UK 3G micro sim info please.

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Ashka, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Ashka macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Hi Guys, We will be traveling to and around the UK during most of September and will bring my 3G iPad 2 with us so will need a 3G micro sim for the month.

    After mucking about on Google for a few hours last night it seems as if 'Orange' has WiFi hotspots available as well as 3G sim cards. Are they the best bet? can anyone buy a sim card? or are other ISPs / suppliers better?

    Many thanks for any info you can share.
    We live in New Zealand, the visit is on DH's bucket list as he has never gone further than Aussie. I emigrated to NZ from the UK in 1967 and have not been back... yet :)
     
  2. peteknopp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2010
    #2
    sim

    I was back in UK over Xmas and got a sim from 3 mobile for 20 pounds that lasted 1 month with 1 gb data - easily topped up/extended online or in a store. In the 6 months since then I am sure there will be more choice. O2 and Vodafone are other main networks
     
  3. stix macrumors member

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    Aug 2, 2010
    Location:
    Helvetic Confederation
    #3
    I second that. I use a 3 card when I'm in the UK, no problem at all.
     
  4. reclusive46, Jul 6, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011

    reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

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    #4
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/9A5248d Safari/6533.18.5)

    Go with 3. 15 GBP can get u 10gb
     
  5. Robbo-92 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Is it easy to set up 3G on the iPad? I ordered a 3 sim with it to have the 10GB for £15 a month.
     
  6. Bradison macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #6
    I got my 3 Micro SIM with my iPad 2, literally just popped it inside the iPad and it was connected to 3G instantly.
     
  7. Robbo-92 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Do you have to contact 3 to say which contract you want then?, or once you put the sim in does it take you to the 3 website and you select the contract from there?
     
  8. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

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    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    Londinium
    #8
    Another vote for 3 here. Since trying a 3 sim in my iPad I've actually switched to them as my iPhone provider due to their excellent coverage. Argos are selling the 1GB for 1 month micro sim for £5 last time I checked....
     
  9. Godzirra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Location:
    Somewhere on Salisbury plain, and Apple, UK
    #9
    Another one for 3 here.
    You can buy a pay as you go for £20.99p, and it's preloaded with 3GB of data and will last for 3 months. If you use it up earlier, then you can easily top it up or just buy a new card.
    I bought one at the weekend, popped it in, and was online again straight away. It's easier than a contract for me, as it's for when i'm out and about, otherwise i'm connected to wifi most of the time.
     
  10. Ashka thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

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    New Zealand
    #10
    Thanks Guys, looks as if 3 is the winner here. :D
     
  11. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #11
    I don't think 3 gives you free access to wi-fi hot spots though. With O2 you get free access to all BT Open Zone and The Cloud hot spots. That can significantly increase your amount of access to the internet in terms of capacity and locations. Plus wi-fi is a lot faster then 3G.
     
  12. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #12
    Go with Three (3), fantastic value, speeds, and 3G coverage.

    If you find yourself needing WiFi in any particular locations then you'll be better off subscribing to the service available there - in my experience the hotspot is hardly ever provided by the service you have access to!

    You'll find plenty of free WiFi around also :)
     
  13. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    Location:
    London, UK.
    #13
    That's not my experience. I'm with O2 and I find myself using the free wi-fi all the time even more so then the 3G. Wi-Fi hot spots for BT Open Zone and The Cloud are quite extensive. Using wi-fi means you don't have to worry about using up 3G data capacity and allows you to download large files and more graphic intensive web pages for example without slow down. It's possible that 3's coverage might be better but it's offset by the availability of wi-fi with O2.
     
  14. thunderbunny macrumors 6502a

    thunderbunny

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    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #14
    O2 is the fastest network in the UK, I wouldn't budge from them. Coverage is good too.
     
  15. Ashka thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

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    New Zealand
    #15
    Mr C,
    Many thanks, :) just the info I needed.
    Much prefer to use WiFi when available.
     
  16. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

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    Location:
    Londinium
    #16
    3G coverage not so much. 3 had the best 3G coverage out of all, but when Orange & T-Mobile merged, their combined coverage now ranks the best. Vodafone & O2's 3G coverage are quite poor by comparison.
    However, depending on where you are, your mileage will vary. It just so happen that in my bit of SW London, O2 coverage is spotty at best, and terrible for me at work & home - hence the shift to 3.
     
  17. sorchard macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #17
    3 and T-Mobile share the same 3G network. So their coverage is precisely the same - by far the best in the country.

    Orange and T-Mobile have a crude 2G network sharing deal (since it is implemented by roaming), but Orange customers don't benefit at all from 3/T-Mobile's 3G network (not yet at least).

    I'm not sure why anyone with a data intensive device would want to use O2. Poor coverage, poor speeds, poor reliability (when the iPhone came out, the network seemed to collapse weekly, now it seems to be monthly in different parts of the country). They are the only network to be admonished by Ofcom for their lack of investment in 3G coverage - looks like they were too busy creaming the profits from iPhone exclusivity to actually improve their network.
     
  18. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    Those wifi hotspots are sooo slow. The 3G is faster lol Go with 3. The whole Network is designed for broadband.
     
  19. Mr.C macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Location:
    London, UK.
    #19
    No they're not. I use the BT Open Zone and The Cloud hot spots all the time and they are much faster then using 3G. I love to know how you came to the conclusion 3G is faster then Wi-Fi when technically it's not. In fact Wi-Fi is technically broadband and 3G definitely is not.
     
  20. thunderbunny macrumors 6502a

    thunderbunny

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    Location:
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    #20
    It's going to depend on your hotspot. I've come across many in the UK that are very slow, and slower than my typical 3G speeds. Dunno whether it's number of people connected at the time or the set-up.
     
  21. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    Location:
    London, UK.
    #21
    I have never ever experienced that. Wi-Fi has always been much faster for me. In fact I'm typing this in Starbucks right now and have been browsing the Internet here for the last 45 minutes and it's been blazingly fast. This is the way it always is for me where ever I am. If you're experiencing slower speeds on Wi-Fi then 3G then there is a problem with the Wi-Fi there.

    Technically Wi-Fi should always be faster then 3G as that is inherently how those technologies are assuming there is no fault on the service. I have to use 3G at the Costa Coffee near work as they have no Wi-Fi and there is no Starbucks or Cafe Nero near by and it is painfully slow.
     
  22. Ashka thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Ashka

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #22
    Thanks guys,
    Maybe I'll just have to get two micro sims :D
    Does anyone know which bands the various suppliers use?

    Here in NZ Telecom XT uses 850/2100 WCDMA.(HSDPA) which is the one I use 24/7.
    Vodafone uses 900/2100 WCDMA.(HSDPA)
    Note: 2100 is only for city fill in on both.
     
  23. LJ50 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    #23
    To be honest I can only assume this post is heavily tinted with sarcasm.

    I have O2 mobile broadband and an O2 Blackberry through work. When I bought my iPad I thought I'd give 3 a try and the difference is night and day. I travel the length and breadth of the country on the train and pretty much wherever I am I get a very good 3G signal, and the comparison to the available signal on O2 is damning. Coverage seems much better and speeds also seem slightly better.
     
  24. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    #24
    I use the O2 sim. It's free. You just walk in the store, plug it in and away you go. You have different options. £2 a day or £10/£15 a week.

    I use the £2 a day option on the odd occasion that I can't use wifi.

    The 3 Network coverage is really not great I have found. You get more for less money but good luck getting always on clear and fast coverage.

    edit - having just read the above comments I'm really quite surprised to hear about peoples thoughts of O2 which I've always found very fast and very clean. I've never once had a problem. My experiences with 3 aren't in keeping with the people posting here.
     
  25. Brradley macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #25
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    Openzone speeds are capped at 0.5mbps.
     

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