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North American Student Studying in the UK- cellphone plan? Watch

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    I have accepted an unconditional offer at Edinburgh for this upcoming year. I am from the US and I am wondering what is the best plan of action for getting a cellphone? I have an unlocked iPhone that I can put a new chip in once I’m there, but is better to get a plan that includes a phone? I have no idea about mobile carriers or how plans really work. Any advice would be helpful.

    Note: So sorry I put this in the wrong forum, as it has nothing to do with applications.
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    (Original post by Ppolpg)
    I have accepted an unconditional offer at Edinburgh for this upcoming year. I am from the US and I am wondering what is the best plan of action for getting a cellphone? I have an unlocked iPhone that I can put a new chip in once I’m there, but is better to get a plan that includes a phone? I have no idea about mobile carriers or how plans really work. Any advice would be helpful.
    They work more or less the same way as in the United States, with the main options being pay as you go, pay monthly (contract), or a SIM-only plan which is identical to pay monthly in every respect except that you don't get a phone with it (so you could use this with your unlocked iPhone).

    Here are a couple of websites where you can compare plans from different 'carriers' (can't remember what we call them here right now, but definitely not that :lol:):

    www.carphonewarehouse.com
    www.mobiles.co.uk

    You can also look for plans on the carriers' own websites and, if you want to do that, I can compile a semi-exhaustive list of the most commonly-used ones. This is helpful because I've noticed that some companies aren't that well-represented on the websites above. (e.g. Three, which is the only company that I know of that offers unlimited data plans on SIM-only.)
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    Could this be moved to the appropriate technology sub-forum? :holmes: Thanks.

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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    Could this be moved to the appropriate technology sub-forum? :holmes: Thanks.

    Carnationlilyrose
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    Thank you! I couldn’t quite figure out who to try and contact to get it moved.
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    (Original post by Hydeman)
    They work more or less the same way as in the United States, with the main options being pay as you go, pay monthly (contract), or a SIM-only plan which is identical to pay monthly in every respect except that you don't get a phone with it (so you could use this with your unlocked iPhone).

    Here are a couple of websites where you can compare plans from different 'carriers' (can't remember what we call them here right now, but definitely not that :lol:):

    www.carphonewarehouse.com
    www.mobiles.co.uk

    You can also look for plans on the carriers' own websites and, if you want to do that, I can compile a semi-exhaustive list of the most commonly-used ones. This is helpful because I've noticed that some companies aren't that well-represented on the websites above. (e.g. Three, which is the only company that I know of that offers unlimited data plans on SIM-only.)
    This is an extremely helpful place to start off with. Thank you so much for your quick reply!
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    Moved to Mobile Phones.
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    Make sure your iphone is unlocked and operates on GSM (At&T, T-Mobile), CDMA does not work in Europe. You can get the free SIM card in stores on high street or order them online. Basically three tariffs:

    1) Avoid expensive two year contracts. Salespeople will push it, just say no.
    2) Your best bet would be SIM only 12 month contract and bring yr own iphone. Typically you get for £10 a month: 1/2 to 1 GB/250 min/5000 texts usage.
    3) Pay as You Go for low users. Three has the best tariff with international roaming.

    Four carriers: EE, Vodafone, O2, Three. EE and Vodafone have customer satisfaction problems.
    MVNO: Tesco and Giff Gaff are good.
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    (Original post by Tcannon)
    Make sure your iphone is unlocked and operates on GSM (At&T, T-Mobile), CDMA does not work in Europe. You can get the free SIM card in stores on high street or order them online. Basically three tariffs:

    1) Avoid expensive two year contracts. Salespeople will push it, just say no.
    2) Your best bet would be SIM only 12 month contract and bring yr own iphone. Typically you get for £10 a month: 1/2 to 1 GB/250 min/5000 texts usage.
    3) Pay as You Go for low users. Three has the best tariff with international roaming.

    Four carriers: EE, Vodafone, O2, Three. EE and Vodafone have customer satisfaction problems.
    MVNO: Tesco and Giff Gaff are good.
    Thank you! I am looking at a Three SIM only 12 month plan.
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    I am a Three customer and it is a good SIM card only deal where I bring my handset. I left EE and Vodafone as I was not happy with their services. There is even a Facebook Group of unhappy EE customers.
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    (Original post by Tcannon)
    I am a Three customer and it is a good SIM card only deal where I bring my handset. I left EE and Vodafone as I was not happy with their services. There is even a Facebook Group of unhappy EE customers.
    It is really helpful to get advice/feedback from people who actually have experience with these companies, again thank you so much for taking the time to respond!
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    (Original post by Ppolpg)
    It is really helpful to get advice/feedback from people who actually have experience with these companies, again thank you so much for taking the time to respond!
    You are welcome, hope it helps. All the best for your studies in Edinburgh, it is a fabulous uni in a great city.

    You will need to figure out a plan for your international calls from the UK to the US. US exchange students at my uni use:
    1) VOIP: Skype
    2) Some apps that charges only local rate: 3p a minute
    3) International phone cards are cheap: You can buy them at news agent/supermarkets
    4) Add on for US calls with yr UK carrier: It costs £15 a month extra. Convenient but too expensive
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    I'd consider pay as you go, Three are the cheapest network at the moment (1p/mb internet, 2p texts, 3p calls).

    You can pick up a sim for free, and just top it up as you need it, and then if you go home for the holidays etc. you won't be wasting money on a UK contract that isn't of much use abroad. Also, most university/public buildings here have free wifi these days, so there's not much need for loads of data as a student.
 
 
 
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