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Hi - hoping someone can help with this question. I will pick up a SIM card in ROI before heading into NI and then back to ROI. I seem to recall that a Tesco SIM from ROI will work in NI, but at a slightly higher rate for each minute. no luck finding this info on their website...
Can anyone tell me for certain? If I can't do this with Tesco, what about O2 or one of the others?
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Thank you. If I want to make any international calls or texts while in NI using Tesco, can I still do that and pay a higher rate?
I have noticed that you can purchase Tesco SIMS on eBay. Has anyone tried this? Price is $8 to $10.
I am wondering if I could register online with Tesco, top up, and then just insert the SIM when I arrive to activate it. Would save the hassle of having to find a Tesco store when I arrive.
This is a great racket for whoever is doing this in Ireland, since the cards are free there. However, if it saves me some hassle my first day in Ireland, then probably worth it.
Also, I understand that my Verizon iPhone 5S is unlocked and has quad band GSM capability, but have not tested that. Has anyone tried it with this phone? (Took an old Android phone last year, and that worked, but no data!)
The Tesco SIMs are free WITH a 10 Euro 'Top Up', but I think they charge 2 or 3 Euro, if you just buy the SIM. Still, that's not a bad mark up ...
You can test your IPhone by inserting ANY SIM (T-Mobile, or AT&T), if you have a friend who uses either of those networks. Might not be a bad idea, as it will familiarize you with the process. Just be aware that the IPhone uses a 'MICRO' SIM card. I had difficulty finding a mini SIM at Tesco for my Nokia Lumina 900, while I was in Ireland, in June. One Tesco shop told me that they only offered 'Full-Size' SIM cards. Don't know if that's true, as I have an old Tesco Mini-SIM from the UK . . .
Years ago, I bought a Vodaphone SIM on Ebay, as I wanted/needed to know my Cell Number before I left (Elderly Parents) and have managed to keep that number active for the last 8 years, or so. It has only been the last year or so that Vodaphone allowed on-line 'Top Ups' using a US-Issued Credit Card. NOT sure if Tesco does, or not.
I usually carry a second phone, as well, that I load with a Tesco SIM, for the cheaper rates calling home, to the US -- and because it generally has better coverage, geographically.
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My son and his wife just got back from Ireland and that's the deal they got. They were really pleased after they got through the learning curve.
I think is the better option is rent a cell phone in Ireland. If you have a good price ;)"Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living." Traveler with Krakowdirect.
I am currently in Ireland. Purchased a Tesco SIM on eBay before leaving so I would know my number ahead of time. Popped it in while in flight, and it worked right away once we landed. I did have to enter the unlock code provided by Tesco that came with the SIM card. My phone is a Verizon iPhone 5S. Both voice and data work well. (Although I had some difficulty figuring out how to dial the phone in Northern Ireland... but that was all my own fault. No issues in the Republic of Ireland.) I did not have to ask Verizon to do anything to unlock it - they indicated this iPhone is factory unlocked, and apparently that is accurate.
Husband has a Verizon Samsung Galaxy SIII. Voice works fine, but no data. I expected that since I had the same issue last year with the same phone using an O2 SIM card - not sure why that is. I suspect the data feature is locked on that phone.
Hope someone finds this helpful!
Of course another option is to buy a MiFi pronounced Me Fee which is a little mobile / cellular device gizmo with a 4g sim card that sets up a wifi hot spot where ever you are in Ireland. Then, you can use your American smartphone to make and receive calls using Skype, Facebook Messenger whether you are in your car, hotel etc. The mobile wifi hotspot can also be shared at the same time by one or two other members of your party at the same time or you can use it for your laptop or tablet. I travel around Europe quite a lot and use an unlocked MiFi. If I am in France, Germany, Brussels etc for a week or more, I just buy a local data sim card and use my own smart phone to stay in touch seamlessly.
Here's a link to a Vodafone product for 39 Euros which allows a daily data allowance of 500Mb. http://shop.vodafone.ie/shop/mobile-broadband/vodafone-mobile-wifi-r209 .
But there are many other options from all of the other providers. Just Google MiFi Ireland. Just another option! Kind regards, Stuart
Stuart McNamara Irish Whiskey Writer - Editor in Chief: IrishWhiskey.Com , http://IrishWhiskey.Fr , http://WhiskeyTrail.ie , http://DublinWhiskeyTrail.ie Twitter.com/IrelandandIrish