Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

Thread: What do you think of 3 prepaid and roaming?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0

    What do you think of 3 prepaid and roaming?

    Hi guys,
    A buddy of mine is going to be in Enland, Ireland, Scottland, Spain for about 6weeks total. He doesn't want a contract on a phone and just needs prepaid to call a bit while he's in Europe and then back the the United States. I was reading on the 3 website that it seems very reasonable and was curious what you all thought? And is there a way to get it all set up and then to just ship a sim card to the United States? Any help is most appreciated.
    Get push email on almost any phone emoze.com. To download directly to your phone visit m.emoze.com .

    On Twitter at:
    @JebBrilliant
    @emozepuhemail

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    1,235
    Device(s)
    iPhone 3G, X10
    Carrier(s)
    O2
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrkrman_1
    Hi guys,
    A buddy of mine is going to be in Enland, Ireland, Scottland, Spain for about 6weeks total. He doesn't want a contract on a phone and just needs prepaid to call a bit while he's in Europe and then back the the United States. I was reading on the 3 website that it seems very reasonable and was curious what you all thought? And is there a way to get it all set up and then to just ship a sim card to the United States? Any help is most appreciated.
    I doubt they will post a SIM card overseas. Your chum would be best just buying a cheap PAYG handset when he gets here. 3 in the UK (England and Scotland being part of the same country) will credit you 5p for every minute of a received call, and 2p for every text you receive (click here for details).

    The problem for your friend is that if he buys a SIM card or PAYG handset in the UK he will be roaming in Spain, and possibly Ireland depending upon which part of Ireland he is going to.

    I'm not familiar with it, but isn't there an option to buy a SIM card registered in Lichtenstein, which offers very cheap roaming rate? Hopefully someone with more knowledge of that can comment.

    Another option would be to get a Vodafone PAYG deal with their Passport option. Passport offers relatively cheap roaming if you use a Vodafone network in the country you are in. Vodafone have networks in all the countries your friend will be visiting. Details here.
    "I may be drunk my dear woman, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly." WSC

    Best SE site on the net
    Best SE blog on the net

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    I doubt they will post a SIM card overseas. Your chum would be best just buying a cheap PAYG handset when he gets here. 3 in the UK (England and Scotland being part of the same country) will credit you 5p for every minute of a received call, and 2p for every text you receive (click here for details).

    The problem for your friend is that if he buys a SIM card or PAYG handset in the UK he will be roaming in Spain, and possibly Ireland depending upon which part of Ireland he is going to.

    I'm not familiar with it, but isn't there an option to buy a SIM card registered in Lichtenstein, which offers very cheap roaming rate? Hopefully someone with more knowledge of that can comment.

    Another option would be to get a Vodafone PAYG deal with their Passport option. Passport offers relatively cheap roaming if you use a Vodafone network in the country you are in. Vodafone have networks in all the countries your friend will be visiting. Details here.
    First of all, Thank you so much for your input.
    I was under the impression that 3 had a prepaid deal that you could roam in other countries that had 3 service? Check out this link http://www.three.co.uk/personal/cove...oad_/index.omp Is there a hitch or can my friend just purchase a prepaid sim and use it in his unlocked phone? Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    1,235
    Device(s)
    iPhone 3G, X10
    Carrier(s)
    O2
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrkrman_1
    First of all, Thank you so much for your input.
    I was under the impression that 3 had a prepaid deal that you could roam in other countries that had 3 service? Check out this link http://www.three.co.uk/personal/cove...oad_/index.omp Is there a hitch or can my friend just purchase a prepaid sim and use it in his unlocked phone? Thanks again.
    It looks like you can do that. However, it's worth noting that 3 don't have a network in Spain. It's also worth mentioning that 3, in the UK anyway, only have 2100 MHz UMTS/HSDPA coverage (they use Orange's 1800 MHz GSM network to fill in the gaps in their UMTS network). Whichever handset your friend uses would be best supporting 2100 MHz UMTS and 1800 MHz GSM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    My friend has no idea how to even check his email on his phone. The only thing he does is use it as a phone, SMS and MMS. He doesn't need anything beyond that. By 3 not having a presense in Spain will he be able to roam there on some other network? Even if he is paying $5/minute?
    Thanks again for your help.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    1,235
    Device(s)
    iPhone 3G, X10
    Carrier(s)
    O2
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Mrkrman_1
    My friend has no idea how to even check his email on his phone. The only thing he does is use it as a phone, SMS and MMS. He doesn't need anything beyond that. By 3 not having a presense in Spain will he be able to roam there on some other network? Even if he is paying $5/minute?
    Thanks again for your help.
    Yes he should be able to roam on a Spanish network, although the roaming charges may be high.

    Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that he should have a 3G handset for the features, but rather because 3 in the UK doesn't have a GSM network. 3 UK uses Orange's GSM network to provide coverage in places where they don't have 3G coverage.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by scotsboyuk
    Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that he should have a 3G handset for the features, but rather because 3 in the UK doesn't have a GSM network. 3 UK uses Orange's GSM network to provide coverage in places where they don't have 3G coverage.
    Ahh, ok. Thanks. My friend is using a plaine old Razr so he should be fine on the GSM side. Sad he won't take advantage of the 3G there. Anyways, thank you for all your help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Scotboyuk,
    Is there any chance that if I paid you for your time and compensated you for the expense that you would have, you could purchase a 3 sim card and activate the International Saver on it, then mail it to me?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    65
    Device(s)
    HTC Desire
    Carrier(s)
    T-Mobile
    Feedback Score
    0
    You really need a 3g phone. Three offer these very inexpensively now. They do not allow the use of 2g phones on their network as far as I know - and you definitely will not receive the free roaming in Ireland.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bristol/London, UK
    Posts
    8,546
    Carrier(s)
    Vodafone UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by lozza
    You really need a 3g phone. Three offer these very inexpensively now. They do not allow the use of 2g phones on their network as far as I know - and you definitely will not receive the free roaming in Ireland.
    3 are not best for travellers from elsewhere i.e. not a country with 3. Also, you WILL need a UTMS 2100MHz phone as lozza said, preferably one that they issued (eBay has them cheap) since they sometimes suspend your account these days (ill link to the topic if you want to know more)

    I would REALLY avoid 3 in your case, 3 are good, but only for certain things, like cheap internet on postpaid price plans. that's what they do best, for prepaid for travellers like you, 3 absolutely are NOT the best carrier.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    What do you suggest if not 3. This is for a friend and he is not interested at all in data, just cheap calls to the USA and cheap roaming in general.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bristol/London, UK
    Posts
    8,546
    Carrier(s)
    Vodafone UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    The main thing about your friend, is that he is going to England, Ireland, Scotland, Spain - Well Scotland and England are not really separate countries, they are grouped as one with Northern Ireland and Wales and called the United Kingdom. Republic is Ireland (the southern bit that isn't Northern Ireland) is technically a separate country and in terms of phones and phone calls it is a separate country.... I'm not sure if you're friend is travelling to the southern bit, or the northern bit/north+south.

    Three's rates for calling within the UK are fine.... you have to buy bundles I believe that don't work out economical if you don't make a lot of UK calls. For the calling back to the US/Canada 3's rate isn't bad.... You can always use a calling card (find them in an Oriental shop/Newsagent/Post office) - but don't forget you'll be charged minutes off your SIM card for a UK call.... while I'm on calling cards... make sure you buy a card with a UK number to call such as a 0207 or 0208 number since these are cheaper to call than non-geographic numbers like 08-anything.

    Roaming wise, 3 are about as expensive as any other provider really. We don't have national roaming in Europe, so most places we go, it's international roaming, as our countries are smaller.

    I don't know which country your friend will be spending most time in. I'm going to assume by "Ireland" your friend is referring to the Republic of Ireland. Let's assume of those 6 months, 5 are spent in Spain, and 2 weeks in the UK and 2 weeks in the Rep. of Ireland. It makes most sense to buy a Spanish SIM card and roam with that in the UK and Rep. Ireland. If your friend will be spending equal amounts of each country, i.e. 2 months in Rep. Ireland, the UK and Spain, then you should see if they will be making calls inside that country... i.e. national calls. It will be feasible to buy a SIM card and recharge it (referred to as "topping up" in the UK) for each country. Bundling this with any offers your carrier offers (Vodafone UK, for example, has text and voice packs, T-Mobile UK has some cheaper rates for calling other T-Mobile UK users... then again they all do, but T-Mobile UK's rates are better value than the rest, perhaps) could make buying an SIM card in each country good especially if equal amounts of time are spent in each country, or a minimum of 1 month in a country.

    For simplicity and ease of use, you could consider an international SIM card such as United Mobile (http://www.united-mobile.com) - however any callers will be paying international rates, as I believe you are given a Liectenstein number - can anyone clarify this? Either way, it won't be a Spanish/British/Irish/Canadian/American number you are given. As your friend is in Europe for 6 months I would personally avoid this option (it's good for country-hopping in a 2-3 week period for example) and buy a SIM card of the 2/3 countries he will be at. Even if he travels to 2-3 more, it will still be better.

    You could buy a calling card as well for buying a SIM card in each country an option.

    Vodafone passport was mentioned by Scotsboy and I think this is a good idea. Vodafone's rates aren't the best, but if you're sticking with just 1 SIM card that isn't an International SIM card, Vodafone is an option. Orange's has some offers where if you top up with a certain amount of money every so often you get free minutes or texts I believe. 3 is an option, but you WILL need a 3G phone that can read the USIM cards. If you're friend doesn't have a preference for high tech phones, you can pick one up CHEAP before you head here, (and it's useable in the US too), Motorola V975, Motorola E1000, Sony Ericsson K608i are some old models... old , but if your friend isn't techy or has no preference, they are good. If your friend wants some newer, more high-tech phones, there are plenty of those around too. If you want to be able to use it back in the US/before you head off, make sure it's Triband GSM.... and unlocked too!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Thanks for the input. My friend just needs to make calls and do SMS. He has an unlocked Razr from the US. I think it should work with ANY sim card. It should atleast work with a 3 sim I would think. Is there something I should know about 3 or just tell him to take the plunge and buy it. Is there a specific sim he needs from them to roam? Also if not 3 then Orange, T-Mobile or Vodafone, what do you think. I just got his itinirary and he will be in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Scotland, Ireland, and England. He is the drummer for a band that is going on tour. So what would you do or what do you suggest? THey will only be in each country for a few days at the most.
    Thanks again for everybodys help,
    Mrkrman_1

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bristol/London, UK
    Posts
    8,546
    Carrier(s)
    Vodafone UK
    Feedback Score
    0
    As mentioned, 3 issues USIM cards and not normal SIM cards, therefore your friend would need a 3G phone (I am not sure if Cingular's 3G ones would work) to use the USIM cards. The V3 or V3i both aren't 3G and so it wouldn't work. It's an issue with the type of SIM card used.

    It's for this reason I advise against using 3 unless your friend is prepared to buy a new phone (and if you do, advice is to get one that will work back in the US, there are some, just make sure it's Triband/Quadband GSM+3G.

    Since we now know he'll be travelling around a lot more, I would DEFINATELY recommend the United Mobile card. One number whereever he is travelling rather than separate numbers for each SIM card. The United Mobile SIM card is GSM compatible and it's not a USIM so would work. United Mobile also has no roaming costs for many countries. Which is a plus.

    There are many options available and I've spent some time listing them, but I think the United Mobile option works well in your friend's case - roaming charges would just add up and really not be worth it. Another note, the RAZR will work fine in Europe, so rest assured you don't need a new phone
    Last edited by Junglizt1210; 04-14-2007 at 10:13 PM.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,944
    Device(s)
    Nokia E71
    Carrier(s)
    AT&T
    Feedback Score
    0
    Junglitz, thank you so much for all this info. I have never heard about this USIM business. I will take your suggestion and tell my friend to get the United Mobile sim. Now you have to tell me where I can read about the USIM and are all 3G carriers using this new USIM card?
    Thanks again for your help,
    Mrkrman_1

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks