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Wi-fi and hotspots

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Phoenix, Arizona
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141 posts
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Wi-fi and hotspots

Hello,

During my trip, I've decided I'm going to turn off my cellular and just use FaceTime on my iPhone. How readily available is Wi-fi and are hotspots common in the UK? Sadly in the US, the only places I can think of are coffee shops ie. Starbucks, Mcdonalds and a few hit and miss restaurants. My hotel, Holiday Inn Express in Swiss Cottage, has free Wi-fi in room also. I know there will be minor inconveniences, but people survived before cell phones. My reason is mainly cost and it just seems a little complicated with SIMM cards etc.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 20:34
London, United...
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1. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

It's similar here. Many cafés and coffee shops have wifi now, as do some pubs (the more trendy type, often). The tube has wifi at some stations too although I've never signed up for it or used it.

Worthing, United...
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2. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

Almost every coffee shop will have one in, and there's no shortage of them in London. Stations have it, supermarkets have it, buses used to, not sure whether they still do? Most restaurants will also have it, a lot of touristy spots will have one etc etc. In London, they're really pretty common.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 21:04
New York City, New...
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3. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

Simm cards are easy, really not that complicated. Just pop into a phone store and they will explain the whole deal to you.

Starbucks is pretty reliable for wifi access and many of the pubs offer free wifi.

Southampton, UK
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4. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

The Wetherspoons chain of pubs has free wifi. The bonus is that the beer is some of the cheapest available in pubs! I paid £4.04 for a pint in a non-Wetherspoons pub in London recently.

Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

About SIMM cards, Fandog, I keep hearing about locked and unlocked phones. I don't understand the difference. I have a Sprint iPhone, would that work with a SIMM bought in the UK? I sound like a tech newbie, which I'm not ( notice I'm on TALF after all :-). ) , but I can't seem to be able to wrap my head about this cellphone business.

1948Mike, thanks for the tip on Wetherspoon, there is one right across my hotel from what I can gather. BTW, nice name!

Mike

Edited: 26 March 2014, 22:35
Halifax, Canada
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691 posts
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6. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

I bought a cheap cell phone from Carphone Warehouse (and I mean cheap - £1, plus £10 for a simm card) and that was quite handy. On my last trip, I also used Facetime on my iPod. One thing to consider, if you go the Facetime route, is whether or not you want people in the coffee shops/McD's/pubs/where ever hearing your conversation. (or whether they want to hear it)

London, United...
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7. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

One thing I'd note is that audibly Facetime-ing people in public is less socially acceptable in London than North America. A friend of mine who just spent 6 months is the US said she rarely went to a cafe without seeing one or more people Facetime-ing. In England, not so much. Use headphones.

East Sussex, United...
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for West Sussex, East Sussex
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8. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

I think it's a great idea. That way you can compose your thoughts during the day and just make one call in the evening, to chat through your day.

Enjoy your visits to tourist sights without being beholden to your phone. Upload your 10 best photos each day to Facebook etc. via wireless, just before you make the call, so that they can have seen what you're talking about.

Your hotel room is the obvious place to make the call. Hotel lobbies are acceptable places to FaceTime - If you're not too loud ! Please don't do it on the train (annoying and naff), and never, ever in a good pub.

Mike

Helsinki, Finland
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9. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

A locked phone = it only works with the SIM of the company you are now using.

To test whether your phone is locked: ask your friend who is using different operator to lend his SIM card for you for a moment. If your phone works with that card, it's not locked.

Suffolk, United...
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for Cephalonia
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10. Re: Wi-fi and hotspots

I don't think they would be keen on FaceTiming but Apple stores have great free wifi for downloading apps or texting etc. if you have an Apple device.

Bob