October 15, 2008
Hi there, I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advice on what to do.
We're going to the UK (London), Spain, and Portugal for a vacation and hoping to take our Samsung Galaxy S3 and S5 (both unlocked) phones with us. I've been doing some research online and it looks like you can pick up cheap PAYG SIMs over there. From what I can tell, they use GSM900 freq over there and I think our phones have that frequency though I'm not 100% sure. I've been looking for one of those "type in your IMEI number and we'll confirm your phone is compatible with our network" kind of webpages but haven't been able to find one yet.
Assuming they are compatible over there, the bigger issue that we're looking for advice on - which carrier to go with? Does anyone have any experience and advice that could help us out? The ideal scenario is we get a SIM/network that works in all 3 countries/all over Europe. Or do we have to pick up a different cell company for each country? We're spending most of our time in London that the UK one is the most important one.
For the most part, we'll probably be texting back and forth to Canada, call/text each other with the phones, maybe make some local calls, and as an emergency phone for family in Canada to reach us.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
January 18, 2009
March 12, 2009
I have been using Piranha Mobile for several years. It is a British company and they give you both a UK and a US number. Your phone will ring if either is dialed. It works in most countries in the world, and the rates are available on their website. (Each country has different rates, as they have to negotiate with the local cellphone companies.) From the UK, calls to Canada are 13 cents/min in US$. Receiving a call is 6 cents/min and a text(SMS) is 14 cents.
You can order the sim card for £12 and it comes with £5 credit already on it. Free delivery. Credit lasts for a bit more than a year and by making just one call you can keep it alive. So there are no ongoing costs or fees. It sits in my drawer for months until my next trip and costs me nothing. I've used it in France, Mexico and India with no problems. To keep costs down, they use the 'call back' system, so familiarize yourself with that if you don't already know what it is. Data is available too. In the UK, depending on the provider you are connected to, it is 8 cents/mb, similar to Speakout.
There are other similar outfits. This is just the one that I know.