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RE: Cell Phones


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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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Elizabeth


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Irish Sim cards work roaming charge free (you pay the same rate as in the south) on the Island of Ireland.. UK sim cards charge roaming rates in the Republic with the exception of "3" (who just don't give the discounted rates, so effectively do?)

Tesco is my weapon of choice with Meteor, then "3" then possibly 02 and vodafone some distance behind.

The only thing you will find is that the 2cent/min international calls will not transfer north, neither will Data.. so provided you only use it up there for calls and texts within Ireland and UK you will not pay any more than you would down here.

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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? 



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Elizabeth


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Yes but not sure of the rates?

It's the data aspect that is the real sting in the tail.. if you have an unlocked phone it might be worth having a sim for each place,, there is a reason why I have been known as Tony2phones for about 20 years.. Both used to be Tesco but as I would now have to pay to receive calls on my UK phone using them I have changed that to "3" network but I keep Tesco for the Irish phone as the rates and coverage are unbeatable (pay as you go).


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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!)



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Elizabeth


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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 . . .confuse  confuse

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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Roy


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With the Tesco 10 euro top off still comes with a 10 euro bonus- it's time limited (30 days) and good for domestic calls I believe. My regular minutes do not expire, they are still there from year to year. My phone is back in Ireland now, being used by on of my sister-in-laws.

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Roy


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The 10Euro double up has ended for new customers (remains in place for existing customers).. The deal now is that if you top up by E15 all Irish calls and texts are "Free" and the credit can be used for Data and international calls (30 days and limits apply)

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Roy


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Thanks for the update Tony!

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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.



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Roy


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Do the minutes continue to carry over or are they time limited Tony?

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Roy


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I think is the better option is rent a cell phone in Ireland. If you have a good price ;)
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Roy, minutes carry as paid but the "Free" allowance is 30 days limited.. as you have an old sim then you can stay on the "Double credit" option,,

The benefit of the new deal could be to buy E10 data credit and keep E5 of the 15 for the 2cent calls abroad if you are over less than 30 days?

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Roy


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Most of the calls/tests we make are within Ireland.

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Roy


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RE: Cell Phones - UPDATE


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!



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Elizabeth


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RE: Cell Phones


Quite possible the "Roaming data" feature is set as disabled..

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Hi folks,

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 .Vodafone MiFi

But there are many other options from all of the other providers. Just Google MiFi Ireland.

Just another option!

Kind regards,

Stuart



-- Edited by Irish Whiskey on Sunday 17th of January 2016 05:10:19 AM

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I am heading back to Ireland this Spring. I went last year and rented through Hertz who had an unlimited data Wi-Fi unit that turned out to be reasonable as it was simple to use. That might be an option for you to consider. As far as a cellphone to use in Ireland I was able to rent one from Fintan Murray. I used Fintan's transfer and pilot service in Dublin and he also rents phones. Very reasonable for both services. His website is www.corporatetransfers.ie I plan to use him again this year and I am starting my planning now. Looking at some car rental offers as well. Best one I found last year was a Hertz rental through www.easytourireland.com that had all the insurances included in the price. They sent me an email recently telling me I could get a free GPS if I booked early. Still checking around. Hope the above helps you.

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Yes, I forgot to mention that many of the hire car companies now offer these MiFi units with their cars. As with most things hire car related (GPS baby seats etc) it's much cheaper to buy in Ireland when you arrive rather than rent them from the car hire company. Good companies to check out are Halfords and Car Phone Ware House which are in the shopping malls in many large Irish towns.

Kind regards, Stuart

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I used to use the mifi units but now just use the mobile wifi function on my Android phone. The Android also serves as sat nav using google maps and the GPS function.

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I'm always paying more for calling from Ireland to my family in Scotland. Are the Tesco sims cheap?

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Tesco sim's are free with E15 credit calls to UK land lines are either 1 or 2 cent /min you get E15 free credit for Irish calls (mobile or land line) and you can use some of the E15 top up you start with to buy a data bundle.

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Thanks Tony!



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Roy


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We've been using a Tesco phone for about 5-6 years now. It's a very basic flip phone but it meets our needs. I use my iPhone in airplane mode as a wifi device including the ability to iMessage.

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Roy


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I saw somewhere, (maybe here can 't remember my head hurts) to buy an unlocked phone for cheap somewhere. I did off amazon for about 40usd. It's a blu very basic unlocked gsm. So now that i'm vested already into that phone- what are my best options for it's use once landing in Dublin. I wouln't need a whole lot of airtime. Probably something like 60 minutes would suffice as I would only be using it for very brief calls to my Dad who I am meeting there and calling ahead confirmations and maybe asking for directions to b&bs. I'm not a phone person anyway. Just want something affordable, and reliable to activate an unlocked gsm phone that i have already purchased. If I find me pot of gold I promise to share :) Thank you.

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Finn



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P.S. Can i just purchase a sims card and prepay for 60min. use where it'll just run out and I'll know i need to purchase another one. I don't want to get back home and have some ridiculous bill for roaming charges or whatever that i'm completely unaware about ever happening. thank you!

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Finn



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I know all of you have answered all of the questions I've asked. I just haven't spent enough time reviewing the answers. Now I'm taking the time and
for me it seems to go to tesco and buy a prepaid sims. I know they have cheap phones as well, but I'm already in for an unlocked one I bought back
here. So it seems that's my best bet. Buy the cheapest sims card available and if i run out just revisit tesco. My only other question is should i buy
a long distance card here to use with that phone for texting my friends back in the states, namely the one watching over my things while I'm gone? My
only internet use availability will be where i'm staying (if they have it which my hotel will but not sure about b&bs) and/or internet cafes (are there many
of these in ireland and are they safe, secure and affordable for checking in on facebook and email servers?

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Finn

Roy


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Most pubs/restaurants have free wi-fi, just ask for the password.


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Roy


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I figured as such Roy but i don't have personal access. I'm not bringing my laptop. It's old and had most of my photography on it.
Don't want to carry it around with me either and have a chance of it breaking entirely or worse stolen. I don't have a tablet or a smart phone.
I just use a simple flip phone at home.

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Finn

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