Pay-as-you-go unlimited data for first-gen iPhone in the UK?
September 11, 2008 8:16 AM   Subscribe

I've got an unlocked iPhone (first-gen) running 1.1.4. Currently, I use AT&T's PAYG w/ Unlimited MediaNet to get unlimited data for $20/month. I'll soon be going to the UK, and I'd like to set up a similar arrangement. I'd like some advice as to how to accomplish this.

I rarely make calls (<10 a month), and I almost never send texts -- what I really want is unlimited data on my iPhone. I'm having a hard time figuring out what (if any) pay-as-you-go tariffs in the UK will allow me to do this.

Since I've got a first-gen iPhone, I can't just use any old 3G SIM, so I'd like any recommendations as to what networks have plans that allow for unlimited EDGE usage. I'm willing to deal with GPRS if I have to, but EDGE is definitely preferred.

(I say "unlimited", but realistically I'm not gonna use more than 5GB/month, so reasonable caps are fine.)

Thanks in advance!
posted by -1 to Technology (9 answers total)
i'm not aware of any uk network offering reasonably-priced data bundles on a pay as you go basis, 2g or 3g. but i may be wrong.
posted by ascullion at 8:23 AM on September 11, 2008

There isn't any EDGE network in most of the UK. If you are going to be in London you get good free wifi across huge swathes of Zone 1 if you have a registered 02 iPhone.

iPhone Pay As You Go launches on September 16th in the UK. It gives you free (depending on how much you spend on calls) data for 12 months. Unless they offer the iPhone SIM withouyt the phone, and depending on how long you will be here for, I would sell your old iPhone on eBay and buy a new 3G iPhone from 02 when you get here.
posted by roofus at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2008

O2 are going to be your best bet as they are the iPhone carrier here and therefore they deployed a whole bunch of EDGE stations over the last year.

O2 do have a Pay Monthly tarrif that does not have a contract term, called simplicity. You sign up as you would a regular contract but you can cancel it at any time with one month's notice. You don't get a handset, obviously, just a SIM card.

Their cheapest rate is £15 a month, last time I checked, and you can add the unlimited web bolt-on for £7.50 a month.

Alternatively, they do provide the same unlimited web bolt on to Pay As You Go customers.
posted by jon4009 at 8:40 AM on September 11, 2008

Oh and... good luck finding any cellphone provider in this country that will give you 5gb a month :) Even Vodafone's dedicated USB 3G modem (£15 a month with an 18 month contract) only gives you 3gb/mo.
posted by jon4009 at 8:43 AM on September 11, 2008

Response by poster: Well 5GB was just a figure I pulled from thin air. :D

My usage has so far always been <>
The O2 thing is interesting. I'll have to look into that more (the 200MB "fair use" policy makes me antsy, but it's not a deal-breaker.)

As I said, GPRS is an acceptable (if slow) alternative, so if anyone knows any plans that will let me use that instead of EDGE, that'd work too. I mostly do e-mail, so the speed isn't that big of an issue.

Thanks for the tips so far!
posted by -1 at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2008

Response by poster: I also noticed this on O2's site -- would this work (possibly without the 200MB 'soft' cap?)
posted by -1 at 9:05 AM on September 11, 2008

There isn't any EDGE network in most of the UK.

that's just not true, both orange and o2 - the networks i have knowledge of - have national EDGE coverage
posted by ascullion at 12:59 PM on September 11, 2008

Based on my own experience of 02, EDGE coverage is very sporadic even in city centres. I was using a non-3G phone until June and it was frustratingly slow and patchy for data. This coverage map from 02 may be helpful:
posted by roofus at 1:17 AM on September 12, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks for the map! Judging by what they have online, the city I'll be in has excellent coverage -- so I'm betting there's EDGE available. If not... well... GPRS ain't _that_ bad...
posted by -1 at 9:07 AM on September 12, 2008

« Older Electric kettles with a water reservoir   |   Why cover up logos on TV shows? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.