Getting a UK mobile phone and UK SIM card

Mobile Phones

All students coming to the UK will require a mobile phone. Rather than using their foreign SIM, it can be cheaper to buy a pre-paid UK SIM card.
Phone packages can be:

  • Pay Monthly. You sign a contract for a minimum period, usually 12 or 18 months. You choose a suitable tariff (price plan) and receive a bill every month.
  • Pay-As-You-Go. You buy credit (talking time) in advance. When it runs out, you buy more credit. There are no contracts or bills.
  • SIM Only. You use your old phone and put a new UK SIM card in it. This is usually cheaper than normal pay monthly packages.

Main UK Networks
3VodafoneO2EEVirgin Mobile
Mobile Phone Shops in the City Centre
You’ll find numerous mobile phone shops in WestQuay Shopping Centre and on Above Bar Street.
SIM Cards
See Reception for advice about where to buy SIM cards, or we have free Lebara SIM cards available in Reception

International Phonecards & Access Numbers

Some companies provide international access numbers (no card or contract needed). These include: &

UK Phone Numbers (a quick guide)

If it begins… the number is usually…
07 – a mobile phone
01 or 02 – a landline telephone or fax number (eg. 0161 592 4836). The area code comes first. For example, 0161 is for Manchester.
0845 or 0844 – a non-geographic number used by a company (local rate)
0870 or 0871 – a non-geographic number used by a company (national rate)
0800 or 0808 – a freephone number (free from landlines, but not always from a mobile)
09 – premium rate. Be careful – these can be very expensive!

Calling the UK from another Country

Use +44 and remove the first ‘0’. For example, to call the Lewis School of English from a UK phone, you can dial 023 8022 8203, but to call from another country, the number is +44 23 8022 8203.

Useful links

A complete UK mobile phone guide

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