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  #1  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:08 AM
al.wells@gmail.com
 
Posts: n/a
Default OT: Help a visiting Colonial

We're going to be vacationing in the UK, and plan to drive around
England, Scotland and Wales. I want to get a UK SIM card for my GSM
phone (it has the correct frequencies), and the choices are
overwhelming. I'm looking for a recommendation of the carrier(s) with
the best coverage so I can narrow it down to plans. Can anyone help?
thanks
al

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  #2  
Old 09-06-2007, 08:21 AM
Ben Panter
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

al.wells@gmail.com wrote:
> We're going to be vacationing in the UK, and plan to drive around
> England, Scotland and Wales. I want to get a UK SIM card for my GSM
> phone (it has the correct frequencies), and the choices are
> overwhelming. I'm looking for a recommendation of the carrier(s) with
> the best coverage so I can narrow it down to plans. Can anyone help?
> thanks
> al
>


I'm on Orange, and only ever have been. It's coverage is generally
excellent, except in Scapa Flow where it is rubbish.

There is a scheme called 'Pay As You Go', which means prepaying for
calls but has the benefit of no monthly charge - and when you've
finished with it you ditch it. With Orange all calls are then 15p a
minute. Not sure on the international rate, but I don't think it's too
horrendous. To add credit you can use almost any cash machine, post
office, corner shop etc.

Ben

--
Ben Panter, Edinburgh, UK.
Email false, http://www.benpanter.co.uk
or you could try ben at ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2007, 05:35 PM
al.wells@gmail.com
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

On Sep 6, 8:21 am, Ben Panter <m...@privacy.net> wrote:

> I'm on Orange, and only ever have been. It's coverage is generally
> excellent, except in Scapa Flow where it is rubbish.
>
> There is a scheme called 'Pay As You Go', which means prepaying for
> calls but has the benefit of no monthly charge - and when you've
> finished with it you ditch it. With Orange all calls are then 15p a
> minute. Not sure on the international rate, but I don't think it's too
> horrendous. To add credit you can use almost any cash machine, post
> office, corner shop etc.


Thanks Ben, I'll look at what Orange has. We're only going to be there
for 10 days, so the prepaid deal is right for us, and we're not going
to get to Scapa Flow this trip.

al

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  #4  
Old 09-07-2007, 12:06 PM
Jason
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

On Thu, 06 Sep 2007 05:08:03 -0700, al.wells wrote:

> We're going to be vacationing in the UK, and plan to drive around England,
> Scotland and Wales. I want to get a UK SIM card for my GSM phone (it has
> the correct frequencies), and the choices are overwhelming. I'm looking
> for a recommendation of the carrier(s) with the best coverage so I can
> narrow it down to plans. Can anyone help? thanks


There's not really a lot to choose in terms of coverage between the big 4:
O2, Vodafone, T-mobile and Orange. Vodafone/O2 are mostly 900mhz,
orange/T-mobile are 1800mhz which might be an issue if you haven't got a
quad band phone. Otherwise, I'd just buy the cheapest.

Jason

--
See http://www.scuba-addict.co.uk/ for UK diving reports and the UK
Underwater Visibility Database. View the database or add your own report

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  #5  
Old 09-07-2007, 02:41 PM
Lee Bell
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

Jason wrote

>> We're going to be vacationing in the UK, and plan to drive around
>> England,
>> Scotland and Wales. I want to get a UK SIM card for my GSM phone (it has
>> the correct frequencies), and the choices are overwhelming. I'm looking
>> for a recommendation of the carrier(s) with the best coverage so I can
>> narrow it down to plans. Can anyone help? thanks


> There's not really a lot to choose in terms of coverage between the big 4:
> O2, Vodafone, T-mobile and Orange. Vodafone/O2 are mostly 900mhz,
> orange/T-mobile are 1800mhz which might be an issue if you haven't got a
> quad band phone. Otherwise, I'd just buy the cheapest.


Interesting information even for those of us that won't be in the UK any
time soon, if ever. I'm in the process of buying a Quad Band GSM phone at
the moment. In fact, I'm waiting on a call back to see if I can get one out
of existing stock or have to wait on it. I tried for the ETen M700 which
seems to be unavailable in the US right now and nobody seems to know when
will come available. Instead, it looks like I'll be getting the HTC TyTn II.
It uses Windows Mobile 6 instead of 5 and comes with Tom Tom for the US &
Canada. Apparently it comes with the maps for the UK if you buy one for
there.

Both the M700 and the TyTn II have built in stand alone GPS, a slide out
QWERTY keyboard and full PDA functions including Microsoft Office Work,
Excel and PowerPoint applications.

Since both of these phones come out of the UK, do you have any thoughts on
either?

Lee


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  #6  
Old 09-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Jason
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

On Fri, 07 Sep 2007 14:41:58 -0400, Lee Bell wrote:

> which seems to be unavailable in the US right now and nobody seems to know
> when will come available. Instead, it looks like I'll be getting the HTC
> TyTn II. It uses Windows Mobile 6 instead of 5 and comes with Tom Tom for
> the US & Canada. Apparently it comes with the maps for the UK if you buy
> one for there.


My boss is on his second HTC phone, though not that particular model, I
don't think. He likes them. I thought they were Taiwanese rather than
British though.

Jason

--
See http://www.scuba-addict.co.uk/ for UK diving reports and the UK
Underwater Visibility Database. View the database or add your own report

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  #7  
Old 09-09-2007, 04:33 PM
Lee Bell
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

Jason wrote

> My boss is on his second HTC phone, though not that particular model, I
> don't think. He likes them. I thought they were Taiwanese rather than
> British though.


That's not encouraging.

Apparently, the phones are made primarily for the European market rather
than being made there. It seems like they're only sold here in the US
reluctantly. None of the major services offer them. I'm buying it from a
third party and activating it through T-Mobile.

Unless I'm being mislead, he could not have the TyTn II. It's not do to be
released until about the 14th of this month. The company says they'll get
theirs the week or the 17th. I told them that I don't care about when it
gets to them, I care when it gets to me. If they can do that before the end
of the week of the 17th, they have a deal. If not, I'll look elsewhere. I'm
buying the phone now specifically for a trip planned to start on the 27th. I
need a bit of time to load phone numbers, learn how to use new GPS software
and the like.

Lee


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  #8  
Old 09-09-2007, 04:43 PM
Jason
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 16:33:14 -0400, Lee Bell wrote:

> Jason wrote
>
>> My boss is on his second HTC phone, though not that particular model, I
>> don't think. He likes them. I thought they were Taiwanese rather than
>> British though.

>
> That's not encouraging.


It wasn't meant to be discouraging. He likes them. He got a new one
because it was free and it did more stuff. The latest one which he got
last week was Windows Mobile 6. It doesn't go 3G unlike the previous one,
but as the US is using a different standard for that to the rest of the
world, that's probably not an issue for you.

Over here HTC phones tend to be rebranded by the network as they're not a
name brand, but there's nothing wrong with them.

Jason

--
See http://www.scuba-addict.co.uk/ for UK diving reports and the UK
Underwater Visibility Database. View the database or add your own report

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  #9  
Old 09-09-2007, 08:38 PM
Lee Bell
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: OT: Help a visiting Colonial

"Jason" <jason.news.nospam@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
newsan.2007.09.09.20.43.56.370303@ntlworld.com.. .
> On Sun, 09 Sep 2007 16:33:14 -0400, Lee Bell wrote:
>
>> Jason wrote
>>
>>> My boss is on his second HTC phone, though not that particular model, I
>>> don't think. He likes them. I thought they were Taiwanese rather than
>>> British though.

>>
>> That's not encouraging.

>
> It wasn't meant to be discouraging. He likes them. He got a new one
> because it was free and it did more stuff. The latest one which he got
> last week was Windows Mobile 6. It doesn't go 3G unlike the previous one,
> but as the US is using a different standard for that to the rest of the
> world, that's probably not an issue for you.
>
> Over here HTC phones tend to be rebranded by the network as they're not a
> name brand, but there's nothing wrong with them.


Thanks for the information. I'm buying a pig in a poke on this one. The
phone is not yet available. The best I've been able to do is view it on
line. Even the previous model, which did not have GPS, has proven impossible
to find locally. The phone is not cheap, even after the rebate for signing a
two year contract with T-Mobile.

It's good to know that a real person, as opposed to the sales person who
also hasn't seen the phone, thinks well of the brand.

I really have high hopes for this phone. I currently carry a rather
inexpensive phone and an rather expensive Garmin M5 PDA/GPS. In addition to
visual and audible driving directions, the Garmin has about 100 songs on it
as well as more than 50 full length books. The new phone is an attempt to
combine the two devices and add Bluetooth to the mix. It does not hurt that
I'm buying a 2 gig micro SD disk for the phone/pda/gps.

Lee


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