with a U.S. AT&T sim? If a Vodafone sim would work, would using it affect my AT&T service when I put the AT&T sim back in once I'm home?

    Sorry, I did search. This stuff is new to me.
     
  2. iWannaBeAdored macrumors 6502

    iWannaBeAdored

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Location:
    Scotland
    #2
    Yes you can pick up a Micro Sim card but probably only after the 28th.
     
  3. mcdj thread starter macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Thanks. So if I walk into a Vodafone store (their site says you can buy them in store now, but they won't work til the 28th...doesn't matter to me since I won't be there til June), I don't have to be a UK resident to buy one? Seems I have to be a resident to buy one online...
     
  4. iJeremy macrumors member

    iJeremy

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Location:
    San Clemente, California
    #4
    I'm curious to know the answer to this also since I am UK bound this summer. It's one of the main reasons I bought the 3G, for when traveling, especially abroad.
     
  5. ACDeag macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #5
    I think for Vodafone you will need to be a UK resident as it is a rolling 30 day contract (cancellable at anytime).

    You can get a microsim from O2 and you will not be credit checked as you will only pay at the time you request service. This would seem to be proved by the fact that if you order an O2 sim online you just fill in your name and address and they send you one. If you go to Vodafone's site you need your addresses for the last 3 years.

    http://freesim.o2.co.uk/sKTLPi92
     
  6. DKatri macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #6
    You can walk into any of the three main networks after the 28th and get a micro SIM. They should be free. I'd reccomend that you go for o2, their plans are much better than the vodafone ones IMO
     
  7. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Londinium
    #7
    Completely agree - the O2 sims may not offer the 3G best value (since the 3 packages were launched) but they have far and away the best free wifi coverage, and if you're in London there are BT Openzone or Cloud hotspots everywhere. Which is why I'm sticking with them despite having naff 3G reception at work.

    As far as I know all sims are free, just pick them up in shop.
     
  8. ACDeag macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, UK
    #8
    If you want Vodafone or Orange you will need to set up an account and be credit checked, main reason being that they will bill you after for the package you pick and chearge you if you go over your bundle. O2's I believe will just stop working if you exceed your purchased bundle.

    If you apply for Orange, Vodafone or even 3 online you will say that they are taking you through a process that will credit check you.
     
  9. jon snow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    I'm traveling to the UK next week so I'm interested in whether this is available to me when I'm over there. I just sent O2 an email to see if it's possible and how it would work. I will post what I learn from their response.
     
  10. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Londinium
    #10
    You should be fine as you pay upfront for the O2 packages, so you should just have to pick up a sim in a store. O2 encourage incoming international travellers to pick up one of their sims for the duration of their stay in the UK and advertise this fact on some airlines.
     
  11. jon snow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Florida
    #11
    I guess I will be looking for an O2 store upon my arrival. I don't suppose O2 is the carrier in Ireland as well. Thanks for the info.
     
  12. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Londinium
    #12
    They are - although I'm not entirely sure if the packages will carry though (especially if you're off to the Republic)...
     
  13. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #13
    The £1M Question:

    Maybe someone w/ a US iPad in the UK can answer this one:

    Is activation of the O2 or Vodafone MicroSIM possible w/o a UK iPad? For example, w/ my US iPad when I hit the Cellular Data -> View Account I get an ATT account set up and 3G plan price list. Is this something embedded into the OS or is it something that the iPad reads from the SIM; i.e., if I were to install an O2 SIM then I would see an O2 account set up and 3G plan price list or would the ATT info remain?
     
  14. mcdj thread starter macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #14
    Good question. This thread has been helpful, but is veering towards pricing chat. For a traveler who only needs data for a under 1 month trip, ANY plan is better than AT&Thief's.

    I'd love to get the nuts and bolts details like in my OP, and the question quoted here.
     
  15. 3Pedals6Speeds macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    #15
    Waiting to hear what they say, I've got upcoming UK travel.
     
  16. mcdj thread starter macrumors G3

    mcdj

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #16
    Could one of you proud new iPad owners in London town possibly take a couple of seconds and ask your local Vodafone or O2 shoppe if a foreigner can buy 3G service a la carte with no strings attached, and if they know whether it will work with a US activated iPad?
     
  17. sac45310 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    #17
    Just Got back from UK

    So I bought a US AT&T iPhone 4 before heading to the UK in September 2010. I am a US based traveler.

    I got to London and went to a mall and tried to get a micro sim from EVERY carrier. At the time they ALL required a credit check and thus required a UK address to buy.

    I left VERY disappointed. I could only buy a pay as you go phone which had a regular sim so I guess if I brought my 3G phone I could have used it.

    BE AWARE that as of September 2010 you could NOT buy an iPhone 4 micro sim nor an iPad micro sim unless you had a UK address. I tried every angle and could not get one.

    They now have new pay as you go plans so this may have changed. I am hoping that someone can tell me HOW I can get a UK iPhone micro sim for my US iPhone? I am heading off to the UK again in September 2011 so I'm hoping things change or maybe someone knows how I can get one... possibly criags list or ?
     
  18. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #18
    I know on phones it's the SIM that holds that info. When I put my O2 SIM in my AT&T iPhone 4, I get all new options for calling Orange.
     
  19. koollectablz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #19
    The best option is to grab a 3 broadband sim which comes pre-loaded with 3gb data which lasts for 3 months upon first use. as soon as the 3gb is up you just chuck it away.

    There is absolutely no activation or checks of any kind - you just put it in and start to surf.

    Available now on eBay for example: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400175474555#ht_1479wt_982

    This is also the cheapest way.

    The only caveat is that you have to cut them down to micro-sim size. I've been using them for months and so does everyone I know with an iPad. In the end I just got one of those micro-sim cutters from China and did a load for me and anyone who asks.

    No brainer.

    Tested and definitely works on US iPad.
     
  20. Tobster3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    South Korea
    #20
    I went to the UK (Scotland) with an iPad in December 2010. iPad was purchased in US in June 2010. I live in South Korea so have a KT Monthly Data Package.

    I walked into a 3 store in Scotland and purchased an iPad Micro Sim Pay as you go, Preloaded with 3GB of Data, valid for 3 months. I was only there 3 weeks and used a little less than 2GB. I did not need a UK address. Cost £20.

    http://threestore.three.co.uk/broadband/?ipad=1

    When I inserted the Micro Sim, I did not need to do anything, the iPad recognized the 3 Network and my Sim was already activated.

    On returning to Korea, I inserted my KT Sim again. No problems.

    Oh yeah, had great coverage with 3.

    Hope this helps.
     

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