Traveling to U.K. with Locked iPhones?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by PTVMan, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. PTVMan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    Hi, my wife and I are traveling to London and Liverpool soon, and both of our iPhones are not eligible for unlocking. And it seems likely that we can't get them unlocked. I really don't want to use our locked iPhones and rack up enormous international roaming charges. What is the best way to have cell phones there in order to stay in touch via text and voice? Any guidance is really appreciated.
  2. bandofbrothers macrumors 601


    Oct 14, 2007
    If you cant get them unlocked so you can use local sim cards then you could pick up a pay as you go phone for little cost, and simply use a Uk Sim card.

    These can be picked up at any network high street store.

    Then just let your contacts know your new temp mobile number.
  3. PTVMan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    Thanks, bandofbrothers! Are the pay as you go phones there inexpensive and can do texting?
  4. derbyshire2013 macrumors member

    Jan 2, 2013
    East Midlands
    There are a lot of "basic" PAYG phones like this one for example:

    There's a plethora of different stores selling budget PAYG phones; beware as some of the prices don't include an initial top up.

    Further Lebara offer cheap calls and texts to international lines (if you can get your cell unlocked):
  5. biohead macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2010
    West Drayton, UK
    You can buy a dirt cheap phone such as this Samsung (£14.99 with £10 credit inc). Or spend a bit more and get a Nokia 106 for £19.99 (again with £10 credit inc). Both of these are from a very common high street retailer - you should simply be able to walk in and buy it within minutes.

    As a quick guide, a text to a UK number on PAYG would cost around 12p and calls to a UK number 35p/min. If you're keeping in touch with each other that should be fine for you both. Don't really worry about what network you choose - they're virtually the same when only dealing with calls and texts.
  6. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    As others have said your best option is to get a prepaid/pay and go phone. When you arrive in the UK you can get them from any mobile/cell phone store and each store will provide options for the best SIM card and handset for your requirements. In the UK just to make you aware incase you didn't know. Carrier is known as a Network here. You will be able to load credit/money onto your sim either via debt/credit card or with cash.
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I was on vacation in York, England this past summer, and while I was able to get my Verizon iPhone unlocked for international use, I had to leave my wife's AT&T phone behind. I went to the Three (network) store and bought a sim for my iPhone and a cheap payg phone for my wife. It was simple and we had no problems. The hardest part was getting the *()& sim out of my iPhone.
  8. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Another option is that you can just keep your iPhone in Airplane mode and pick up any local wifi hotspots when you're out and about. Then you'd be able to use iMessage, check email, Facebook, Twitter and FaceTime or Skype if need be.
  9. PTVMan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the responses! You have all helped me through the anxieties related to cell use on this trip. This is exactly why this forum is so valuable.
  10. PTVMan thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 20, 2012
    Okay, something weird just happened with my iPhone 5S. I connected with iTunes on my MacBook Air, did a restore and got the message "Congratulations, your phone has been unlocked." I asked AT&T to unlock last week and was told no because the phone was still under contract. How can I now check to confirm that the phone is truly now unlocked? Will the Verizon SIM from my iPad work as a test in the iPhone?

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