SIM Card - advice please!

  hugh144 18:44 27 Aug 2008

Hi - A relative from New Zealand is currently visiting the UK and will shortly be touring Europe. He has asked my advice regarding buying a SIM card (Argos £4.99) and then using his mobile to send text messages to NZ.

As I know 'zilch' about text tariffs etc. could someone please advise as to the most economical way of sending texts down under and whether he would need to enter into a contract. An idea of costs would be great.

Any advice on this would be appreciated (unfortunately I don't have any further details).


  woodchip 18:49 27 Aug 2008

He needs to get the Mobile Set (unlocked) so he can use another ISP sim card first. It does not cost much and many will do it

  Quiet Life 18:59 27 Aug 2008

I doubt if any unlocking is required. We change a UK sim card to a Portuguese pay as you go sim card. Texts with in Portugal 11 centimos and 22 centimos overseas. The cost of the sim plus €10 calls is just €10. Minimum topup €7.50.

  hugh144 19:32 27 Aug 2008

Thanks both - though I'm still a bit confused!

  stlucia 20:06 27 Aug 2008

Most (all?) UK mobile phones are locked in to the network that they were sold for, so need to be unlocked if you want to use another network's card in them. As woodchip has said, it doesn't cost much, and can be done many places -- I got mine unlocked by Orange (my provider) for £20 so I could use overseas pay-as-you-go SIM cards when I'm abroad and, thus, pay only local rates.

Your NZ friend's phone may already be unlocked, because not all countries sell them locked. But he needs to check what his present provider charges for "roaming" calls from UK to NZ, compared with what a British pay-as-you-go SIM card will charge for the same call. He may find UK providers are more expensive :-(

  hugh144 20:25 27 Aug 2008

Many thanks to you all for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.

  BT 07:50 28 Aug 2008

There are lots of FREE Sim cards available

click here

  Picklefactory 08:03 28 Aug 2008

Easy check for your friend to see if their phone is locked to a network, is to borrow another SIM from a different network to their own, and see if phone boots correctly. Not all phones are locked, none of my last 3 phones have been locked, all on contract too, and I do exactly what your friend is planning. I've bought local SIM in USA and, only recently, in Turkey, with no issue at all. Regarding contact to NZ, however, I don't know who offers the best tarriff, but he might want to consider buying an international phone card. These are a prepaid card sold in many newsagents where you have a choice of calling a free phone number, entering a code from your card then dialling your number of choice or there will also be a selection local rate numbers you can call instead of the free phone. The difference being the freephone number will give you less call time than the local rate number. My partner is Polish, and uses these all the time to call Poland, much cheaper than either texting or calling on standard tarriffs.

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