What is the best way to have about 500 Mbytes of internet data (mainly maps and communications ) for a short visit to London ?

i.e My local SIM rates is too expensive .

1 Answer 1


You can purchase a "pay as you go" SIM with a data "pack" or "bundle" on arrival from a mobile phone shop, convenience shop or vending machine (some airports and train stations). You can expect to pay £1 for the SIM (free SIMs are available but difficult to obtain if you don't have a UK postal address) and £10 for a 500MB data pack (which will also include a number of voice minutes and texts).

In general, there are 3 types of mobile phone shop:

  • Network-owned shops (currently O2, Three, Vodafone, EE/Orange/T-Mobile)
  • MNVOs (Virgin Mobile, Tesco, Lebara)
  • Independents (Carphone Warehouse, etc.)

An independent retailer is likely to carry SIMs from multiple networks and MNVOs, allowing you to compare multiple options. For example, http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/sims/pay-as-you-go/pay-as-you-go-sims shows the SIMs and data packs available from Carphone Warehouse (the largest independent retailer). If you buy from a specialist (network or independent) shop rather than a convenience shop then they will be able to ensure that the SIM data connection works correctly with your phone.

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