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I'm going to be out of the country traveling to London, Paris, and Jersey. I've got a SIM card that will easily cover voice in all three places.

What I don't have is a good solution for data in all three places, aside from at the hotel. But as a real vacation, I want to be able to snap a picture and email it.

Last time I did a multi-country trip, I grabbed a USB dongle in Germany, pulled the SIM card, and used it for data only. But that broke down once in Switzerland and Austria. After that, I grabbed a rental one in Iceland. While that worked well enough, I'd much prefer to find one card that will cover the three countries -- and since I'll be spending equal time in each, I can't just pick the one that will cover most of the trip. As for time, it's ~1 week each.

What are my options these days?
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Shane Conder's profile photoOllie Cornes's profile photo
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For the UK, you could just buy one of these. Cheap, lots of data (3GB), and their data network is pretty good (HSPA). The credit expires after 3months. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Original-Broadband-Preloaded-Mobile-Devices/dp/B003Z0T3X2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332947297&sr=8-1

I tend to do this now when visiting countries, just buy a local pay-as-you-go SIM. Any kind of cross-country roaming SIM is usually complicated and expensive. I tried MAXRoam and it was a disaster - awful to deal with, and their pricing completely neglects to mention they charge for data in minimum blocks, so the price you pay is higher than the actual total of data you used.

On a related note http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17539421
 
Thanks for the link. That's substantially cheaper than my last Europe trip where I paid about $50 US for a 1GB card. If I can get something like that in each country, then swapping data SIMs is totally reasonable.
 
I agree. I was in NYC in Nov and bought a SIM in a store (AT&T I think) and it was a joy to pay $25 and just use as much data as I liked without worrying about crazy bills. I once had a £750/$1000 bill for one-month of roaming data, so I'm very cautious these days. The UK is easy, but can't help with the others I'm afraid!
 
Yeah, the voice SIM I have recently (well, a year or so ago) added data. Granted, it works basically anywhere, but 2 cents per 10KB comes out to over $2,000 per gigabyte. No thanks. At least incoming calls and texts are free. ;)
 
Yeah, most UK SIMs are just as bad (until the EU law change at least). My network charges over $3 for a MB. Their loss ultimately as I turn data off abroad and either use another company's SIM, or rely on wifi.
 
MaxRoam is the sort of thing I was looking for, but 65 cents per megabyte is also terribly expensive; $665 for a gigabyte. I don't mind paying for service -- the 3 SIM card is on the cheap end of things, I'd even pay a little more than that. But paying $5 or so per image just to upload? Nah; I'll pass.
 
When I first got a MAXRoam SIM I checked my emails a few times abroad (no bitmaps or media) and €30 of credit was gone in hours. I couldn't understand why as I'd used nowhere near the data I bought. It turned out they charged in 100KB increments. So every time I used 1KB, 5KB, 10KB, they rounded it up to 100KB (!). I got into an argument with the CEO on email about why this was 100% stupid and bad for customers. I gather since then they have dropped it to 10KB, but the lack of transparency and lack of understanding of why it was a problem left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And if you have an app that uses 1KB regularly, you could (theoretically) be charged ten times more than you expect. It seems most sensible networks round to the nearest 1KB which is much more sensible.
 
Nice. So, like an IM app might end up costing closer to $6,000 per GB to use due to the rounding up billing. Pfft.

I understand roaming across so many carriers costs more than domestic data, but it can't cost that much more...
 
My particular frustration is that I'm with Orange in the UK, who also operate in France. When I go to France I get charged absurd high roaming rates, when it's the same organisation. I'm very pleased the EU is price capping the whole industry.
 
That would be frustrating.

AT&Ts international data plans start at $1/MB -- over $1,000 per GB -- but go up to around $20,000 per GB. Crazy.
 
And apparently that's cheap. T-mobile starts at $15,000 per GB. sigh Makes the 3 preloaded card seem practically free. I just need to find something like that for France and Jersey now.
 
You have the advantage with the UK that you can walk into a Three/Orange/O2/Vodafone store and just ask for a PAYG SIM "for an iPad" and they will sell you one. Three's deals seem to be the best, and their data network often comes out top too. They have stores all over London.

In non-English speaking countries I find it more tricky as hard to explain what I need. I got sold completely the wrong product last time I tried to get one in an Orange store in Paris.
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