Mobile Phone: SIM Card and Mobile Operators in Britain

When Going to UK – A Wee Guide for International Students

Can you imagine going to country, in this case the UK, and not using your mobile phone? You are right, it is almost impossible. We rely so much on our phone these days. Have you asked yourself what might be the best thing to do? Obviously, you cannot use your SIM card, it will cost you a fortune. Try to find a local mobile operator in your first days. But which one is the best, the cheapest or has the best deals?There are different options you can choose from, depending on your needs and duration of your stay. You could either use a pre-paid SIM card. In other words “Pay as you go” – you top up a SIM card with the required amount (£5, £10,…). Furthermore, I think it is a good way in keeping an eye on your spending, as you run out of your credit, you top up and see how much you spent in what time period. I personally just used my UK SIM card (Lycamobile) for texting one friend who didn’t have Whatsapp, for some calls, and rarely used the mobile data. For the entire 6 months, I was looking for Wi-Fi (in town, bus, coffee shops, at work, at home) and guess what I survived. I’ve only toped up up to £30. It is ideal for students, who are here for a short period (a few months) and there is no binding contract.

The other option is to find a nice deal and buy a post-paid SIM card with contracts. Under a contract plan, you will get free minutes, texts, and mobile data and you pay a fixed monthly rate. But be careful with the terms and conditions, especially when terminating a contract. Apart from that, check their websites or just pop in one of their stores and find yourself a nice deal. Bear in mind that they want you to sign up a contract, so do your homework first. Contracts are ideal for students, who stay longer than 12 months in the UK, rely on their phones, or travel a lot around UK, go for it. Some known operators here in the UK are:

Useful codes:

Phone Number:

  • landlines: area code (2 to 5 digits) + local number = total 10 digits
  • cell phones: 10 digits

Phone Books:


Hope this was helpful 😉

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