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Making calls and phone usage

Hi!! I am writing to find out how to use phones in the United Kingdom. (Both in Scotland and England.) I am from the United States and I'd like to know if I could use my regular cell phone while visiting there or if it is recommended to buy an international phone for making calls. If an international phone for making calls is recommended, how do they work, here can I get one and how long do they last? Lastly, when dialing in the U.K., what numbers do I dial? Thanks, Nichonar


  • LochNessPhotographyLochNessPhotography Member ✭✭✭
    Hi @NicPe

    If your cellphone isn't locked to any particular network then you might be better off buying a pay as you go sim or even signing up to one of the rolling contract sim only deals you can get over here. That means you can use it as a 'local' and not worry too much about international dialling. 

    I use Smarty for one of my sim cards and it's very reasonably priced. Coverage is good and it's easy enough to top it up if you're using loads of data when you're out and about. Referral link here if you want to use it. It's easy enough to cancel once you've gone back home too. You can sign up on a month by month basis rather than getting trapped in a contract. 

    If you check with your own cell provider they should be able to tell you whether you can use your phone abroad, they may chuck on extra charges if you use the phone while abroad so check that too. 

    When you're in the UK most numbers start with 01 (020 if you're in London) and mobiles start with 07. If you're dialling a landline from a mobile you need to use the full number including dialling code,  for example: 01234 123 456. 

  • NicPeNicPe Member ✭✭
    What is a pay-as-you-go sim? What is a rolling contract sim? 
  • LochNessPhotographyLochNessPhotography Member ✭✭✭

    Pay as you Go is a contract free option for a sim card. You can get a SIM Card for free from most mobile phone providers over here and then you just add money to it as and when you need. 

    Rolling Contract is similar to the above. Except you sign up for a month by month contract. You can usually cancel after a month without any penalty charges or any obligation to stay with them. 

    GiffGaff and Smarty are two of the best companies for this option in my experience. 
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