#863919 by Dave Adkins
05 Jan 2014, 21:27
Having been on the wrong side of some horrendous 'out of the UK' mobile billing I am considering getting my Galaxy 2 unlocked and using a PAYG sim card for our US trip in June. Obviously the phone will be the GPS for driving etc, so any help/advice would be gratefully received. ?|
#863928 by PilotWolf
06 Jan 2014, 04:57
We use Net10 - net10.com - I have the Iphone and wife has Galaxy (both from UK originally). $50-ish per month, unlimited text, calls and data.

#863929 by catsilversword
06 Jan 2014, 07:22
I don't know, I haven't really found a satisfactory way of doing this. Did buy a tracfone at one point, but had trouble getting it to work as it should have done - and the number expired after 3 months' inactivity. We aren't there enough to justify getting a contract and the only sim options seem to be a few dollars a dat, which doesn't work either!
#863932 by locutus
06 Jan 2014, 08:56
I've just arrived back from the US. I am on a Pay Monthly Three contract, and as Duggy83 says, I get to use my allowance over there, and it worked perfectly.

You can pick up a Three PAYG SIM for free and add £15 to get unlimited data (well ok, limited to 25GB). If it expires, just get another one before you go again. Does it really matter if you get a different number?
#863936 by mitchja
06 Jan 2014, 10:30
EE also have roaming included in their 4GEE extra plans which is available in more countries than the Three roaming system, though at present data isn't included (though it is discounted).
#863949 by Harpers Tate
06 Jan 2014, 14:18
If you want a SIM that you can use occasionally whilst retaining service and number, the best compromise offer I found was from T-Mobile (USA).

You get a PAYG SIM. You top it up immediately with $100. This puts you into their PAYG "gold" bracket.

Once you are "gold" your minutes and service are retained for 12 months. You stay "gold" forever, unless you let it expire.

Once you are "gold" you only need to top up by the minimum $10 to extend your service and any residual credit for a further 12 months.

You can switch tariff into their $2 per day or $3 per day offerings (unlimited calls, texts and data) whilst you are in the US. You have to switch back to regular PAYG as you leave, though, to take advantage of the 12 month expiry.

You can do all the topping up and switching on-line.

With one caveat: their network coverage isn't as good as, say, AT&T in some areas. So it depends on where you are going to be.

Otherwise, as others have said, UK Network "three" has a very good roaming offer with one small-print exception: calling an overseas number (eg a USA one) is still charged at sky-high roaming rates. It's data, and calls to UK numbers, and receipt of inbound calls that are the benefit.
#863954 by mitchja
06 Jan 2014, 15:58
If you are using your own unlocked UK handset with a US SIM card, do remember that not all of the T-Mobile US 3G mobile network is fully compatible with UK handsets yet. It is in the process of been upgraded but in some areas, they still use a different frequency band for 3G which many UK handsets are not compatible with. You find in some areas you get no 3G coverage and only Edge (2G) coverage with a UK handset, so whilst calls and texts will still work, data speeds are very slow.

UK handsets will not work at all on the Virgin Mobile US network as that's a totally different type of network UK mobile networks don't use. Also any Virgin Mobile US handset or device purchased in the US will not work back home either.

I have a Virgin Mobile US WiFi 3G dongle I bought there a couple of years ago which I use when over there. I am able to top-it up online using a UK AmEx card without any issues. When I was there last week it cost me $20 for 1.5Gb of data which lasts for 30 days. I had just about used up all my allowance in the 5 days I was there as the hotel WiFi was not working as it was in the process of being upgraded.
#863969 by Dave Adkins
06 Jan 2014, 21:50
Thanks for the info Guys, the phone will only be used for gps navigation and internal US calls/texts for the duration of our trip (15days) so I am looking at PAYG sims for 1 month. I didn't know about the frequency differences though.
#867663 by lucavigg
02 Mar 2014, 20:10
I've been looking into this for my trip in May. I have to be on call for my contract customers.

I was thinking of getting a cheap no contract Virgin mobile from Radio Shack and using it. O2 say they do not have a bolt on that would reduce my phone charges back to the UK, which would be 90p per minute for me to call and 39p if someone calls me.

By comparison Virgin US charges 10c per minute to call the UK. I could switch my voicemail off then just call them back on the US phone.

Have I missed anything obvious?

#867666 by mswadley
02 Mar 2014, 21:07
I've got a US nano SIM for my iPhone from 0044.co.uk.
This gives you a +1 US and +44 UK number on the same SIM.
Calls very cheap and data 45c/MB.
Going to try it out in April.
#867716 by lucavigg
03 Mar 2014, 20:57
I read some negative reviews about 0044 online a few days ago, although there will always be some, I suppose.

I would be very interested to know how it goes.

#867719 by mswadley
03 Mar 2014, 21:07
Will let you know.
It was recommended by Martin from MoneySavingExpert on Radio 5.
Giving it a go in France this week before my Utah trip in April.
#867720 by locutus
03 Mar 2014, 21:08
£20 for a sim from 0044.co.uk?

A Three PAYG SIM is free and then a £15 top up gives you virtually unlimited data on AT&T or T-Mobile and 300 mins to the UK and 3000 texts to UK Numbers for 30 days. Incoming calls are free. Why pay any more?

I also use 1899.com or 18185.co.uk. I dial a UK number (Free from my Three SIM) and then can dial the US for 1pence a min in case I ever need to dial a local number.
#867724 by mswadley
03 Mar 2014, 21:15
Admit the 3 deal sounds good.
Wasn't aware of it when I booked mine.
Will prob use the prepaid £10 that came free with it (which i probably wont use in a month at 3c/min) and look at the 3 deal.
#867822 by lucavigg
04 Mar 2014, 21:35
locutus wrote:
A Three PAYG SIM is free and then a £15 top up gives you virtually unlimited data on AT&T or T-Mobile and 300 mins to the UK and 3000 texts to UK Numbers for 30 days. Incoming calls are free. Why pay any more?

Do you have to be a Three existing customer to get this deal?

#867890 by Harpers Tate
06 Mar 2014, 10:13
Doesn't matter how you join "3". Whatever deal - contract or PAYG - you take, the inclusives in that deal apply equally when in one of their roaming countries.

The two exceptions are:
o-o calling numbers domiciled in any other country except your own - including domestic numbers in the country you are in, where roaming rates are charged
o-o tethering (using data allowance when the phone is being used as a modem attached to a computer etc.)
#867894 by mitchja
06 Mar 2014, 11:31
I believe voicemail access and calling customer service from abroad are also not included in the Three roaming deal.

It's always a good idea to disable your voicemail before you go abroad on all UK mobile networks as voicemail access is well known for bumping up roaming charges as even if someone calls you and you miss the call/don't answer it, as soon as the call diverts to your voicemail, you will still be charged when roaming.
#867897 by locutus
06 Mar 2014, 13:28
mitchja wrote:I believe voicemail access and calling customer service from abroad are also not included in the Three roaming deal.

From Three:
Please be aware that standard roaming charges will apply for listening to your voicemail messages when you're abroad, unless you’re in a Feel At Home country and are using available minutes from your plan or Add-on allowance

Calling Customer Services also comes out of your allowance.
call us on: +44 7782 333 333 (standard roaming rates apply*)
* Covered by your standard UK price plan or Add-on allowances in Feel At Home destinations.

If you think about what you'd pay at home, then it's the same when in a Feel At Home country.
#867920 by Silver Fox
07 Mar 2014, 08:20
I am fairly certain that, since disabling my voicemail years ago, it is a good idea full stop. Especially judging by some of the messages I hear people leave on other people's phones.
Virgin Atlantic

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