Its hard to imagine navigating, choosing a restaurant or communicating with friends without a smartphone. So when travelling to the UK recently, I considered options for purchasing a prepaid SIM card with data. On previous trips I’ve visited carrier shops (EE) to activate a SIM card, but this requires an extra trip and time. It also requires finding a store without data. Annoying.
So I was glad to learn about vending machines (VendPoint) that sell SIMs in many London area airports. They have a selection from a few different service providers like Three, EE, and Lyca with a few different packages each.
Since I was connecting to a domestic UK flight, I purchased a SIM from a machine in the connections area of Terminal 5 (had to look back and to the left I walked out of the corridor). I chose the £20 Three SIM that includes 300 UK minutes, 3000 UK texts and unlimited data.
It was pre-activated so all I had to do was put it in my iPhone to start the service. It worked great while I was in Northern Ireland, and roaming was included when I visited the Republic of Ireland, too. I used about 4GB of data over two weeks without issue. Although Three notes tethering is not included, I was able to turn on and use Personal Hotspot on my phone without issue as well.