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What do you do about data roaming when you return to the UK?

(12 Posts)
RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 27-May-13 06:51:52

I'm heading back to the UK for 5 weeks over the summer. I live in HK and have an iphone on a local monthly contract.

On previous trips to the UK (pre-iphone) I've just turned my HK phone off and used a cheap PAYG UK phone without internet, but it would be really convenient to have data roaming as neither my parents or DH's parents have wifi. However, i know that data roaming charges are insane.

Just wondering what other people have done? Should I just get a UK PAYG SIM when I get to the UK and stick it in my iphone (although this will then make my HK number unavailable for a month which isnt ideal) or has anyone managed to negotiate a reasonable rate with their home country (i.e. overseas) supplier for a pre-agreed period? Is there another solution I'm overlooking?

Terrorvision Mon 27-May-13 06:53:18


Terrorvision Mon 27-May-13 06:53:42

Watching with interest rather

Salbertina Mon 27-May-13 07:29:18

I took to hovering in doorways of Pret and the like for free wifi. Also stations. Can't remember name of provider but accessible in many places.

PeriPathetic Mon 27-May-13 07:36:19

Turn it off! And buy an iPad grin
Seriously, it would probably work out cheaper than data roaming.
I turn it off on my iPhone but can still get calls and messages. And I use the ipad for surfing at parents. I get a dongle from 3 in the uk.
Otherwise I get a PAYG SIM for the phone.

ArthurPewty Mon 27-May-13 07:44:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 27-May-13 09:18:16

I switch off roaming and use wifi at my parents / in cafes etc, either on iPhone or an ipad. Been stung too many times with crazy roaming charges. I managed for years without checking emails / mumsnet / Facebook etc outside the house, sure I can manage for a few weeks.....

butterfliesinmytummy Mon 27-May-13 09:19:58

Richman, I'm assuming that your parents or your dh's parents have Internet via adsl etc? Can you keep up to date with emails on their pc?

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 27-May-13 12:35:32

I kind

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 27-May-13 12:41:55

Sorry. Hit post. butterflies i find there has been a mind shift over the last few years so that it is assumed that you can check everything real time- I know no one who doesn't have a smartphone. Therefore people email or fb at short notice ( a lot of my friends now use whatsapp or fb messenger instead of texting) to amend plans or arrange stuff at short notice. also not having Internet when out and about for maps, looking up shops and restaurants etc is kind of annoying.

LadybirdsAreFab Mon 27-May-13 12:46:19

DH bought sim cards with data roaming last Summer and did the same again last month. Bought for about 10 or 15 pounds and then when he topped up the money, he got a certain amount of data. I don't think he spent much more than 30 pounds and he is a heavy user of data roaming. This time he bought a cheap smartphone for about 30 pounds and popped the sim into that so that he had is UAE phone available.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 27-May-13 14:13:42

Thanks all. DH just pointed out that we have a mini ipad that he bought but doesn't really use, so might take that and just buy a dongle when I get there.

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