by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Hi - visiting the UK for a longish trip and worked out buying cheap PAYG phones and top-up cards cheaper than what the US provider would charge for international roaming so I had a relative in the UK buy one with an EE SIM and topup and send it to me..  

 

I'd really like to set up the phone  here in the US and have it operable right away on landing. I have good wifi coverage at home but I'm pretty sure the few phones I've set up use network data initially, and I surely don't want to pay what EE will charge me to use what is, to them, international data coverage.

 

So does anybody know if I can setup here and start using wifi immediately without paying roaming?  Not sure how quickly I'll get to good wifi in the UK to do it if I wait, as most of my early stops are in fairly remote areas.  Thanks.

 

 

17 REPLIES 17
by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

If you turn the device into airplane mode (If the device has airplane mode) then turn WiFi on then you can do all the setting up via wifi without the worry of any data being used.

 

Have a good trip in sunny old England (This is not a joke anymore it is actually blooming hot over here at the moment, blooming Global Warming!)

 

What device do you have?

 

Where about you visiting?


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

  1. EE PAYG phones are set up to use immediately.
  2. If you start using it in the US you will be charged roaming rates.
  3. If you want to use it in UK for calling US it'll be charged at International Calls, but if you text CALL ABROAD to 150 you can get these at cheaper than standard rates.
  4. If you use it over WiFi in UK or US for data for the Internet, this has nowt to do with EE as you will not be using their mobile network.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Thanks - It's the little Alcatel Pixi 3 IIRC.  I'll try the airplane mode thing.  Pretty sure it should have it.

 

I'm actually looking for a semi-retirement pub or guest house (I grew up in England and have experience in the licensed trade so it's not some strange bucket-list whim, much though it may appear so) and have viewings lined up pretty much all along the eastern coast of the UK from Moray to Norfolk.  

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

One part of the UK I have never been to Norfolk.

 

Hope you find what your looking for.

 

Good area too, further North you go the cheaper it gets 😛


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

The intended use is within-UK calls once I get there.  I can use email or if necessary skype to contact the US.  

 

I certainly have no need to use it in the US to make calls etc, just to set it up with a few basic apps etc. using home wifi.

 

 

Right now (SIM installed) the phone display says something along the lines of "click to get started". I'm assuming I'll have to tell it who I am and sign into google etc so if I could impose a bit further to ask for clarification on what it means to be "setup to use immediately" I'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

This si just setting the phone up, like google account. It will ask you to sign into wifi at one stage of the process. Soon you pass the set up I would go straight into airplane mode.

 

This phone does have it I believe.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Just turn Mobile Data OFF, connect to your home WiFi & load whatever apps you need.

 

Setting up will only involve you giving your name & maybe registering at the manufacturer's & OS's sites over WiFi. It won't be making any calls or texts.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Thanks. Not actually trying to be dense honestly, but unless my memory is faulty every phone I've had (and, to be clear, these have all been monthly contract phones with one or other of the big national US carriers like Verizon, AT&T etc) have required quite a lengthy set up of entering personal data and agreeing to all kinds of policies and so on, plus downloading a lot of bloatware updates before getting to the main app screen where I can get into settings for mobile data/airplane mode, or even connect to wifi.  The last phone I set up went through 2GB of mobile data before I actually got to use it.  Now admittedly this was non-roaming network, but using up a good chunk of my monthly data allowance before I could get to even set up the wifi was a bit annoying. Doing that at international roaming rates would be ungodly expensive.

 

Is it maybe just as simple as PAYG phones aren't like that?  

 

Forgive my ignorance, but never had one of them and they are not even much of a "thing" over here to ask anyoine about.  They exist, but basically limited to the absolute worst credit risk or the most tinfoily of conspiracy theorists. Pity really.  The cheap phone/topup model would make a lot of sense to many consumers, but not too well known in this market.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

If you don't buy a PAYG Pack from your credit you can't possibly use mobile data with an EE PAYG SIM as mobile data is not bought on a per-unit basis.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

I have the EE everything 10 topup to begin with, which includes 500MB of data.  I have not however done any text setups to turn on roaming, so it's likely I'm safe if I have understood correctly. Yes?

by Brilliant Contributor
Brilliant Contributor

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?


@dmallind wrote:

I have the EE everything 10 topup to begin with, which includes 500MB of data.  I have not however done any text setups to turn on roaming, so it's likely I'm safe if I have understood correctly. Yes?


PAYG EE some have roaming activated by default.


BrendonH (Android Expert) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (Pie 9.0)
If I have helped please click the THUMB/SOLUTION buttons below
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Bugger.  Back to square one then.  I suppose my only option is to click get started and, if it doesn't let me get into settings to do wifi/airplane mode within a minute or so, shut down and take my chances on finding wifi in the UK ASAP?

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Hi @dmallind

 

If you are just using the phone on wifi only at the moment then just take the sim out. EE phones don't need any sim inserted to activate and you can activate the sim when you are in the UK .

 

The initial set up process on android phones is just entering your google account details.

 

Also to add if you want to top up online or via your phone you will need a UK bank card or something like a cashplus card.

 

Thanks,




To contact EE Customer Services dial 150 From your EE mobile or 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

EE standard opening hours are 8am to 9pm weekday, 8am to 8pm on weekends.
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?


@Northerner wrote:

if you want to top up online or via your phone you will need a UK bank card or something like a cashplus card.


However if you set up a recurring top-up you may use international bank cards: 

You don’t even need a UK bank account. If you’re travelling in the UK, you can set up a Recurring Top-Up with a card from abroad.

To set up Recurring Top-Ups, log in to My EE, call 150 or text REC to 150.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by dmallind Investigator
Investigator

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Thanks all for the help.  Set them up last night.  Much faster than contract phones, in the US at least, and as it turned out wifi was the second thing that popped up, then could switch to airplane mode right away just to be sure.  I checked and made sure no mobile data was used and 'twas so.

 

Much appreciated.  If this ever comes up again, now there is a precedent  I would have thought this was more common than it apparently is incidentally, but that may be because big online sellers like Carphone Warehouse will not take international credit cards even with a UK delivery address.  Why that is I have no idea.

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Good! Glad it all worked out OK.

 

We can never remember what it took to one-off set up our phones originally years ago.

__________________________________________________________________________________________
If you think I helped please feel free to hit the "Thumbs Up" button below.

To phone EE: The local rate landline number +44 207 362 0200 or Freephone +44 800 079 8586 - Option 1 for Mobiles; Option 2 for 4G WiFi; Option 3 for Home Broadband & EE TV.

ISPs: 1999: Freeserve 48K Dial-Up => 2005: Wanadoo 1 Meg BB => 2007: Orange 2 Meg BB => 2008: Orange 8 Meg LLU => 2010: Orange 16 Meg LLU => 2011: Orange 20 Meg WBC => 2014: EE 20 Meg WBC
by
EE Employee

Re: Setup in US before UK trip feasible?

Let's get started

Join the EE Community to ask, answer, learn and share.