Best way to get cellular/SMS/MMS from UK to USA? [telecom]

I know I've seen this discussed here before but usenet spools keep getting shorter and I couldn't put together a sufficiently precise search on the telecom-digest archives.

Anyway, my niece will be spending about a month in England and Ireland this summer, possibly with day trips to neighboring countries.

Her US carrier is Verizon, so no GSM capability on her phone. My off-the-cuff suggestion was to wait until she arrives across the pond and then get a cheap prepaid phone at Tesco or somesuch. The rates to the US would probably be pretty good and by going prepaid she'd avoid ugly billing surprises. I'd like to give a more specific recommendation if I can.

In a perfect world, she'd primarily send and receive text messages, send a few photos, and occasionally make a voice call. Can this be done on the relatively-cheap?

Reply to
Gordon S. Hlavenka
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Yes. Tesco's OK, but there are mobile phone stores about every 20 feet on every high street in the UK. Find one of the stores that have phones from multiple carriers, and she should be able to find an adequate pay as you go phone for £10 or £15.

Most of the carriers have an international call plan. I have an O2 phone, and every time I top up with £10, my plan gives me an additional 50 minutes in international calls, including to the US or an additional 100 minutes if I top up with £15. So I can call back to the US for free, and normal calls and texts cost what they cost, I think 25p/min for the first 3 min/day, then 5p, 10p for international text.

You might do some research ahead of time to see what plans to sugggest.

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Reply to
John Levine

The advice I've received for The Netherlands is to buy a pre-paid cell phone once in the country.

Reply to
John Mayson


A couple of MVNOs to look at too. They have prepaid with remarkably low international rates.

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You can easily get a SIM for Lycamobile (and, I'd guess, Lebara) for about UKP 2.00 from smaller independent shops, especially ones run by Pakistanis.

You really need an unlocked phone for them though you can often use one that is locked to the network they run on. E.g. Lycamobile (but not Lycamobile Plus) uses Orange and works fine on an old phone I have locked to Orange.

Good luck

-- Steve Hayes, South Wales, UK, Please remove colours from address.

Reply to
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