Are you planning to travel to the UK soon? Here is a piece of advice, don’t waste your time and money on sim cards that don’t work and look for stores who don’t sell them, just read the article below and you will find out how easy it is the find a store and which sim card provider is the best option for you.
There are many sim card providers in the UK. Some provide small services and only give connections in fewer regions whereas some provide services in entire Europe and even outside.
There are four main providers, including Vodafone, Three, O2, and EE, while others don’t have big reputation but provide good services.
How to choose:
When traveling abroad, we mostly prefer using the internet to stay connected with our friends and family. Applications such as Skype and Zoom became part of our daily. However, covid has played a big role in making zoom part of our life whether traveling or not.
Nowadays, we also need access to social media in order to post our live pictures and videos. For staying connected, we will need data. Thus you should have a cellular connection that provides the best data bundles at reasonable prices. It is more preferable to choose the network providing a 5G connection and 4G connection.
Many sim providers provide their sim card for free and then charge for bundles and top-up. You may not need to make phone calls or text, but just in case, you should have a sim that provides a bundle for calls and text along with data so that you can enjoy everything in one bundle.
The sim card of a company also provides data roaming, so you don’t need to change the sim card if you plan to move outside the UK.
Why to purchase a sim card:
We know that all our audience here is the tourist. Even if you are visiting the UK just for a week, you will need a connection to have constant communication with your family and friends just in case.
When traveling, the internet is necessary, and purchasing entire broadband for a week is worthless, whereas purchasing a sim card and using Data is a way cheaper option.
Despite the fact that nowadays in the UK, most public services such as busses and restaurants and free Wi-Fi service but for how long can you ride the bus or stay in the restaurant. Other than that, those internet connections are not even secured; your device can get hacked easily.
When using a prepaid sim, getting Data is cheaper. The bigger bundle you get, the more economical it gets. Few of the main sim cards also provide data throughout Europe by using the data roaming option.
My favorite thing regarding sim cards is that Europe has a ban on the cost of data roaming, so if you purchase data in the UK, you will be able to use the same option throughout Europe for 30 days without paying any extra charges.
Ordering a sim card online is an option provided to tourists by several sim providers. It is always good for getting a sim card at the airport, so you don’t have to roam around the street from the street looking for stores. Once you have placed an order online, you can give them an address you are staying in the UK, and your sim will be delivered to you.
Where to buy sim card form:
You are likely to land on Airports in London are Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, and Manchester airport. Once you land, your first priority should be to purchase a sim card. There may be a few shops at the airport; however, you should search for one on Google Maps if you cannot find one. It will show you the nearest shop and direct you perfectly.
Simply type the keyword of Vodafone sim card or whichever service provider you are looking for, and Google Maps will show you a detailed map locating the store.
The four main service providers:
Vodafone is among the main service providers in THE UK and is known as the second-best service provider in Europe. It is highly recommended for citizens as well as tourists. Depending on how much use you will have, they provide five different sim card services, but since our audiences are tourists, we would recommend having the smallest sim card. It is only used to stay connected with loved ones once in the homeland.
To purchase a Vodafone sim, you will need to show your passport in the retail outlet of Vodafone. Only then will they sell you a prepaid sim card. It will cost around 1 euro only. Normally they provide their users with 4G connections, but in the last two offers mentioned below, you can get a 5G connection.
This is because Vodafone has recently developed a 4G LTE carrier aggregation technology, which in easy terms means that their data service will provide more internet speed and reliable connection.
All of Vodafone’s offers are only valid in European countries. The deals include unlimited calls, text, and Data and are only valid for one month
Leading offers are:
- In 10euros you can get 5GB of data along with unlimited minutes and texts
- In 15 euros, you can get 10GB of data along with unlimited calls and texts
- In 20euros you can get 20GB of data along with unlimited calls and texts
- In 30 euros, you can get 50GB data on a 5G connection along with unlimited calls and text
- In 40 euros, you can get unlimited data on a 5G connection along with unlimited call and text.
Other than this, Vodafone also provides the customer with mid rang phones and budget phones.
For top up you can purchase an e-voucher from Vodafone app, which can be activated when needed. Another option is to call at 2345 at free and pay –as-you-go phone. You can even top up by using credit card.
O2 is another excellent sim service provider used by many civilians of THE UK. They are known as the third-best sim service provider in THE UK. There are two different categories’ of sim cards provided by O2 in prepaid cards, and you can get one according to your usage. O2 does not charge its users for sim cards, but there are charges for packages and top-up.
To get your new O2 sim by showing your passport to any retail outlet selling O2 sim. Their service is best provided inside THE UK and especially to citizens of London and other major cities. Somehow the connections in smaller regions are weaker.
O2 provides 4G connection services all over THE UK; however, they may only provide 3G connections in other countries. There are many deals as well which you can use outside THE UK and even Europe, such as the 20 euro package, but the world is moving on to 5G now. Why will we use 3G for even one day?
These are the best packages:
- In 10 euros, you can get 5GB of data, along with 500 minutes and 5000 SMS. This package can only be used inside Europe.
- With 20 euros, you can get 30GB along with unlimited calls and SMS. Valid inside Europe only.
- With 30 euros, you can get 100GB of data, along with unlimited calls and SMS. This package can only be used inside Europe
- In 20 euros, you can get 15GB of data, along with 1000 minutes and 5000 SMS. This package allows customers to use the sim even outside Europe, in countries including the USA, Canada, Colombia, Brazil, South Korea, and more.
Unfortunately, users can only access these services through a website that only works in the UK. All offers mentioned above are only valid for 30 days. O2 is the only sim provider in THE UK that does not provide broadband service. To be fair, they don’t offer any other service than sim and its deals. There is a credit option available for 30 days, after which you will need to pay or recharge your sim.
It is also easy to top up O2 sim. There are many continent options to do that. You can either call at 4444 to top up with whatever price you want. You can also get a E-top up card by purchasing a voucher. Vouchers are available in continent stores that has green top up logo. You will need a UK card to purchase them.
Another best sim service provider for tourists in THE UK is 3. It is the fourth-best service provider in THE UK. It has been in the industry for a long time now and has always satisfied its customers. There are four different kinds of prepaid sim cards provided by three for tourists. You can purchase whichever one you want according to your usage. Three sim cards in THE UK are available for free, and no activation cost is charged. However, there are service charges for top-ups and packages.
In order to purchase three prepaid sim cards, you will need to show your passport in any retail outlet selling this sim and pay retail charges of 1 euro only.
The best packages provided by three are:
- In 26 euros, you can get unlimited data, along with unlimited texts and calls
- In 24 euros, you can get 30 of GB data with unlimited texts and call
- In 19 euros, you can get 12 GB of data, along with unlimited calls and unlimited texts
- In 16 euros, you can get 4GB of data, along with unlimited texts and unlimited calls
- in 10 euros, you can get 6GB of data
- in 20 euros, you can get 50GB of data
- in 35 euros you can get unlimited Data
All offers mentioned above are only valid for 30 days.
The unlimited data option is suitable for travels as they can then use Skype or Whatsapp, or any other social media application to stay in touch with their loved ones. On top of that, you can use three sim cards just in THE UK and in 71 other countries, including Australia, Brazil, the United States of America, and more.
However, a data package of 20GB can only be used in Europe, whereas a package of 12GB data can be used in other 71 countries three’s service can be accessed in. Three also offers a huge range of mobile phones and sim cards with many interesting and affordable offers.
If you are a tourist, then I would suggest having three sim cards and purchasing their 26euros package. Just like other sim card top up in three is also easy. You can find a voucher for top up in any convenint store with green top up logo on them.
EE is the last but not least main service provider in THE UK. It provides the best service in THE UK, but somehow, you cannot locate it outside of THE UK. You can get access to their service everywhere in London, even in underground stations. A place where no other sim service provider gives signals. So if you are going to travel to the UK, then EE is the one for you.
To purchase an EE sim card, all you will need to do is show your passport in any retail outlet and pay 1.50 euros retail chargers. EE provides the best 4G and 5G network connections in the entire UK.
Offer EE provides:
- In 10 euros, you can get 4GB of data, along with 100 minutes and unlimited texts.
- In 15 euros, you can get 8 GB of data, along with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
- In 20 euros, you can get 15GB of data, along with unlimited minutes with unlimited texts.
- In 30 euros, you can get 60GB of data, along with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts.
- In 44 euros, you can get 30GB of data for 90 days
All offers mentioned above are valid for 30 days except the last option
If you are planning to stay in THE UK for longer than a month, let’s suppose for 90 days, then EE is the best-prepaid sim for you (only if you are planning to stay inside THE UK). You can get a subscription to the 44euros Package and enjoy data for two whole months. However, there are no calls or texts on that offer. You can also get a 20euros package twice, it will be more economical, plus you will get unlimited calls and SMS.
EE is the only sim provider in THE UK that provides 15GB plus unlimited calls and text in 20 euros. EE also provides a wide range of monthly pay mobile phones and SIM deals along with a range of tablets and data sims.
Top up on EE is also easy. All you need to do is purchase an e-voucher, redeem it; you can find those e vouchers from any convenient store. If that not possible than you can just call at 150 or 07053966250 for top up.
Other sim card providers
It may not be among the main service providers in THE UK, but Giff gaff has provided free sim cards to its users for a long time now. Yes, they deliver free sims at the customer’s doorstep. They provide connection starting from 2G to 4 G connection
Giff gaff is a very unusual name. Maybe that is what makes it memorable, well that and its amazing data offer.
- In 6 euros, you can get 500 MB of data, along with unlimited calls and text
- In 8 euros, you can get 2 GB of data along with unlimited calls and texts
- In 10 euros, you can get 9GB of data, along with unlimited calls and text
- In 15 euros, you can get 25GB of data, along with unlimited calls and text
- In 20 euros, you can get 100GB of data, along with unlimited calls and text
- In 35 euros you can get unlimited data, along with unlimited calls and text
All these packages are valid for 30 days only
If you are visiting the UK just for a month, then these offers are reasonable for you. They have comparatively low prices and are offering the best data packages in the entire THE UK, in my opinion. You can also use the Giff gaff sim card on any locked or unlocked device to the O2 network.
It is a lot easier to top up Giff gaff than any other sim card; all you need to do is 43430 for the top-up. You can also top up using any UK debit card or credit card. However, his may not be the option for tourists.
Lebara is another small cellular network provider in the UK. They also provide free Sims to their customers and only have charges for bundles and packages.
Their bundles are:
- In 5 euros, you can get 2GB of data, along with 1000 minutes, in the UK, 1000 texts in the UK, and 100 international minutes
- In 10 euros, you can get 10GB of data, along with unlimited minutes in the UK, unlimited text in THE UK, and 100 international minutes
- In 15 euros, you can get 15GB of data, along with unlimited minutes in the UK, unlimited text in THE UK, and unlimited international minutes
- In 25 euros, you can get unlimited data, along with unlimited minutes in the UK, unlimited text in THE UK, and 100 minutes for international calls.
In my opinion, the 15 euros offer is the best one for tourists as you will get unlimited minutes to talk to your friends and family in your homeland. This service differentiates Lebara from other sim card providers as they are the only one that provides free international call services, except in the EU. Other countries such as the USA, India, Thailand, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Malaysia< Israel, South Korea, Singapore, and many more countries’ residence can enjoy this service.
Customers can purchase a Lebara sim card from any retail outlet near to them. They don’t need to travel all the way to a dedicated sim store especially. You can find Lebara in convenience stores, including Tesco, Wh Smith, Argos, Sainsbury’s, and more. Lebara operates on the Vodafone network and allows free roaming in Europe.
SMARTY sim card.
Smarty sim card is a small service provider in the UK and their network provider in three UK. They provide both 3G and 4G connections. Their best offer is related to Data
- In 6.25 euros, you can get 1 GB of data
- In 7.50 euros, you can get 2 GB of data
- In 10 euros, you can get 4 GB of data
- In 15 euros, you can get 8 GB of data
- For 18.75 euros, you can get unlimited Data
Smarty provides the best possible service and covers 97% of the region in the UK. Three does not provide a 2G connection; hence smarty doesn’t even offer 2G service.
Lycamobile is another sim card service whose network is linked to O2. It provides 4G service in all areas inside the UK. They also offer different sorts of bundles, and all packages are only valid for 30 days.
Their best offer is in 15 euros you can get 5GB of data, along with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and unlimited international calls. Their prices are a bit higher than Giff Gaff’s; however, the deals are almost similar. You can purchase a Lycamobile sim card from every convenience store in the UK.
VOXI card provides wonderful unlimited offers for its customers. All of those offers are valid for 30 days. All these offers are very flexible and can be canceled at any time. Their main contracts are endless social media and unlimited data. VOXI is the best possible sim card for people who mostly use data. One of their best is 35 euros you can get is unlimited data, calls, and text.
Sim in a necessary whether you are traveling or not. It keeps you connected to your friends and family throughout the day. The rest depend on your need and your stay. Whether you need data or you need cellular service. So it would be best if you made an informed decision regarding purchasing a sim card. And that is why we provided you with the article above. I hope it helped you.