Cellular phones, or ‘mobile phones’ as they are known in the UK, are widespread and popular. Almost every person in the country either owns or has access to one. There are roughly five cellular networks operating in Scotland alone, some with more than one frequency. Orange is perhaps the most popular network, with 02 and Vodafone competing for second place. T-Mobile and Three also receive a lot of business.
If you’re a visitor from another country and your existing mobile has GSM and works on European frequencies, you can simply purchase a UK SIM card for your existing phone. The top-up pre-paid card system is perhaps the most versatile for travelers and is easy to use. Simply present the card at an authorized dealer and pay for more airtime. The dealer will swipe your card which will result in the money balance on your phone being automatically updated. Supermarkets, phones stores and newsagents are just a few examples of those commonly authorized to perform such services. Keep in mind that if your cell phone is not used for a certain length of time, your SIM card will likely expire. You are usually given a number with your SIM card which you can dial to find out how much money remains on your phone at any given time.
Mobiles and SIM cards can be purchased quickly and easily although some networks may require information such as residential address, date of birth and name. Most major supermarkets have a small selection to choose from if you’re in a hurry. However if you’re on a budget be weary – while incoming calls may be free, outgoing calls are charged at different rates according to the different service providers. It is also usually cheaper to phone numbers that are on the same network than to phone other network numbers. To save on costs, it is usually a good idea to send SMS’s. Scotland SMS services are just as easy to use as they would be in other countries and can go a long way to saving money. Make sure that you organize a cellphone whilst in Scotland so that you can enjoy the ease of SMS.