I will travel from USA to London in Aug. I want to buy an iPad in USA which will work with a data sim card, which I assume to be available in London.


  1. Which type of iPad has the highest probability of working with a data sim card bought in London?
  2. Also, once I land in London with my iPad, what would be an optimal type of data sim card?

I hope to find people who are walking around in London now with a data sim card in their iPad. I'd like to find out how happy they are with the service and any pitfalls which might await me.

I have studied this page; it told me to contact my carrier, so I called T-Mobile USA and found them not to be knowledgeable. I spent lots of time on their site and talking to phone support. Also I tried contacting T-Mobile UK via their website and gave up after it seemed they want me to have a UK phone to set up an account.

  • General rule - get an unlocked ipad (no carrier lock), then get whoever offers the cheapest data PAYG (pay as you go = pre-paid) sim at the time when you land. What that might be will vary over time, depending on price wars and special deals!
    – Gagravarr
    Jul 5, 2014 at 22:03
  • travel.stackexchange.com/questions/48308/… - related with regards to SIM.
    – CMaster
    Jul 26, 2015 at 23:31

1 Answer 1


The recently released iPad Air and second-gen iPad Mini have the widest possible 3G/4G coverage. Either of the two (not Wi-Fi only) variants of these models will get 4G connectivity with 3, EE, O2 and Vodafone, where available.

You can check 4G connectivity by comparing the LTE frequency bands of the device to the LTE frequency bands of the mobile network operators.

Checking 3G connectivty is a bit more complicated, but each of these devices has all the necessary frequency bands, and most high-end devices sold in the US have been capable of 3G worldwide for many years.

Older U.S. iPads may only get HSDPA (not terribly bad) or even EDGE (slow) speeds on some UK networks.

TL;DR: My advice is to buy the iPad Air or 2nd gen iPad Mini from the carrier you normally use in the U.S. It will Just Work and will get the highest possible speeds when you get to the UK and insert a UK SIM card.

  • 1
    OP might have to specifically mention to the Apple store that they do not intend to use the device in the. US in order to avoid a version of the device locked to a specific carrier. Even though it probably will be an unlocked device, it would be a better idea to confirm this before the purchase is made. +1 nonetheless. Jul 6, 2014 at 21:18

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