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Sim card for Scotland and Ireland?

I know there's been a lot of threads about this, but most are older, and none consider the effects of Brexit.

I'm headed to Ireland and Scotland next year (2021). Last year when I was in Ireland, I used my carrier's international roaming, but at $.70/mb, it quickly surpasses the coast of a Tesco sim card, even if you avoid using it. I had resisted the sim solution mainly because I wanted to keep my normal cell number for confirmations - turned out unimportant since everyone uses email.

So if I get a Tesco (or similar) sim card, will it work in Scotland, or should I just expect to repeat the sim card purchase with a Scottish variety? Is there a cheapo Tesco equivalent in Scotland? Besides a few texts and the inevitable robo-calls, I won't be making any international use. Any hint at how things will change as Brexit evolves?

Posted by
5547 posts

Firstly, no one knows what’s going to happen re Brexit. It has been overtaken by more pressing matters. Most carriers originally said free roaming would continue across Europe.

There are many branches of Tesco’s in Scotland, as it’s part of the U.K. Do you mean Ireland not Scotland? There are plenty Tesco’s there too! Both countries have Tesco mobile services.

Posted by
4 posts

I don't know if you would be willing to, but TMobile has service in Europe. We have been to Ireland, England, Wales, France, Italy and Czech Republic and never had any problems. You just let them know ahead of time. I think I paid $20 for an upgraded data package. I've already checked about Scotland and it is the same. I was able, on out last trip to Prague, to chat with my son in America while strolling through the city. Plus TMobile's customer service is top notch. Just a thought.

Posted by
182 posts

That's not a good option since T-mobile doesn't cover where we live. Getting a GSM sim card for my phone should be no problem. My carrier (US Cellular) will sell me international access for $.70 per mb, but that makes anything but checking email absurdly expensive.

Posted by
4002 posts

We seldom call anybody overseas, so purchasing a SIM card makes no sense for us. If we need to call someone we’ll use our hotel’s WiFi and WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype, or some other free service. Occasionally we may need to contact a local establishment, but call rates have dropped significantly the past few years and at 17 cents a minute, it’s relatively inexpensive for a few minutes call. When transmitting images, we always use free WiFi. For a phone GPS, we use Google maps downloaded for offline use so you don’t need to use any data. To the original question, Jennifer already answered it.

Posted by
182 posts

Besides calling for an occasional reservation, the SIM card is mostly for getting data. Using Google Maps to find nearby restaurants, traffic problems, etc. is a huge data consumer. Last trip I just bought 50mb of roaming data from my carrier and it was gone within a day or two, even though I was frugal. My wife left her email active and used her 50mb in barely one day. Having paid $35 (x2) for 50mb, I could have paid $10 for a 10gb sim card from Tesco or similar. I was hesitant to change my phone number because the Skellig-Michael skipper preferred to use the phone over email, but I won't let that bother me next trip.. There's not always wifi when you're looking for something.

Posted by
11246 posts

There's a company similar to Tesco in Scotland. It's called Tesco.

Posted by
5697 posts

I have had good luck with Vodafone SIM bought online ahead of time with EU roaming -- you might check with them in UK to see how Ireland and Scotland will be treated. Since you would get the SIM (with phone number) before you leave you could provide the UK phone number to anyone who needed it.