One more question regarding the SIM card...if we purchase a SIM card in London, will we also need to purchase a cellular data plan? (Apparently when we purchased the iPad it was set up for AT&T and was told by Verizon that we are unable to use any other service than AT&T.) Chuck & Carmen
What device do you want the SIM for? Phone? IPad? If your iPad is locked, you cannot use anything but the company it was set up for. Get it unlocked, and you can replace the SIM with one from another country.
Yes, you will need to purchase a plan to use a UK carrier. Best bet for a visit is a prepaid plan that covers the duration of your stay. They're inexpensive and available in all shapes and sizes. The easiest thing to do is to go into a phone shop (they are ubiquitous in London),show them your phone and say you need a SIM card and a prepaid plan. And, yes, you need an unlocked phone to make this happen. The phone shop might be able to do that. But, it's best to get it unlocked yourself. Don't forget to stash the original SIM card someplace secure so you can put it back into the phone when you get back.
Chuck & Carmen, If you're using an iPad and it's locked to AT&T, I'm not sure that buying a SIM when you arrive in London will be an option as it likely won't work. Could you provide a bit of further information on what you're using and anticipated uses? Cheers!
We will be using the iPad for email, navigation, and accessing the internet I am aware there are apps for offline maps, and have found a good one for London, however, we will be driving in the countryside and feel we need additional Information for navigating outside the London area. Chuck & Carmen
Well, as I said originally, if the iPad is locked to AT&T, you will have to use their international plan. Data will be fairly astronomical. If you can get the iPad unlocked, you will be able to buy a SIM card there and use that. It is useless to purchase a SIM card if the iPad is locked, because it won't work at all. I would suggest checking with AT&T to see if it can be unlocked. Most of the things you want the iPad for, though, can be done on wifi, though that won't work unless you are in a wifi area.
Chuck & Carmen, Thanks for the information. As mentioned in the previous reply, you'll now need to determine if the iPad is locked to AT&T? Your statement that "was told by Verizon that we are unable to use any other service than AT&T" is somewhat of a concern. If you're not able to get your iPad unlocked, an easier (and possibly cheaper) solution might be to just pack along a dedicated GPS for navigation and use the iPad for accessing E-mail and the internet when you have Wi-Fi available. You should be able to find a Garmin Nüvi (or similar) for about $150. Data roaming costs could easily exceed that. You could also check with AT&T regarding their fees for international data roaming. Good luck!
Nancy &Ken...thanks for your input...you have helped us make a decision.
Your iPad is not locked to AT&T. As it is AT&T you are on, it will work in the UK. Currently Three offers the best data plan in the UK, perhaps anywhere, 1GB good for 30 days for £15. Get the sim card at any Three store or Carphone Warehouse. The staff will install it for you to make sure it is working before you leave the store.
Giffgaff ,worth. looking. at too.Very good rates. and. Coverage.
Although the travel phone companies are indeed offering better data rates, it is hard to beat one gigabyte for 15 pounds. The same amount from the travel phone firm cited in the post above would cost hundreds of dollars more at the lowest rate that company advertises on its web page. Still hundreds beats thousands, which is what it was not long ago, and may still be depending upon your phone service provider.