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Phone requirements

Cypress, California
Level Contributor
76 posts
1 review
Phone requirements

I'm traveling from the US. I will be carrying my phone with me. I want to use it in the UK to make calls and use a data plan. How do I go about it? Do I change my sim card to get a local # or do I contact my carrier (AT&T) to get a travel plan?

Last year, when I went to Ireland, I had an international plan with AT&T. However, their coverage was absolutely pathetic. I had a lot of problems with directions as the data was very sketchy. I then changed to Vodafone. As soon as I did that, boom! Full coverage. Will I face the same issue in the UK too? I will be driving around in Lake District, so, using Google Maps a lot. Hence, coverage is very important to me.

10 replies to this topic
Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,110 posts
1 review
1. Re: Phone requirements

If you still have the Vodafone SIM you will be able to use it in the UK

TX
Level Contributor
5,923 posts
37 reviews
2. Re: Phone requirements

Don't know if you'd be interested in this, but prior to my recent visit to England I downloaded the Skype app, as did my contacts back home. We gave it a test run beforehand, and it worked - so crossed our fingers that we'd be able to connect once I was away. It worked like a charm, and didn't cost a thing. We used it for voice calls (actually more like Face-time) as well as texts. You may still want to have regular calling capabilities, but Skype works nicely as long as you have WiFi.

Cypress, California
Level Contributor
76 posts
1 review
3. Re: Phone requirements

No, I don't. However, my question is coverage. Have people complained about bad AT&T coverage?

Cypress, California
Level Contributor
76 posts
1 review
4. Re: Phone requirements

@Bajablonde - I'm not concerned about being in contact with folks back home. I'm more concerned about the coverage.

TX
Level Contributor
5,923 posts
37 reviews
5. Re: Phone requirements

Apologies. Perhaps someone will find the suggestion useful.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4,048 posts
6. Re: Phone requirements

There are plenty of areas in the Uk where coverage is poor or non existent. No provider will guarantee coverage everywhere.

You can download Google maps for offline use plus there are many navigation apps where the maps are stored on the phone and no cellular coverage is required to navigate

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4,048 posts
7. Re: Phone requirements

One other thing, when I travel abroad I am not restricted to one carrier in any country. My phone (SIM) automatically connects to a phone provider but I can change to another in the settings of the phone. I do not know if AT&T have a preferred partner in the UK or what frequencies they use but you could ask them to check.

Cypress, California
Level Contributor
76 posts
1 review
8. Re: Phone requirements

Yup. I'm sure that some areas have bad coverage. However, it gets worst based on carriers (just like here). I guess my question is if AT&T is as good as Vodafone?

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4,048 posts
9. Re: Phone requirements

Well as AT&T is not a carrier used in the UK you would need to find what carrier(s) your phone has the potential to connect to.

London
Level Contributor
12,422 posts
70 reviews
10. Re: Phone requirements

You need 3G or 4G to be able to use maps - these apps chew data. You cannot rely on getting a 3G or 4G signal in many parts of the Lake District - in more isolated places no signal at all.

Makes far more sense to download maps before you set off (using wifi) then you can use navigation without data. There are loads of apps that support this.

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