Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

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InvestoGuy
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by InvestoGuy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:45 pm

Hello,
Based on prior experience, can someone please suggest me a pre-paid SIM card for use in UK and France.

I have the iPhone 6 and currently on Verizon so will need something that works with it.
Just basic Voice and Texting, minimal Data needs.

Thank you.

curmudgeon
Posts: 1481
Joined: Thu Jun 20, 2013 11:00 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by curmudgeon » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:53 pm

two key questions: is your iphone unlocked (or can you get it unlocked based on your contract)? Which country will you start in?

InvestoGuy
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by InvestoGuy » Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:55 pm

curmudgeon wrote:two key questions: is your iphone unlocked (or can you get it unlocked based on your contract)? Which country will you start in?
From what i can tell it is unlocked. I am currently in the US on the Verizon network.

curmudgeon
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by curmudgeon » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:06 pm

If you bought your phone from Verizon, it is likely locked (unless established otherwise). If you bought it outside for full price and took it to Verizon, probably unlocked. You need to be sure it supports GSM and European frequencies (I think that is normal for Iphone6, but I don't use iphone). If you really want to be sure, borrow a friends ATT sim and try it out before you go.

Roaming between European countries for talk/text is either free or very cheap now, so no problem getting a sim in one country and using in the other. Data can be more complicated, probably easier if you start in UK to get the SIM there, as UK phone market is pretty competitive and has lots of options.

Worst case, you just buy a cheap dumb phone on arrival, and use your iphone on wifi only. Preload maps if you will want them.

bluebolt
Posts: 559
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by bluebolt » Mon Jun 12, 2017 2:54 pm

curmudgeon wrote:If you bought your phone from Verizon, it is likely locked (unless established otherwise). If you bought it outside for full price and took it to Verizon, probably unlocked. You need to be sure it supports GSM and European frequencies (I think that is normal for Iphone6, but I don't use iphone). If you really want to be sure, borrow a friends ATT sim and try it out before you go.

Roaming between European countries for talk/text is either free or very cheap now, so no problem getting a sim in one country and using in the other. Data can be more complicated, probably easier if you start in UK to get the SIM there, as UK phone market is pretty competitive and has lots of options.

Worst case, you just buy a cheap dumb phone on arrival, and use your iphone on wifi only. Preload maps if you will want them.
Verizon-sold 4G phones are SIM unlocked.

If you're going to the UK first, 3 UK has some prepaid SIM cards that can be used throughout Europe (they need to be activated in the UK first).

ETA: Here's the link to the 3 UK page. 12GB, 3000 texts, 300 minutes for 20 pounds or you can go with their pay as you go plan, 3p per minute talk, 2p per text, 1p per megabyte.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go

InvestoGuy
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:34 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by InvestoGuy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:15 pm

bluebolt wrote:
curmudgeon wrote:If you bought your phone from Verizon, it is likely locked (unless established otherwise). If you bought it outside for full price and took it to Verizon, probably unlocked. You need to be sure it supports GSM and European frequencies (I think that is normal for Iphone6, but I don't use iphone). If you really want to be sure, borrow a friends ATT sim and try it out before you go.

Roaming between European countries for talk/text is either free or very cheap now, so no problem getting a sim in one country and using in the other. Data can be more complicated, probably easier if you start in UK to get the SIM there, as UK phone market is pretty competitive and has lots of options.

Worst case, you just buy a cheap dumb phone on arrival, and use your iphone on wifi only. Preload maps if you will want them.
Verizon-sold 4G phones are SIM unlocked.

If you're going to the UK first, 3 UK has some prepaid SIM cards that can be used throughout Europe (they need to be activated in the UK first).

ETA: Here's the link to the 3 UK page. 12GB, 3000 texts, 300 minutes for 20 pounds or you can go with their pay as you go plan, 3p per minute talk, 2p per text, 1p per megabyte.

http://www.three.co.uk/Store/SIM/Pay_As_You_Go
Thanks, appreciate it.

ZinCO
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by ZinCO » Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:27 pm

Note that you can purchase pre-activated SIMs from Three on Amazon (search for "Internet with Legs"). I just bought a 12GB data-only SIM last week, popped it into an old iPhone 5S, and it came up immediately roaming on AT&T. Planning to use it all over Europe this summer, and NOT going to the UK first.

Also be aware that later this month (June) new rules go into effect about roaming within the EU. Information has been difficult to come by as to how that will affect prepaid SIMs purchased by non-EU (or UK) citizens, but I suspect that loophole above may be closed. That's why I purchased mine now even though I won't need it until end of July.

richardglm
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by richardglm » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:13 pm

ZinCO wrote:Note that you can purchase pre-activated SIMs from Three on Amazon (search for "Internet with Legs"). I just bought a 12GB data-only SIM last week, popped it into an old iPhone 5S, and it came up immediately roaming on AT&T. Planning to use it all over Europe this summer, and NOT going to the UK first.

Also be aware that later this month (June) new rules go into effect about roaming within the EU. Information has been difficult to come by as to how that will affect prepaid SIMs purchased by non-EU (or UK) citizens, but I suspect that loophole above may be closed. That's why I purchased mine now even though I won't need it until end of July.
I would be cautious because Three specifically is known to be very aggressive at kicking excessive roamers off their network, in as little as 2 months off the UK network. By activating now in the US, it might not work by August. This might change because the EU roaming rules, but no one knows right now.

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GerryL
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by GerryL » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:32 pm

I'm watching this thread because I will be spending September in France and now have an unlocked iPhone 5c and want to get a SIM card for my stay, mostly for data, minimal calling. Also, any tips for storing and carrying the SIM you need for US use?

This will be my first experience using my phone in another country. AT&T refused to unlock this phone before I went to France in 2015 because I still had a month left on my contract. When I returned, the contract was up and I got it unlocked and switched to Consumer Cellular.

LoveMyDog
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by LoveMyDog » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:13 pm

GerryL wrote:Also, any tips for storing and carrying the SIM you need for US use?
Tape it to the inside of your phone protective case, assuming you have one. Metal side away from the sticky. Find some good tape that can be reapplied at least 2-3 times, but not strong enough to damage or leave a mark on the surface. I'm not saying you need to bring a roll of tape with you. Start off by securing your international SIM with a piece of tape first, then you just need to swap and reapply the tape.

bluebolt
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:01 am

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by bluebolt » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:33 pm

LoveMyDog wrote:
GerryL wrote:Also, any tips for storing and carrying the SIM you need for US use?
Tape it to the inside of your phone protective case, assuming you have one. Metal side away from the sticky. Find some good tape that can be reapplied at least 2-3 times, but not strong enough to damage or leave a mark on the surface. I'm not saying you need to bring a roll of tape with you. Start off by securing your international SIM with a piece of tape first, then you just need to swap and reapply the tape.
I keep it in something like this:

https://www.uline.com/Product/Detail/S- ... sable-Bags

And keep that in a small packing cube with other cables/electronics.

killjoy2012
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:30 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by killjoy2012 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:47 pm

- Beware that some assertions above may be for those paying monthly, vs. PAYG as you'll be doing. You'll need to do your homework.
- While many carriers allow roaming, you may find that it's cheaper/easier to just buy a small PAYG SIM in each country. Most carriers charge an extra fee on top of the PAYG pricing for Euro-roaming, esp for data.
- If you plan to tether, add that your homework. EE would be the better PAYG option in the UK, over 3, if that is in the plan.

EE and 3 are good choices in the UK.
Orange in France.

Might also consider just using Skype over free wifi if you'll only be in one or other location for a short time.

ZinCO
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by ZinCO » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:45 am

Curious why EE is considered better than 3 for tethering? The card I chose (from 3) specifically allows tethering and that, plus the 42 or so countries it allows roaming in, seemed to make it the logical choice for me at least.

LoveMyDog
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by LoveMyDog » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:36 pm

ZinCO wrote:Curious why EE is considered better than 3 for tethering? The card I chose (from 3) specifically allows tethering and that, plus the 42 or so countries it allows roaming in, seemed to make it the logical choice for me at least.
Tethering is allowed in UK only for 3.

ZinCO
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by ZinCO » Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:07 pm

That may be true for voice/sms/data SIMs from 3. With the data-only 3 SIM I purchased last week, I'm tethering on AT&T right now...

LoveMyDog
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by LoveMyDog » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:59 pm

ZinCO wrote:That may be true for voice/sms/data SIMs from 3. With the data-only 3 SIM I purchased last week, I'm tethering on AT&T right now...
Interesting! I assume you have the internet with legs card. I was in Netherlands last month trying to share the connection with my laptop with no luck. And I was on T-Mobile when testing in the States.

killjoy2012
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Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by killjoy2012 » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:04 pm

ZinCO - If you wouldn't mind, post the link to the PAYG SIM deal you purchased that allows tethering. I'm very interested as I travel to the UK fairly often, and all data I have points to the opposite:

http://kenstechtips.com/index.php/tethe ... k-networks
Three allows you to tether, but only if you have an Advanced Pay Monthly contract. For the majority of Advanced plan customers, tethering will come out of your normal data allowance. However, for customers with all-you-can-eat data, a separate allowance will apply for your tethering. This allowance is 30GB per month on all-you-can-eat data plans taken out from April 2016. Older all-you-can-eat data plans may have a smaller tethering allowance.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to tether on Three’s Essential plans or on Three Pay As You Go. Restrictions on tethering also apply if you’re using your phone abroad in a Feel At Home country. For more information, see the Three help article on tethering from your smartphone.
http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-BIN ... (EM101526)
Personal Hotspot isn't available on Pay As You Go at the moment.

ZinCO
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:42 pm

Re: Traveling to UK/France: Suggest a pre-paid SIM Card

Post by ZinCO » Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:39 pm

It's this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CM ... UTF8&psc=1

Obviously the description come from the reseller and not 3, but they seem to be accurate from my testing. The fact that it is now unavailable makes me think the landscape will be considerably different after June 15.

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