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The mobile data / international roaming thread

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  • memesweeper

    My daughter has a year in the USA planned. She needs a US number as well as a reasonable data package. She also wants to keep her UK number. She has an eSIM compatible iPhone. As I see it she has these options:

    1) port UK number to a network that supports eSIM, eSIM her UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    2) port UK number to a network that supports VOIP, use a VOIP client for UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    3) get a US PAYG plan on an eSIM

    ‘1’ requires porting in the UK to a network which will charge a minimum of £10/month; ‘2’ might be cheapest but requires faffing for her which she won’t want; ‘3’ is least effort, and should be cheap enough, but I can’t find a provider that actually supports a phone number, rather than data only — any recommendations?

    memesweeper

    My daughter has a year in the USA planned. She needs a US number as well as a reasonable data package. She also wants to keep her UK number. She has an eSIM compatible iPhone. As I see it she has these options:

    1) port UK number to a network that supports eSIM, eSIM her UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    2) port UK number to a network that supports VOIP, use a VOIP client for UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    3) get a US PAYG plan on an eSIM

    ‘1’ requires porting in the UK to a network which will charge a minimum of £10/month; ‘2’ might be cheapest but requires faffing for her which she won’t want; ‘3’ is least effort, and should be cheap enough, but I can’t find a provider that actually supports a phone number, rather than data only — any recommendations?

    Lady London

    Why not look at signing up to Google Voice in the US? She’ll need access to a US phone to set it up but afterwards not needed. My client in Detroit (IT whizz) suggested this and we sat together at his desk phone and set it up.

    This would have given me a kind of universal number worldwide and very flexibly. I forgot to maintain it (didn’t need access to any US # to maintain it) and I regret it. What’s offered to peeps who are US for Google Voice was more than to those in other countries.

    Skywalker

    Apparently Virgin Media account holders can attach to various WiFI hotspots in the USA using the Virgin Connect app.

    Don’t know if anyone has tried this route before or if it’s any good…?

    memesweeper

    Good shout @LL

    Tobs

    My daughter has a year in the USA planned. She needs a US number as well as a reasonable data package. She also wants to keep her UK number. She has an eSIM compatible iPhone. As I see it she has these options:

    1) port UK number to a network that supports eSIM, eSIM her UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    2) port UK number to a network that supports VOIP, use a VOIP client for UK number, buy a PAYG SIM on arrival

    3) get a US PAYG plan on an eSIM

    ‘1’ requires porting in the UK to a network which will charge a minimum of £10/month; ‘2’ might be cheapest but requires faffing for her which she won’t want; ‘3’ is least effort, and should be cheap enough, but I can’t find a provider that actually supports a phone number, rather than data only — any recommendations?

    Most iPhone allow dual nano-sim (11 onwards).

    I’d transfer current UK number to GiffGaff. Whenever she’s back in the UK (Christmas, Easter,…), just load the number with £x to get her desired goodybag. Will keep her number active for very little, and while in the us, receive banking texts or whatever.

    And in the US, I’d get MintMobile, which uses T-Mobile network. And affordable ($20 for 10gb data + calls&texts).

    (Just noticed MintMobile allows eSims too, as long as your device is compatible).

    Rhys
    HfP Staff

    I used MintMobile on my year abroad in the US. Totally acceptable, and much cheaper than the mainstream carriers and their ridiculous plans!

    cjh

    Just returned from 3 weeks touring around California.
    I opted for the T-mobile esim via the app on an iPhone.
    The cost worked out at £33 for 30 days, 12Gb data, unlimited calls and texts.
    I wanted a USA phone number as this allowed me to make calls for reservations and also send and receive texts.
    Initially I couldn’t set it up in the UK when I tried a few weeks before we left, but when I tried in the airport just before we flew, it worked ok, so I don’t know if the app was changed to not check location.
    Once I signed up the process was straightforward and all I then had to do was change my settings to disable my Vodafone physical sim (just to make sure that I didn’t accidentally incur a £6 daily charge).
    Coverage and speeds were good except in Yosemite, but I guess all coverage is a bit flakey out there.
    As we were driving and the car had CarPlay I used Waze for SatNav and streamed music and all worked well.
    Having a USA number did prove useful especially when booking things online as confirmations sometimes came as texts.
    The only downside was I started receiving Spam calls almost immediately. I received around 6-8 over the 3 weeks.

    At set up in T-Mobile app How did you get around the question about address for primary place of use? It doesn’t accept letters for a post code but says “this is the address where you use your phone most often.it also determines your tax jurisdiction”? Did you just complete your hotel details or something else?

    Gary

    Just enter any US address.

    AndyGWP

    Airalo used in Canada (Vancouver through to Calgary) – worked really well for us, and cost £17 for a month / 5gb (I only used 2 weeks / 3gb tho).

    Perfect! 👍🏻 Thanks for the recommendations here. Will use again (tho currently using my 3 contract SIM in the US… Will miss this free roaming when my contract ends next month)

    $3 Airalo referral code if needed: ANDREW5899

    cjh

    Just enter any US address.

    Thanks @gary

    Michael C

    Does the Three Feel At Home pay monthly contract renewed before Sep 2021 cover calls to local numbers (eg restaurants) whilst in USA? I know it includes roaming data in USA & calls back to UK without the daily £5 charge being an “old” contract.

    Never had much luck ringing anyone with Three in the US…Internet has always been great, though.

    NorthernLass

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mobiles/cheap-roaming-calls/

    Link to the latest version of the MSE article. I’m considering options for our 3 week road trip in the US at Xmas.

    Lady London

    Is it conspiracy though, or is it simply a case of “if they’re doing it, we might as well do it”? 🤔

    It’s classic market signalling in an oligopoly – the petrol stations are masters at it, they take turns to be the one to initiate the change so it’s much harder to prove the market abuse. Telecoms working same for mobile, or as much as they think they can get away with

    CarpalTravel

    Very similar to how BA increased its reward flight taxes and then seemingly within seconds, Virgin have done the very same.

    Twice, in so many months.

    redlilly

    Any recommendations for roaming with data whilst in Australia for 5 weeks? Am considering moving to EE and pay the £10/month bolt on unless any better options out there but would prefer to stay with O2 to retain free Europe roaming.

    Also looking for recommendations for roaming in Australia for 3 weeks this winter, followed by 2 weeks in NZ. Would also prefer not to leave 02! I have a dual sim phone on Samsung 10.

    NB: @DJC I upgraded my 02 sim only contract recently, and reduced my bill by £15 per month for the same amount of data etc. I also added volt, which doubles your data allowance if you have Virgin Media at home.

    ianwardz

    Just returned from 3 weeks touring around California.
    I opted for the T-mobile esim via the app on an iPhone.
    The cost worked out at £33 for 30 days, 12Gb data, unlimited calls and texts.
    I wanted a USA phone number as this allowed me to make calls for reservations and also send and receive texts.
    Initially I couldn’t set it up in the UK when I tried a few weeks before we left, but when I tried in the airport just before we flew, it worked ok, so I don’t know if the app was changed to not check location.
    Once I signed up the process was straightforward and all I then had to do was change my settings to disable my Vodafone physical sim (just to make sure that I didn’t accidentally incur a £6 daily charge).
    Coverage and speeds were good except in Yosemite, but I guess all coverage is a bit flakey out there.
    As we were driving and the car had CarPlay I used Waze for SatNav and streamed music and all worked well.
    Having a USA number did prove useful especially when booking things online as confirmations sometimes came as texts.
    The only downside was I started receiving Spam calls almost immediately. I received around 6-8 over the 3 weeks.

    At set up in T-Mobile app How did you get around the question about address for primary place of use? It doesn’t accept letters for a post code but says “this is the address where you use your phone most often.it also determines your tax jurisdiction”? Did you just complete your hotel details or something else?

    Sorry for the delay. Yes I just entered the details of the 1st hotel we stayed in.

    dahokolomoki

    How is Airalo in rural USA? I see they use the “Change” network, one I’ve never heard of. I’ll be going to rural Arizona and Utah, so looking for a network that has the best rural coverage.

    Would a T-Mobile esim be a better option for coverage?

    Michael C

    So my Three contract time expired and I received the standard
    message “unless you say otherwise, we’ll just continue”.
    Would that include EU roaming if I don’t alter the conditions?
    Haven’t had a message saying “we’re charging you the same as before but without roaming”…

    Rhys
    HfP Staff

    How is Airalo in rural USA? I see they use the “Change” network, one I’ve never heard of. I’ll be going to rural Arizona and Utah, so looking for a network that has the best rural coverage.

    Would a T-Mobile esim be a better option for coverage?

    Change is just a Virtual network. They piggyback on T-Mobile and AT&T if you look at the smallprint on Airalo so you should be ok.

    So my Three contract time expired and I received the standard
    message “unless you say otherwise, we’ll just continue”.
    Would that include EU roaming if I don’t alter the conditions?
    Haven’t had a message saying “we’re charging you the same as before but without roaming”…

    Are you on Pay Monthly? In which case the free roaming should end.

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