I just took a family trip to the UK, first time out of the country in quite a while. Historically, I’ve been one of those people who takes printed itineraries, maps, and other reference material when going to new places. But with the number of places we were going to go and heavy reliance on public transportation at all of them, I wanted to be able to fall back on using the supercomputer in my pocket to research on the fly rather than take a ream of printed material with me.
We’ve got the whole family on a shared AT&T mobile plan. But when I checked what options they provided for international travel, it was clear that the easy route was the expensive route. It was going to cost ~10USD per day for one phone to have 4G data and allow in-country phone and texting. I wasn’t keen on spending nearly $100 for just one of us to be able to use our smartphones. I really wanted a way for everybody to be able to communicate.
After searching a little, it seemed that MY UK SIM CARD offered just what we needed., pre-configured SIMs provided by a major local carrier (Three UK in this case) that you just pop in the phone and use, with in-country voice and texts, 12GB data for up to 30 days, and the option to add calling/text to US if you were so inclined.
Keep in mind you need an carrier unlocked phone that supports the necessary radio frequencies.
I was a little apprehensive…what if I shell out for the cards and they don’t work? I could clearly try to activate the AT&T passport as a fall back. I could get service directly through a local service provider. This later case could be interesting as many of them will only let you use a UK based bank card for payments instead of a foreign credit card.
I read reviews and they all look pretty good. Most of the issues seemed to be with phone’s that don’t support one of the necessary radio bands or individuals who are a bit technophobic. I was still apprehensive though, because the reviews were on the vendor’s website, hardly any guarantee that the reviews are real customers with real experiences.
I ended up buying a SIM card for each family member from MY UK SIM CARD, we popped them in and once outside of the poor-reception area of the airport, they activated perfectly, auto-selected the right APNs on our android phones and worked as expected.
No, coverage was not perfect. I’m sure that, had we owned phones manufactured for the region with more of the locally-prevalent LTE radio bands, coverage would have been better. And perhaps Three UK isn’t the best mobile provider. But we didn’t need to use one of the more expensive fall backs.
Most importantly, I’m hoping this unsolicited, mini-review offers a little reassurance to others who are planning a UK trip and are wondering if MY UK SIM CARD, is all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a legitimate product that did what it advertised. It did make our trip a little more stress free.
Let me know if you experience otherwise.