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SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Hong Kong, China
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SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Hi all

I know millions others have asked this question but I do have some specific needs that need your expert advice please.

I'll be arrivign Heathrow in a Sunday morning about 6am. I'll be collecting a car and drive through London to Lewisham. I have an unloacked phone but there are about five devices between the three of us. Ideally I want a SIM card with some talk time (may be 200 minutes in all) and ideally unlimited data with tethering. I'll in the UK for about 13 days travelling in greater London area, M4, M5 then Exeter/Devon/Cornwall. So in short, I need a SIM card that has some talk time, unlmiited data, allows tethering.

I searched around and found the 3 with a £15 get me all these but not with tethering. I though Virgin with the same package allowed tethering but their website says not (and also it says it will only give 3G data not limitied after July).

The last time I did that Heathrow/Lewisham journey was 16 years ago so if I have Google map with me all the time I would feel safer. Given, however, that it is so early in the morning and people have advised against getting the empty SIM card in Heathrow (if I get that from a vending machine, how do I top up to get the unlimited data?), what would be my options? Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U don't open until 10 or 11 on Sundays. Can I get SIM and top it up at Tesco or Sainsbury (assuming they open early on Sundays and have the Phone shop - do they have people in the Phone shop that can confirm the SIM features I need?)?

Sorry, so many questions but would be grateful for advice please.

Many thanks.

Harrow, United...
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1. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

I'd go to a specialist independant shop like carphone warehouse but I can tell you tethering is going to be difficult without costs or a long term contract. You can get dongles that will connect a number of devices but they cost and the tethering contracts are more costly.

London, United...
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2. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

I use Giffgaff, for £12 you get unlimited data, unlimited text and 250 minutes talk time. Tethering is not allowed but I have frequently done it with no consequences yet.

They also do an unlimited £15 data package which does allow tehtering but does not include any talk time.

I have no idea about the ease of getting a SIM if you are overseas, topups are done online or you can buy giffgaff/O2 vouchers in many outlets.

London, United...
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3. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

For arrival on a Sunday morning, you are running into the Sunday trading laws, which limit shops above a certain square footage to 6 hours' opening. Most shops therefore choose to open 10-4, 11-5 or 12-6. Some small shops can be open longer hours, but many hold to the 6 hour opening anyway.

Bath UK
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for Bath
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4. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Lewisham isn't really so touristy; does this mean you are staying with friends? If so, it would be easy enough to preorder and get them delivered to Lewisham.

I think you are probably going to need a mobile wifi hotspot (usually called a MIFI over here) if you want to do all this tethering. We've used one successfully on many a train journey. Here is a link to s few brands:

www.amazon.co.uk/s/…

We find buying data SIM cards much cheaper online too.

Hong Kong, China
7 posts
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5. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Many thanks sueduncBATH for the suggestion. I will explore the friend's option. This probably means I will drive around M25 instead as it would be more familar. Incidently, we will be visiting Bath on-route Exeter...

Regarding the Mi-Fi. Am I right in thinking that I still need to get a tether-able SIM or the whole idea of the Mi-Fi is to fool the network provider that I am using it from one phone? If it is the former, I will still need to know which SIM and top-up to get (and also in that case I can just tether from my Android like what I have been doing, without the need for the Mi-Fi?) and I still have no ideal which provider offers easy-to-get PAYG SIM that have unlimited data and allow tethering.

London, United...
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6. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

using a pocket wifi is no different to tethering your phone.

Bath UK
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7. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

I am not sure many PAYG SIMS allow tethering. I can buy this as a bolt-on to my monthly SIM-only contract.

We find it cheaper to have a MIFI twitch an assortment of data cards we activate when we need them (I.e. varying amounts of data and usage durations).

This is what the company I use says, for example (3):

http://support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBISAPI.DLL?Command=New,Kb=Mobile,Ts=Mobile,T=Article,varset_cat=internetapps,varset_subcat=3582,Case=obj(3599)

I am not too sure how easy it is for a tourist to get a contract SIM (I think you have to pass a credit check). It is very easy to get hold of a data-only SIM.

Hopefully it won't be testing your friendship too hard to get your London friend(s) to pop into Carphone Warehouse (or any other phone store), with a detailed list of what kit you want to use (and likely usage).

It is worth letting people know how you get on.

Hong Kong, China
7 posts
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8. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Many thanks all for your information. It really helped a lot.

Now, I may to have 'cheat' a bit. I just found out that I can get the Giffgaff SIM card by post in Hong Kong (well, assuming I won't get cheated by an online scammer...).

It appears that the Giffgaff SIM card has everything I want. For about 15 quids, it will give me 250 outgoing minutes talk time, unlimited text anywhere to UK mobile, unlimited data, and tether-able.

Can I ask if this description for a Giffgaff SIM is correct please?

If positivie, I just need to know what network this is piggybacking on? I will be travelling in greater London area, M4, Bath, M5, Exeter and parts of Devon and Cornwall. Would it work please?

Many thanks to all.

UK
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9. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

Post on a giff gaff forum, they are known for being very friendly as its a network almost literally run by the users. I believe it runs on O2 but not 100% http://community.giffgaff.com/

London, United...
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10. Re: SIM card with some call time, unlimited data and tethering

giffgaff is owned by O2 and has the same coverage. The package you describe is the £12 pack that I described above, the £15 package has 400 minutes. These are not supposed to be tethered but I do it fairly frequently, Im already paying for unlimited data so Im not sure why you shouldnt tether.