UK data sims , contracts and roaming

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olive
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UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby olive » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:31 pm

I have just come back from the Uk and the SIM deals seemed very competitive compared to Spanish ones though I am by no means an expert on the subject.

It got me thinking. We have a 3 SIm and MiFi with 20GB per month on it which we used to use a lot when we were making numerous journeys back and forth. For quite a few months it has been used exclusively here on roaming with no extra charges and crucially not flagged for unfair use. It is also very handy for portable devices if we go out for the day.

Is it worth considering either smart phone UK Sim deal or MiFi SIM deal over Spanish offerings?

steve_w
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby steve_w » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:06 pm

As far as I know, all UK operators have a fair usage policy when it comes to roaming. For example, Vodafone UK's terms and conditions state: "We’ll send you a text requesting you moderate your usage in our Roam-free destinations if you use them for a total of 2 months or more during any 4-month period. If your usage in any of our Roam-free destinations continues to exceed this allowance after a 2-week period from which you first received this text, we may charge you for further use or bar your roaming services. We’ll always let you know before we do this."

I don't know how efficient the different operators are at policing roaming usage, but you could be taking a risk if you sign up to a UK pay monthly contract intending to use it long-term in Spain.

It may be safer to get a UK pay as you go SIM instead. The cheapest option at the moment is probably 1pMobile (1p per minute, 1p per SMS, 1p per MB). You only have to top up £10 every 120 days to keep the SIM active, so you shouldn't 't lose much if the SIM gets barred.

Bear in mind, though, that if you're using a UK SIM in Spain, Spanish mobile or landline users will have to pay for an international call if they want to speak to you (unless they use WhatsApp voice calling or a similar service).

You could also look at getting a SIM from Toggle Mobile, which may work out cheaper than a Spanish contract SIM.

1bassleft
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:42 pm

Don't know if my exp is any use to you, Olive, but I'll throw my tuppence in (short version in last paragraph if TLDR). Until recently, we used Tesco mobile exclusively for calls and, because we only stayed here for odd fortnights and the month of August, never had any issues as I would expect not to. This October and November, however, we were in Spain and loaded up on credit (£10 = £30, £20 = £60 for one month) as our son was at UK uni and pretty miserable. We pounded the 'phones over the two months without any "hang on, you're using this abroad a lot" stuff. Exactly as the EU intended it, in other words.

At the same time, though, I thought I'd better have a Spanish number now and data (not an issue for my UK 'phone, data). I got a Simyo prepago with 20Gb and unlimited calls - and checked that EU roaming was not an issue, as it shouldn't be. The data in Spain was quite good and I tethered everything to it for surfing and TV watching. I think it would have been faultless on the data front except Mrs 1BL kept forgetting to switch HD off (annoying) and (catastrophically) one particular day of updates of useless apps she signs up to willy-nilly sucked 12Gb out automatically and left me high and dry. Other than that, pretty useful. Calls, and being in the UK, was a different story.

Simyo piggybacks on Orange but data roaming in Blighty was (deliberately, I suspect) difficult - constantly telling my 'phone to find an Orange - but it worked after a fashion. The money spent on unlimited calls was a total waste. Call the mechanic, locksmith, Spanish teacher fine but a big NO to Linea Directa because it's a "special" number. Crucially, I couldn't 'phone my son (main reason for getting unlimited) because +44 stopped it dead in its tracks. So I got my wife and son Spanish Simyo cards. Works fine when they're sitting right next to me in Spain (fat lot of use) but, in the UK, trying to phone a Spanish number (even my wife or son in the same house) killed the call attempt stone dead. The way I see it, Simyo would be breaking EU regs to charge me extra for using the 'phone outside of Spain so their ingenious solution is to make sure it can't happen at all.

Doubtless there's some sim/tariff/provider that would do the calls with no problem but I really thought I had read all the small print, asked the right questions and spent the extra money. Tomorrow, I'm taking my passport to the mobile shop so that I can change the tariff to data only with minimal calls. Local tradespeople seem to live on WhatsApp anyway.

Short version - Spanish providers might not deliver what you thought you were getting. I hate to sound Little Englander, but I've tried Vodaphone and Orange in the past in Spain and my money was spirited away on each occasion verging on the fraudulent.

Beachcomber
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby Beachcomber » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:20 am

I know this thread is about UK contracts but I cannot allow the criticism of Simyo to go unchallenged.

My wife's phone is with Simyo. She travels to the UK and other European countries frequently and has no problem with either data roaming or roaming generally and has obviously not been charged for roaming since charges were abolished last year. She is not even charged extra for calls to UK numbers a situation which does not actually fall within the free roaming rules.

The very occasional problem we have had since contracting with Simyo about five years ago has been promptly and efficiently resolved with a call to their call centre.

swerve
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby swerve » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:35 pm

Afternoon all. I've been with 3mobile for the last 3 years. Mainly because of the ability to use my data calls and texts in Spain. I've only had one message from themselves and that was to tell me that I was close to the 12gb roaming abroad limit. Other than that no problems at all. When I'm in the UK I have unlimited data 600 voice minutes and unlimited texts.
It always seems imposible until its done. Nelson Mandela

elusive
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby elusive » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:57 pm

Wondering how the heck you can use 12GB in one day on updates from i presume the play or apple app store??

If it is the app store just go into its settings and set it to the apps only update over wifi

1bassleft
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:35 am

I was a bit ranty and definitely should have italicized "might not deliver what you thought you were getting. I'm glad other people aren't having the slightest problem but I am. To re-iterate, data roaming works just fine in Spain for me (I've just been today and changed the tariff to 10Gb data and €2.50 to use on calls/texts at their std rate) and a single fire+forget instruction to use Simyo is all it takes. In the UK, I found it to be recalcitrant unless I could use a network on a train or whatever. What I found was that I was constantly having to remind it to search for Orange every time I moved, but at least it delivered. Could be a snag with the Moto G3 but I tried other handsets. 'Phone calls were a bust, though. In Spain, using +44 was not allowed, Linea Directa's number was not allowed and, in the UK sitting next to my wife and son, 'phoning their Spanish numbers got me "beep-die". So, IME the Simyo prepago ilimitadas option is a waste of €7. Being a non-res and having no Spanish credit card means going to the nearest (actually quite a distance) retailer rather than the website. Perhaps he's a numpty and keeps messing up, but it's all worth bearing in mind when weighing up UK or Spanish mobile for hopper-crossers.
One more plus for Simyo on the data front; as of next month, unused data can be carried over for upto 3 months. Unfortunately too late for the unused amount while I was in the UK but enough to convince me they're worth sticking with.
@Elusive :D . I'm stunned, myself. I rooted around everywhere wondering how 12Gb vanished like that. The Mrs blamed it on our son's gaming but League of Legends is nothing, really. She got her first ever mobile (posh Samsung) as a retirement prez and passed it around to just about everyone to help her set it up. Simultaneously, a billion useless "check how many falafels you worked off while mindfulnessing" apps updated and shared with Facialhairbook and dunno what else. Never seen anything like it (nor had she; she only looked at a few). I cleaned it out pronto so it shouldn't happen again.

elusive
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby elusive » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:30 am

Yeah that doesnt make sense at all. Also go into data usage in the settings and turn off background data for the apps that use alot.then they will only run when on wifi.ones like gmail and antivirus need to always run.

Could be gaming thats used it.as a normal playstore app when it updates only uses around ten MB. Facebook is prob the worse with around 40 when it gets an update.

Prob a daft question but with some networks you have to tell them to "unlock" the phone to use it overseas.

1bassleft
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby 1bassleft » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:15 pm

Thanks again for helping me out, elusive. I'm not clued up on Android (or iOS, but I haven't used any Apples since the Mac II days). Until a few months ago, my 'phone was a Nokia that did calls and texts (I still use it) and PCs are my thing for everything else. Mrs 1BL tends to jealously keep her Samsung away from me (with good reason, probably) but let all her colleagues willy-nilly "help set her up". We had a sort-of wifi installed in the flat but teething troubles made it unuseable (now sorted). What I did for about a fortnight was tether my Moto 3G to everything in the home; effectively making it our home wifi. The 20Gb on Simyo should have been plenty and, indeed, it was fine. I kept an eye on how much TV (disabling HD) and games (League of Legends is not graphically intensive) was taking and I just use forums, ebay and suchlike. Everything was fine until, suddenly, 12Gb was gone overnight. I looked into everything then, on her 'phone, data usage had taken it on Google stuff. She hadn't actively done anything so I just wiped any rubbish and turned off automatic updates. I would have liked to be more analytical but I just firefighted before it took what was left.

I'm really interested in your "daft question". Hadn't even thought of that possibility but it would be an explanation. I'll have a root-and-branch look through Simyo's website to see if there's something I need to do that wasn't obvious. It makes more sense than my conspiracy theory, although bloke-in-the-shop just shrugged with a "they must all do it, then" response. I'll be considerably in your debt if it's the key to the problem.

elusive
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Re: UK data sims , contracts and roaming

Postby elusive » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:07 am

I just put the below in google and the first link was to the dutch simyo forum and the headline about setting your phone to use it abroad. Havnt read the whole link but it might give you some help?

Simyo using your phone abroad


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