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Berkeley, CA

Wish we had UK plan pricing in the USA

I'm going to London for business for a week this summer. I still have the Vodaphone UK iPad SIM I used when I was there in 2011, but I was sure that it had been deactivated and I'd have to pay £10 to get a new SIM and then £30 for 250mb of internet. Well, turns out my SIM is still active and I can pay £5 for 250MB of internet that is good for a month, and I can do it before I leave to make sure everything it good to go. Meanwhile, my iPhone (which is now unlocked-it wasn't last time) can get a PAYG SIM for £10 that will give me 500MB of internet that doesn't expire, 300 text messages, as well as phone calls for 25p/minute. The text messages are pointless, but the phone calsl are nice JIC I need to make a short one. They won't mail me a SIM overseas, understandably, so I'll have to do it when I get there.

For giggles, I looked at what would happen if I were a London resident who was coming to San Francisco for a week. I can get a $15 250MB iPad SIM. That's relatively cheap, but still 2x the UK rate.

Smartphones require a data plan, and the cheapest PAYG plan that allows data is the $25/month plan. That gives me unlimited texts and 250 minutes, which is overkill for a traveler. Presuming I want the 500MB of data I can either get the $15 plan which is 200mb, then go over and pay $15 more, or get a $25, 1GB plan. The $25 one is cheaper, so let's go with that.

So, in the end--vodaphone is £15/mo ($23) for both devices. AT&T will run you $65 for the same thing. To get equal data amounts would cost me £25/month.

And this is just Vodaphone! Orange gives you 1GB of data for £10/month on both iPhones and iPads. Virgin Mobile gives you unlimited data for only £10.

If only they'd break up the oligopoly here...
I use Linux, OS X, iOS and Windows. Let the OS wars die.