Using iPAd on holiday in UK and France

Discussion in 'Australian iPad Forum' started by RoyBurton, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. RoyBurton

    RoyBurton
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    Hi, In 3 weeks I will be going on holiday to the UK and France and want to be able to buy a connection with a local server, so as to avoid the expensive Telstra international roaming charges. I am sure that someone will have experienced this problem and can help me. Any advice will be welcome. Roy
     
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN
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    The UK is easy. Walk into any mobile phone shop, select your PAYG (Pay As You Go) plan, pay - cash or credit, it's all the same, 3 minutes later you're outside and good to go. No credit checks, no wanting to see your passport, no wanting your telephone number or a UK address, no wanting to know what you ate for breakfast. In the UK, mobile 'phone competition is stiff and there are lots of great deals. You'll have no problem at all. All they're interested in is your money!! It's completely deregulated.

    In France, Members report it's a different matter altogether and very time consuming and problematic. Most have decided to abandon it and go for WiFi hotspots.

    Tim
     
  3. RoyBurton

    RoyBurton
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    Thanks Tim. I'm not familiar with WiFi hotspots. Can you explain please. Roy
     
  4. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN
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    In the UK and France (and most other countries) most hotels, malls, coffee shops, restaurants, trains, buses etc have free WiFi available. For example, in the UK, Starbucks, McDonalds offer free WiFi. Most hotels it's either free (get a code from reception) or you can pay a nominal fee. This obviates the need for 3G entirely. Of course, if you need connectivity when you're 'out and about' this doesn't help.

    If you're going to sign up for PAYG in the UK, I'd recommend the provider '3'. They have an all 3G network - so it's high speed everywhere. Most of the other providers have hybrid 2G/3G systems - with 3G only in urban areas. This discrepancy is due to a quirk of the licensing conditions - '3' were a late entrant and missed the original 2G round of licence approvals. You'll find cellular coverage is excellent in the UK, with very few blackspots. This, again, is a quirk of the original licensing provision. In 'the olden days' the UK had a nationalised phone system with a 'public service' provision requirement. So, when the original cellular licences were awarded the bidders were mandated to provide a specified coverage - including remote rural areas.

    Although the UK system is now fully private and entirely deregulated, that 'public service provision' mindset is still around.

    I'm not sure why it's so difficult to casually get a PAYG SIM card in France. Perhaps some French members can enlighten us but you'll find posts from several Members who, when touring in France with their iPads, gave up trying to get one there.

    Tim
     
  5. Rockbottom

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    I was in France a few weeks ago (I am from Canada). I meant to buy a monthly subscription but we did not have good wireless connection where we were (Gite in the country side). So we used wifi at bistro and then at hotels later in the trip. I even used free wifi in parcs in Paris.

    Sent from my iPad2 3G 32 gig / using iPF
     
  6. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Thanks for that information on WiFi. I suspect it may be the best choice for the OP in France.

    Tim
     
  7. RoyBurton

    RoyBurton
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    Hi Rockbottom
    Thanks for your advice. We will be staying in two hotels and I have written to them both regarding the availability of WiFi.
    Best wishes, Roy
     
  8. RoyBurton

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    Thanks for the explanation Tim. I had a vague idea that it was as you have explained. The trouble with all these modern terms is that you are expected to know what is being talked about, without ever having it explained.
    Best wishes, Roy
     
  9. Tim SPRACKLEN

    Tim SPRACKLEN
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    I hope you have a great vacation and let us know how you get on...

    Tim
     
  10. ellahenry

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    Can someone advise me if I need a special plug to charge my ipad1 bought in NZ, while I am in the UK?
     

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