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Need Tracfone cell phone/service alternative for young teen in England

My daughter has a Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime phone supplied by Tracfone, so I don't think it is unlocked. I would like her to have the ability to text or call me if somehow we got separated at a museum or shop where there is no wifi service she can use (for Hangouts). We'll be there for 2 weeks so I think our best bet might be to either get a very inexpensive phone while we are there that is prepaid, or buy an inexpensive unlocked phone here to bring there and buy a European SIM card. Neither I nor my husband are comfortable finding and changing SIM cards, so the first option might be the best. Any suggestions for buying such a phone in London, perhaps in the Pimlico area or one of the major tourist areas that we might frequent? Or if you know about simple SIM cards/unlocked phone combinations I'll consider that too. Thanks in advance.

Update: I have just read that the FCC has worked out an agreement with Tracfone to allow them to unlock phones, so this seems like a possible option for us. We would then just need to know where someone has gotten a good SIM card deal in London. Perhaps the vendor could help us insert this. Thanks!

Posted by
2396 posts

some quick google will show all the major cellphone players in the UK, pick one and visit one of their stores and have them do the deed.

Either change the SIM or get a burner phone with a SIM already

Posted by
470 posts

I use a Tracfone also; here is my understanding of this topic. Unfortunately, it is not just a matter of unlocking the phone. If Verizon is the company for this phone, then it uses the CDMA frequency. That won't work in Europe even if you unlock the phone. Even if it is a GSM, ie AT&T, phone, it might not use the same frequencies as Europe, so unlocking it won't matter. You should probably find out more about the specific phone before assuming it will work after unlocking it. Good luck.