iPad Traveling to UK

Discussion in 'iPad' started by merantz, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. merantz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Mass
    #1
    I have an iPad (third generation) 4G with a Verizon plan. I'll be traveling from the US to the UK in a few weeks and was wondering if anyone can help. Last year when I was there, I had previously read that I could go to the Apple Store in the UK and pick up a SIMM card for about £7/$10 which I did. The Apple employee installed the SIMM card for me but he didn't have a clue why it didn't work. He did go back and forth with various other employees and finally told me that my iPad did not work with their SIMM card because the iPad was locked. It turned out that I was never able to use 3G while I was there....just had to depend on wifi.

    After returning home, I called Verizon. The first time I called, the Verizon employee told me that the after I had the account for three months and if it was in good standing it could be unlocked for global usage. A few months later I called Verizon again and was informed that the iPad was NOT locked since I purchased it directly from Apple. Being a skeptic, I recently called Verizon for a third time and again I was told that the iPad was NOT locked and then she called Apple to verify and this time I was told that I could not use the foreign SIMM card unless I reset my iPad to factory settings and then install the foreign SIMM card and treat the iPad as if it were new. Also...when I reinstall the Verizon SIMM card, then I would have to do the same thing....reset to factory settings and set up all over again. Seems to me that is a lot more work than it should be.

    Has anyone else used their pad in the UK and been able to use 3G without resetting back and forth. Also...has anyone purchased a foreign SIMM card - either at the Apple Store or anywhere else they are available and what suggestions do you have to make this as seamless as possible. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
     
  2. FlotationDevice macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    #2
    I am afraid with a Verizon 3rd-gen iPad you may be out of luck.

    I have an iPad (3rd generation) with AT&T and frequently take it to the UK. I just swap out the AT&T sim for a Vodafone one that you can buy in the arrivals area at Heathrow. But as I recall the Verizon iPads don't have compatible hardware for this.

    BTW, it's not a matter of unlocking from contract--iPad plans are all month to month on US carriers.
     
  3. old-wiz, Apr 15, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2013

    old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #3
    Good to see this thread. I have an iPad 3 bought with Verizon, but never activated - I bought it with the possibility of wanting to use it with no wi-fi around.

    I'm planning a trip to UK this summer, so maybe I need to think about upgrading to an iPad 4? or get an AT&T iPad?

    why would the iPad be locked when you pay full price anyway?

    ** to clarify my post.... I purchased from the Apple store at full price, just the "Verizon" model.
     
  4. charlituna macrumors G3

    charlituna

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    iPads are NOT locked unless you buy them via a carrier with some kind of contracted post paid account that likely got your a discount.

    And I don't recall having to erase everything when I switched sims. I believe I just did the physical switch and did the reset network settings with the new sim in. However be aware that this kills any saved wifi passwords to make sure you have them recorded somewhere if you have a lot of them.

    I would certainly try just the network settings before doing a full wipe cause that's a muck to redo all the time.
     
  5. lepeos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    #5
    When you put the UK sim in make sure you change the APN settings. By default it'll have Verizon's APN.
     
  6. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Nouakchott, Mauritania
    #6
    I suspect this is a hardware limitation caused by various countries and service providers using different 4G frequencies. I believe at the time the 3rd gen iPad was released there was no 4G chip available that covered all frequencies, hence Apple releasing 2 models in the US. I am not sure how the situation has changed with the 4th gen iPad, whether Broadcom, or whichever manufacturer Apple has chosen, have managed to make a truly world capable 4G chip that cover all frequencies in all countries, or not.
     
  7. Mike Oxard macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    #7
    There is only one 4G provider in the UK at the moment (called EE ) and you are correct, the iPad 3 will not work with their network.
    iPad 3's get good speed on 3G, with HSPA+ I can get >20Mbps. I use a single month sim only plan from the network THREE, £15 for 10GB

    http://www.three.co.uk/Store/Mobile_Broadband/iPad/iPad_with_Retina_display
     
  8. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #8
    I'm going to be in the UK for a week, France for a week and Germany for a few days in the summer. I have an AT&T iPad 4th gen (in California). A question for our UK forum members - is there a SIM I can pick up that works in all 3 of those countries, or will I need a separate SIM for each?
     
  9. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Nouakchott, Mauritania
    #9
    This is absolutely correct. The OP's situation is a little more murky as I believe Verizon used CDMA technology for 3G. However, I do not know how this applies to the 3rd gen iPad and international coverage.

    As to the question above regarding a UK SIM for UK, France and Germany, I would just buy PAYG SIMs for each country, so 3 different SIM cards. You could buy a PAYG SIM from any of the UK providers and use in France and Germany, you would have to do quite a substantial top-up whilst in the UK for the French and German usage, as the fees will be much greater when outside of the UK, hence burning up your credit much, much fast. You would have no means of topping up the SIM when in France and Germany.
     
  10. ramram55 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    #10
    I believe GSM is the network in Verizon ipad too.

    http://www.apple.com/ipad/specs/
     
  11. Mike Oxard macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    #11
  12. KeepCalmPeople macrumors 65816

    KeepCalmPeople

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area, California
    #12
    Thank you.
     
  13. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    #13
    There are contract sims that will do this, but im not sure about PAYG ones. If you want to use it a lot then you'll be better off getting the sims in each country as you go.

    Im on three mobile UK and went to croatia, serbia and hungary over the last couple of weeks, and hungary and croatia was £3 per MB and serbia was £6 per MB, so I just used wifi (which they had literally everywhere). As far as the UK goes you can get 3G sims cheap here. I dont know about germany, and france is bad for 3G signal everywhere.

    Theres a lonely planet discussion which might help here ;)

    http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa?threadID=1925677

    Wifi wise you wont find free wifi anywhere except maybe your hotels in the UK. I'd expect the same in france and germany too tbh.
     
  14. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Nouakchott, Mauritania
    #14
    There is an app called Onavo which is very handy for data, especially when roaming. I'm not sure how it works, but the service does some magic in the cloud which reduces the amount of data you use. It's pretty neat and has saved me a bundle, especially in roaming charges.
     

Share This Page