London - Post Report Question and Answers

Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?

We use a prepaid service through Smarty. Unlimited calls and texts and 125gb data for £12/mo. - Jan 2024

We ported our US numbers to Google Voice (usable anywhere via the app on our phones as long as we have data) and then had local sims for our UK phone numbers. The monthly pay-as-you-go plans are very reasonable and don't lock you into any contracts. We also had free roaming across all of Europe, but post-Brexit, many of the plans now charge European roaming fees. - Nov 2022

We have a UK plan. It is less than half of what we paid in the States. I also use a Skype number for US phone calls. - Aug 2022

Local mobile phones are fairly cheap and you'll need a UK number. - May 2022

We use BT for broadband. Giffgaff for phone and mobile data, which I like because we aren't locked into a contract and have a choice of how much to buy each month. - Jun 2017

We brought our own unlocked iPhones and signed up with British Telecom. It's 20 GBP per month per person for 20GB of data. BT owns all the cell towers, so it has the best coverage across the UK. - Feb 2017

O2 or Vodafone. - Feb 2016

Bring an unlocked phone and get a SIM. I have a pay-as-you-go plan from O2 that I'm generally satisfied with. It's nothing special or fancy, it just gets the job done. I just wish minutes and data would roll over, but other than that it's fine. - Nov 2015

I ported my U.S. number to google voice, which I highly recommend. Texts went to my email and I could make calls on WiFi. As for local plans, I had T-Mobile. Data wasnt cheap, but the service was fine. - Aug 2015

We purchased unlocked iPhones from O2 when we arrived. Service was good. However, they required a 700 GBP deposit (total) when we purchased the two phones, which was...insane, but you need to have a UK bank account in order to get a post-paid cellphone plan, and since we opened the account when we got to post, there was no credit history for them to go off of, hence the massive deposit. The plan cost about US$55/month per phone. - Jun 2015

Local plans are widely available. - Jun 2015

We bought sim cards upon our arrival. We use giffgaff and haven't had any problems. - May 2015

We used O2. If you bring your own phone it way cheaper than getting one here. I used an unlocked iPhone and my bill was 15£ a month. Not joking. Cheapest thing in London. My friend got an iPhone through O2 plus the plan and it was 45£ a month. - Aug 2014

I was not able to buy an iPhone on contract as I didn't have a credit rating in the UK, so the initial price may be greater if you have to buy the phone outright. There are a variety of companies who all offer good service. - Sep 2012

We got a pay-as-you-go plan and it's been great. You can get a free iPhone if you sign a 2-year contract with several companies. Shop around before making your decision. The main providers are Orangea and Vodaphone, but there are many "off brand" companies that also have good plans. - Jan 2012

Lots of plans available. Just shop around. - Aug 2011

There are plenty of good options for phone plans, whether contract or pay as you go. I had 3 pay as you go, and it worked out very well at about 15 pounds per month. Orange, O2, and T-mobile are also good. - Nov 2009

If the Embassy doesn't provide you one, there is a WIDE range of pay as you go cell phone shops all over. - Mar 2009

They are a must have! - Sep 2008

If you aren't sure how long you are going to be there, get a pay as you go SIM card. Otherwise, sign a contract with any of the companies. Incoming calls are free so pay as you go works out quite well. Networks in the U.K. are much better than the ones in the USA. - Feb 2008

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