UK - Which carrier provides more Mb under £10?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Dias, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Dias macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2007
    Hi everybody

    Since I'm moving to UK next week I've been doing a lot of research about which carrier should I choice for my iPhone (it's unlocked, I'm from Italy), but the whole "Unlimited data, but..." situation drive my crazy. The only one that I've found that tells it clearly is Vodafone: 500Mb for £7.50, but 125Mb/week will be hardly enough for me.
    So, guys, I'd appreciate a lot if you can advise me the best deal under £10 for my iPhone. For example, how about fair usage policy on O2 network (bold £7.50)?

    Thank you in advance for any help
  2. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    I'm just shocked that in Europe the prices are higher than in the us
  3. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2007
    Well, just for reference, I pay 12 euro a month in Italy for 2Gb data (Vodafone). Beginning in January, 3 Italy will be offering 3Gb for 5 euro/month (right now it's free for new customers).
  4. FXT 1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    Dias, are you moving to the UK permanently, or just looking for a Pay And Go Plan for a short while with Data?

    O2 has "Unlimited Data" On the Pay As You Go iPhone SIM that has no fair use policy. However, from the website, it shows that to obtain the PayG iPhone SIM and use the 12 Months FREE unlimited data you must purchase an iPhone from them, first.
    So I'd advise you to go into an O2 store and perhaps haggle them for an iPhone Pay and Go SIM with the 12 Months free data, I'm sure if you say a friend gave you an iPhone to use because they got the 3G S then they would simply give it to you :rolleyes: it's worth a try :). (They were doing such a thing with people ugrading from 2G iPhones to the 3G and thus people were giving their friends their old iPhones).

    Or if you can't get the SIM then its £10 a month on O2 Pay and Go iPhone (that's key, its not just any standard plan, it's iPhone), no minimum term, I believe :rolleyes:

    O2 are the official carrier so it will be easy to obtain their APN settings and MMS etc...

    Although, 3-UK offer a plan on Pay and Go, their £5 a month add-on gets you 1GB internet access and when you top up you get free texts (doing it online gets you more) and 150MB of data on top of your monthly 1GB. So if you run out of data you can keep topping up a minimum of £5 to get 150MB each time. Although make sure you've used up all of your 150 MB before topping up as any remaining data is lost and replaced. (Say you used 123MB and were unsure whether you would go over your limit, when you top up you lose the remaining 27MB you would have had. (Just heads up on that :))

    3-UK's APN setting are on the web, however customer services won't help you with set-up for data etc.

    Vodafone's data plan are shocking, yes :p and require a contract.

    T-Mobile's (And the others) I'm not too sure on because I haven't yet investigated them.

    * The only reason I know all this is because I was planning to leave O2 when my contracts up, but I'm still looking at my options. :rolleyes:

    Not in the UK :p. My £35 ($57.17) Gets me 600 Minutes & 500 Texts, Unlimited data and Wi-Fi Access and a generally good service; notice "generally" :rolleyes: Just No dropped calls and I always have coverage and I Have MMS :D

    Also I don't have to pay to receive a text. That's just crazy. :p
  5. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2007
    Wow, FXT 1, thank you for your experience.

    I'm moving to UK for study purpose, so I'm gonna stay there a little bit. :)

    From what you are saying the only 2 decent options are O2 and 3. Btw, I can't use that excuse at O2 store because I've already 3GS (sold my 3G a month ago). :eek:

    So, basically, we have:

    O2: £10 a month for unlimited data
    3: £5 for 1Gb data


    Can I ask you what "when you top up" exactly means? It occurs when I spend £5x2 a month?

    How about O2 vs 3 reliability? I've heard a lot of complains about O2 networks instability on this forum, not sure about 3.
  6. just21 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2009
    I tested all five uk networks on an iphone in London. The best network for data speed and coverage is three. £5 for 2gb a month.
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  7. FXT 1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    Correct. :)

    I'm assuming that you don't want a contract (Correct?), so on Pay as You Go "Topping Up" is when you add money to your mobile balance, this money can be spent on Calls, texts and data that is not included in your free allowance when you top up. You can top up whenever you want, and as frequently as you need to. Also you can top up in UK at the Post Office, a Cash machine and at the major supermarkets (you don't have to look far to find a Tesco:p) but you can get more Texts on 3-UK if you Top Up online (again, another heads up :)).

    The minimum top up on O2 is £10 whereas 3's minimum top up is £5

    3-UK Give you some rewards when you top up, the most important being 150MB of data, I'm sure O2 reward you as well but no data so its insignificant.

    Now, in terms of O2 vs 3 reliability it will depend on a number of other personal factors that will ultimately decide which one you choose:

    As I'm sure you already know, 3-UK are a 3G only network, forcing iPhone users on their to keep 3G ON all the time. While you might not think this is serious 3G does kill the battery IMO when used a lot :rolleyes: and turning this OFF will leave you with signal for a while but soon after you will be disconnected. So keep your battery in mind. We know how fast those things go :)

    Also OFCOM (The British competition regulator) has issued the 3G Coverage maps for the different providers in the UK, you will find them here. As you will notice O2 seems to fare badly, with skirmish 3G coverage, yet 3 provides the best coverage for 3G.
    I suggest you look here for O2 Coverage in the area in which you'll be studying and here for 3 Coverage.

    Now, in terms of network reliability, I personally have not been caught up in any of O2's network crashes, except one of them, where I was on holiday in Scotland at the time and relying heavily on O2's 3G Network, and I mean heavily, as the nearest WiFi spot at the hotel was hosted by T-Mobile:mad:
    But if you have a WiFi spot nearby where you study and in your accommodation you should be fine. This is one the advantages with O2 BTW, The £10 data add on includes WiFi at The Cloud. So if your studying at a major city you're assured WiFi, also if you like McDonalds there's free WiFi there included ;)

    IMAO All the O2 reliability problems have been over-hyped, it's happened maybe three times if I recall correctly and its not too drastic. I mean you'll hear a lot more about network etc. (obviously, with 1 million+ iPhone users) but that's not to say that you'll always receive bad service. I have personally experienced few dropped calls (in low coverage areas BTW) and NO DROPPED CALLS with Full signal. :) Furthermore, I am trying not to be biased but must admit I have been through a few O2 "dead spots".

    In case of cost and value for money it depends what you want to do , again :) If you text a lot 3-UK gives you a lot of texts for £10 (300 normally, 600 online) But I recognise data is key for you.
    You said Vodafone's 125MB is not enough for you. And I realise 3's is double that but I'm sure you'll use 3 a lot more as there is more coverage for 3G.

    Thus, as I have not had much active experience with 3's network I cannot highlight or point out any peculiarities I have experienced with them.

    However, Dias, It's not a Life or Death situation in the end.:rolleyes: When you come to the UK, pick up a 3 SIM and an O2 SIM (you can order them cheap on Amazon UK for 50p a sim with no credit though) and try them out for yourself and see what works and what signal your getting with each.

    Personally, I'd recommend O2 for you, even though calls and texts are a bit more expensive, the unlimited data for iPhone option is a tailor made plan for iPhone, a plan for which 3 has not properly catered for; yet;)

    But as i said, try them out yourself and see which one you prefer and perhaps monitor you usage monthly so if your not using a huge amount of data then you could switch to 3's 1GB a month plan.

    Hope this helps :)
  8. FXT 1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    Sounds Correct. But where is this 2GB for £5 a month plan? I would be interested also. Is it one of the add-ons for Pay and Go? Or do you have to ring them up?

    3-UK probably is the best for 3G data and coverage but OP has to look at the bigger picture. Battery Life, data usage and other costs for calls and texts and technical support etc...:)

    Also you assume he is studying in London :rolleyes:
  9. star-fish macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    3 is a terrible network.

    Have you looked at O2's simplicity contract? Top up with £10 and choose the free bolt-on when you sign up. You can have a month by month contract as well. It's a popular choice with iPhone users here.
  10. FXT 1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    On what grounds? I'm currently looking into moving to them.

    And Simplicity is a 30 day rolling contract correct?
  11. peteyyt macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Simplicity is a 30 day rolling contract, which is a problem for some because you need a UK debit or credit card associated with a permanent address to sign up for it.

    You get nearly the same deal by topping-up each month and adding the web bolt-on (which I'm nearly certain is £7.50 if you do it without BT OpenZone Wi-Fi) and the unlimited text-messaging bolt.
  12. Dias thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2007
    Hi guys

    I'm in Stratford-upon-Avon right now. Just bought an O2 simcard and my iPhone has 0 signal with it. It's totally no-go. :(

    Vodafone (a free simcard that UCAS has sent me), on the other hand, never showed me "No signal" message. I guess I'm gonna buy a simcard for Three too, if it fails too I'll have to stick with Vodafone.
  13. 226896 Guest

    Sep 13, 2008
    I can't believe US users have to pay to receive calls and texts, that's just... insane.
  14. FXT 1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2009
    Sorry about the O2 sim Dias. However, if you don't mind my asking, are you on the Outskirts of Stratford-Upon-Avon? As the O2 coverage map shows 3G coverage. Not that I doubt you, of course :D :p :)

    How is the 3 Sim working out?

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