I'm from the United States, and I currently have an iPhone 4s on the Sprint network. In late September (2013), I'll be flying to the UK for a year of studying abroad at Oxford University until June (2014). My Sprint contract expires towards the end of October 2013. I'd like to use my iPhone in the UK instead of getting a new phone, so here are my questions:

  1. Can I use my current American iPhone on a UK phone network?

  2. If so, what UK phone network would be the best choice for a short-term (aprox 9 month) plan?

  3. What is my best bet (web service, phone apps, calling plan, etc.) for making international voice calls back to the US?

closed as not a real question by user3470, user1712, Karlson, Vince, Ankur Banerjee May 14 '13 at 21:29

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  • Welcome to travel.SE. Please review the FAQ for additional information and asking questions. As it stands your question asks for best option which is not constructive. Also. Do you know if your phone is GSM capable? Sprint in the US is CDMA network. – Karlson May 14 '13 at 17:55
  • @Karlson That's not strictly true. There are various gradations of "Worldmode" phones as Sprint calls them that are capable of 850/900/1800/1900 GSM and 2100 UMTS, even if they default to 850/1900 CDMA in North America. The iPhone 4S among them. – choster May 14 '13 at 18:48
  • @choster Which means that iPhone4 is GSM capable. Just not enabled on the US network. And 850/1900 GSM would be useless in Europe... – Karlson May 14 '13 at 18:49
  • @Karlson Sorry, I misread your comment initially. But a lot of people think there is a binary distinction between GSM-descended and CDMA-descended networks and phones, when in fact the situation is more complex. – choster May 14 '13 at 19:14

1) Yes your phone can work overseas. With Sprint it seems that you will have to request for them to unlock the phone for international use. They appear to have a requirement that you are an existing customer in good standing - which I take to mean that you pay your bills. Call Sprint Worldwide Care on 888.226.7212 to get it done.

2) Plenty of the uk operators do Pay as you go plans, or monthly plans depending on what you're after in a plan.

e.g. O2 Pay and go

20 pounds - 250 mins, 2500 texts and 500MB data (doubles after 3 months)

Three Pay as you go

15 pounds - 300 minutes, 3000 texts, All-you-can-eat data

etc. Shop around for what you are after. Sims for these companies should be free (or cheap - 99c) according to UK friends.

There is aslo t-mobile, giffgaff and others.

3) Viber is an awesome app. Though there is a UK phone co called Lebara who appear to have US calling included in their 29 pound plan. So that could be an option.

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