"Mobile Phone International Roaming in London/EUR" United Kingdom Favorite Tip by chopsy

United Kingdom General: 621 reviews and 470 photos

Favorite thing: Some Information on using an International Mobile Phone/SIM in London/Europe.

You will need to be careful if you plan to use your home country mobile number/sim when travelling - International roaming charges can be ridiculously expensive! Additionally, you may have to pay a premium to receive calls as well as making calls.

In the UK, many supermarkets sell Pay-As-You-Go SIM cards where you do not need to sign up for any long term contracts - you just buy the SIM card together with ~ 10 worth of Credit and you're ready to go. Tesco give you 10 extra free credit if you top up 10 so this may be a good bet. Tesco call charges are comparable to other PAYG plans. The good thing about buying from a supermarket is that you can top-up your credit in the supermarket which may be preferable to registering your credit card details, etc.

These SIM cards will allow you to make and receive international calls but may not have an international roaming facility so may not work in the rest of Europe. I would guess that european countries have comparable PAYG systems and I've certainly seen booths at many European airports selling such SIM cards. There will be a new phone number for each of the new SIMS.

NOTE: Outgoing international calls will probably be significantly higher than if you were on a contract but receiving will/should be free (for you).

For the UK check www.carphonewarehouse.co.uk for details on plans from the big players. Incidently, I've seen billboards advertising Vodafone have cut international roaming charges for this summer so this may also be a good option if you're starting in the UK.

Another option is for you to purchase credit for long distance carriers where you dial an access number and a pin-code before the telephone number. These access numbers can be dialled from mobile phones (local uk number) and I think the cost of the local UK call and the long distance call would be cheaper than if you made the international call directly from the mobile. This credit comes in the form of small plastic credit card size cards which have a scratch off section with the pin code - you can buy these from small grocery and newspaper shops.

And finally,I *think* the handset needs to be quad-band to work in the UK and Europe if it's a US phone.


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  • Written Jun 29, 2009
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