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Mobile networks in the Highlands

I was wondering which mobile network has the best coverage in the Scottish Highlands? I am trying to decide whether I should purchase a Travel Sim in Australia or purchase a sim card when I arrive in Inverness.  The Travel Sims seem to use Vodafone network and I'm uncertain that this is the best network for the Highlands. Would be grateful for any assistance.

Answers

  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    Hello @Shutterbug, I am a UK resident and can tell you from my monthlong highland camping experience to not get an O2/GiffGaff sim. I took 2 sim cards and the phone network named 3 gave me data when I most needed it at campsites.

    As per this coverage map, EE apparently performs best in the Highlands. Would be great if an EE user with extensive Highland travel experience could comment. Vodafone seems fairly OK too. Be prepared to go to many places without cell phone coverage (download offline maps), that is part of the Highland travel charm, especially when hiking. :smile:
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

  • Samantha_GrantSamantha_Grant VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    @shutterbug I'm with O2 and travel extensively around the far flung corners of Scotland throughout the year.  I've noticed a drastic improvement in their service in rural Scotland this past year.  Where in the past my iphone had been no more than a glorified camera the second I left Edinburgh I've started picking up 3G and even 4G when I travel to more remote parts which is nice.   I was surprised to pick up 3 and 4G quite regularly on Orkney recently as well us on chunks of the NC500, Cairngorms National Park and even at the Old Man of Storr on Skye. There are still lots of frustratingly slow (gprs) or signal free areas though. The providers should all have a service checker online so if you know where you're going maybe you could check to see who comes out best for the places you plan to visit? 


    I'm a Scottish travel blogger and freelance writer with an extensive knowledge of travelling in Scotland.  I'm always on the road exploring my wonderful country.  I love remote places, history and the great outdoors. 




  • HorizonsHorizons Member, VisitScotland Ambassador ✭✭✭✭
    There is some positive change on the mobile data coverage front. Seilebost on West Harris has historically had poor (if any) data coverage but Vodafone seems to have its 3G working in the last couple of days as per some locals. So between Vodafone and EE (the networks that work on West Harris to begin with, I'd be prepped with Vodafone).
    I'm Anirudh, an Indian travel blogger who has explored a lot of Scotland by public transport. My blog. Find me on Facebook | Instagram

    Best of Scotland in 1 week itinerary (fully by public transport)

    My Scotland travels (includes EdinburghSkye, HarrisMullArranOrkneyLoch Lomond, Islay, Oban, Speyside)

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