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Pocket WIFI - Great Britain

Hi, I am looking into the pocket wifi offered by TEP. Has anyone had experience with this? How good is the coverage?
We will be traveling by car with long rides between locations and I would like the teens to have internet access for entertainment. I know the sim cards have data, but I'm not sure they have enough.
Thank you for your help,

Posted by
31516 posts


I haven't checked the prices recently but Pocket WI-Fi will likely be expensive, especially if you're using a lot of data-intensive applications. The coverage will be as good as the cellular network in the areas that you're travelling in. Some out-of-the-way locations may not have good coverage.

Could you clarify your remark about "I know the SIM cards have data". Which SIM cards are you referring to? If you're referring to SIM cards in cell phones being used with roaming plans with your home cell network, those tend to provide limited coverage and if you exceed the allotted amount, the prices will climb.

If you have iPads or similar, downloading some movies before you leave home would be much cheaper, and that way you wouldn't need internet access while on the road. Surely the teens can last for a few hours without internet, and enjoy the scenery of the places they're visiting.

Posted by
11292 posts

Adding to Ken's reply, if you are not using your home SIM cards but instead buying a local SIM, it will have lots of data, so there's no need to buy a pocket WiFi as well; you should be able to tether your phone to get data on tablets.

However, he's also right that it's easier and more reliable to just load entertainment on the devices before you go.

Posted by
3 posts

I was looking at the TEP 15 day plan for $98. It has unlimited data and the coverage appears to cover well. I have also looked at the monthly pay as you go sim cards (Carphone Warehouse, and other websites I can't recall now) that start at 1GB and go up to 6GB. Using a local sim card will allow me to communicate with my other two phones, but anyone contacting me from the states will incur an international phone charge.

My home network, Verizon, charges $10 per 24 hour period per phone for an international plan. The international plan is just my existing plan with international capabilities. I have 3 phones, for three weeks is over $600 if we use it daily. I don't plan on spending that much or consider this as an option.

We don't have pads, just phones and maybe a laptop. We tend to double our data usage on vacations. I suppose if we ran out of data, we just buy another sim card.

Posted by
607 posts

No experience with a pocket wifi. Hopefully somebody with direct experience will post. If not, I suggest that you consider the following points in making your decision:

  1. Your smartphone probably has the ability to set up a wifi hotspot. No need to buy or carry another costly device.

  2. If you are on long drives, battery usage will be the issue. You should have a car charger. Easy to get one for a phone which can be re-used in future. Not sure whether the wifi pocket requires special charger.

  3. You should shop around on internet for UK carrier/sim/data plan for your smartphone. Many service providers offer 14-30 day plans for tourists which are a great deal. Then you can compare price to the pocket wifi. (For example, i was able to get a sim and data plan for phone in Italy for about €30, 2GB data and 200 minutes voice for 30 days. There were also all data plans for 5GB etc.)

  4. I would guess that pocket wifi must piggyback on one of the networks. You should find out which one because some are better than others for coverage and quality.

  5. A local voice sim for tourists should allow you to make international calls home as part of your included minutes. If your friends calling you to save on the toll charges and if you have more than one phone, have your friend text one of the phones which still has the home carrier sim. The sent and received text should be free. Then you can call back on the phone with the local voice/data plan.

  6. With the pocket wifi, you will not be able to make a cellular call, but you could use VOIP.

Posted by
31516 posts


One other point to mention is that if you're planning on buying local SIM cards, all of your phones will have to be "unlocked". I don't know whether Verizon supplies all phones unlocked or not?