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Mobile data SIM for England in April

asking the forum for advice on best way to get mobile data for our trip

3 family members - all have whats app accounts and own phone via verizon

thinking of using my old iphone6 att gsm phone as data hotspot via local SIM and mobile data plan

bring that extra phone buy local sim and get pay as go data plan - have other phones do wifi and connect to extra phone via hotspot for data via whats app for comms between us - this way i dont need to buy sims for each phone and we switch to US mode quickly when needed

is this a good plan and if so where should i get local SIM for england only - london and Kent area - should i buy it ahead or just get one when I land?

Posted by
5539 posts

I bought a SIM card at “3”on Kensington’s High Street. Very nice store, helpful staff. I used it in London and Rome in December. Worked well. Our family used What’s App. Remember to change your phone number to SIM number in What’sApp settings.

Posted by
279 posts

I also had good success with a sim card from 3. 3 sim cards do not allow hotspots.
You can a 3 sim card via Amazon.
There are other outfits that will sell you data only sim cards that can be hotspots.
Make sure your old ATT iPhone six is unlocked. This no big deal unless you have to do it at the beginning of your trip.

Posted by
11152 posts

You can go to a Carphone Warehouse, which is a store selling SIM cards from multiple providers. Just explain what you're looking for, and they can tell you the best deal.

As said above, if you want to use the phone as a hotspot, you need to make sure the plan allows it, and under what terms. For instance, my US T-Mobile plan allows unlimited hotspot data but only at 3G speeds, while my mother's T-Mobile plan allows her to use her 7 GB per month of hotspot usage at 4G LTE speeds.

Here's a link to the Carphone Warehouse page with their current pay as you go SIM-only deals: https://www.carphonewarehouse.com/sim-only/pay-as-you-go-sim.html

Posted by
1369 posts

I wanted a SIM to set up in my "old phone" and keep active for return trips to Europe. I bought a Vodafone UK SIM while in the US and got it all set up, loaded with credit and a minutes/texts/data bundle. As it's from Vodafone UK, it would easily work in England. I used it in Germany, Poland and Czech Republic.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/tech-tips/vodafone-uk-sim-card-for-use-in-europe

They also have pay as you go options, though I don't know if they allow using it as a hotspot.