Use Cell Phone in UK: How much does it cost? (Guide for travelers)

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Talking about the United Kingdom and knowing that there are many places to visit is surely one of the best things travelers can have in mind. There are many cities to visit, many historical places to see, and much more. But the question is, how can people use their cell phones in the UK? 

The question for people is how can they stay connected, what options they have available, and how can they access these services with ease? So, in case you are a traveler looking for guidance, this is for you. 

Can I use my cell phone in the United Kingdom?

For people who are planning on going to the UK, there aren’t many limitations if they have an open-band device. Unless people don’t have one, then this is something they need to consider when traveling.

But, in case you need to know more about the cellular bands available there, this is for you. Let’s see what are the bands which are mostly used in the United Kingdom varying from 2G to 5G.

5G bands5G 3400 (42), 5G 3500 (78)
4G bandsLTE 800 (20), LTE 1800 (3), LTE 2100 (1), LTE 2300 (40), LTE 2600 (7, 38)
3G bandsUMTS 900, UMTS 2100
2G bandsGSM 900, GSM 1800
Table 1: Network frequencies in UK. Source:

What are the options for using a cell phone in the UK?

For travelers, they need to know what options are the most viable for them. There are many, but not each one is similar to the other. So, in case you want to know more about which one to use, this might help you to choose.

eSIM for traveling abroad

When talking about eSIMs, we need to keep in mind how they work because they are basically digital SIM cards. Other than that, there aren’t many differences in the service offered to people; only that eSIMs don’t give people access to text messages or voice calls, only data. 

For those wondering which option is reliable; the Holafly eSIM UK is a good one. So, let’s talk about how much will cost to use an eSIM there.

Days of useAmount of cellular dataPrice (USD)
7 Days3GB$27
15 Days5GB$34
20 days8GB$44
30 Days10GB$49
30 days10GB$57
Table 2: Values of Holafly’s eSIM data variants for the United Kingdom

As we can tell, the eSIM has some pros and cons that people have to keep in mind when using it.


eSIMs have some benefits people will surely like to have, and that will help them in the future as well.

  • eSIMs work with 4G connections at a high speed.
  • People will get access to customer support whenever they want if the eSIM was bought with Holafly.
  • eSIMs doesn’t change the phone number people have.
  • Can be activated within minutes with a QR code.


As we could expect from any other service, there are some disadvantages people need to have in mind when using an eSIM.

  • eSIMs can’t be used in more than one device.
  • eSIMs won’t let people send text messages or phone calls.
  • People can only use an eSIM in the latest generation cellphones and smartwatches.

International SIM Card

As time passes by, SIM cards have evolved a lot into a brand-new more useful tool. In this case, the international SIM card is one of the best things that has happened to tourists, making it a good option for travelers.

Now, let’s talk about one of the most reliable options for people out there, the Holafly UK SIM card.

Days of useAmount of cellular dataPrice (USD)
30 days8GB$39
30 days12GB$49
Table 3: Values of the data variants of Holafly’s UK SIM card

As we could have expected, the SIM card also have some advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind.

SIM card advantages

As people could expect, there are different benefits for people who are using a SIM card while traveling, which is great to keep in mind.

  • People won’t need to change their WhatsApp number.
  • If bought through the Holafly website, people have access to 24/7 customer support.
  • It is cheaper than other similar alternatives.
  • Gives a new phone number according to the place people are visiting.

SIM card negative points

The international SIM card also have some things to keep in mind that can worry some people, but they are completely easy to fix.

  • Only work in open-band devices.
  • Cellular data of a SIM card can run out very quickly.

Pocket WiFi for the UK

Another alternative for people who intend to travel to the United Kingdom, using a Pocket WiFi device is a good option, but it is one of the most expensive alternatives on our list due to different things.

This device can be rented for up to $100 a week, which can be a lot to people. In case you think this can suit your budget, then you can go ahead and rent one to enjoy your trip with easiness. 

Free WiFi in the United Kingdom

As we could expect, the United Kingdom is a first-world country with lots of free WiFi hotspots. This is an advantage for most people, but people can’t fully rely on that because they won’t always provide access to it.

In case you want to have free WiFi, you can use apps such as Avast Wi-Fi Finder, WinMan, and WiFi Map to find a WiFi hotspot.

Can I use my phone service in the United Kingdom?

Yes, as a matter of fact using a roaming service is still an option for people depending on where they are traveling from. Rates will depend on the company people are using, and it can be cheap or pretty expensive.

Now, we have to talk about two different options people can rely on. The one you are using will mostly depend on where you are traveling from. 

Using my cell phone in UK with AT&T

One of the reliable options for people living in the United States that want to travel to the UK is the AT&T cellular operator. Being one of the most famous alternatives in that country, they have developed three different options to use abroad.

One of those options is only to make phone calls, which happens to be the less popular alternative among people. This costs $15 per line, and it can help people who need to make many phone calls.

Other than that, the International Travel Pass costs $10 per day, which is the most reliable option from them. But, in case people want to pay per MB consumed, they have to pay $2.05 per MB consumed. 

Using my cell phone in UK with Vodafone

Vodafone is an alternative for people living in the UK, and that can be used for traveling abroad. In this particular case, there’s nothing to worry about because the company won’t charge you anything extra for it.

In case you “use the Vodafone roaming service”, the service would end being free in most cases. 

Local cellular operators in the United Kingdom

For some people, using a cellular operator in the UK can end up being a reliable option. But for travelers, getting one is not as easy as people can think due to the restrictions to get one. So, try not to complicate yourself when trying to choose a local cellular operator to use while being there.

How much does it cost to use my cell phone in UK?

Up to this point, we have talked about many things. This information is critical for many people, especially for travelers. But, it is better that we look at a refresher here, so everyone can still remember how much it can cost to them.

Service Internet tariff in UK
eSIM card UK20GB for 30 days for 57 USD
SIM card UK12GB for 30 days for 49 USD
AT&T roaming in UK$10 with the International Travel Pass
Vodafone Roaming in UKFree in the UK, can cost up to $7 in other destinations.
Pocket WiFi for UKFrom 50 to 100 USD for a week of usage.
Public WiFi in UKFree
Table 4. Rates of the different options to connect to the internet in UK

We have talked about everything travelers need to know before traveling. Now they know about rates, what options they have available, and even which operators they can rely on, things can be a lot easier for everyone.

The only thing that we have to say here is that people can rely on these options not only when traveling to the United Kingdom, but also when traveling to other countries. And especially, keep in mind that the Holafly eSIM and SIM card is the best alternative.

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