Mobile phones and the internet
The UK network uses the 900 or 1800 GSM system, so visitors from the United States (where the system is 800 or 1900 MHz band) will need to acquire a tri- or quad-band set. Your clients will need to contact their service provider directly for specific details.
Visitors to the UK may also need to inform their network operator in advance of their trip so the “roaming” capability can be enabled. When abroad, they will be charged for the calls they receive, as well as for the calls they make; in addition, they have to pay a substantial premium for the international leg of the call.
With all this in mind, it is often easier and cheaper to purchase a SIM card locally and top it up with credit, allowing usage of the local mobile-phone networks, if the handset is not locked to a specific network. It is also possible to purchase SIM cards before travel from the VisitBritain online shop.
Alternatively, visitors can buy a new phone and top it up with a pay-as-you-go card – ensuring that the phone can accept international calls. In the UK, basic mobile phones can be purchased for as little as £10-15 from supermarkets or dedicated phone shops.
How to access the Internet
Most towns and cities in the UK offer some form of public access to the internet. If your clients are staying in a hotel they may include internet facilities as part of their service, and free internet access is often available at libraries. Many pubs, cafés and museums also offer free Wi-Fi, so guests can sit down and use their laptop, tablet or phone. Travellers should be cautious when using public Wi-Fi however, and ensure that, if they are entering any sensitive data, that the websites they are using are secure.
Internet cafés usually charge for computer usage by the minute. Internet access is generally very cheap, but it is most reasonable during off-peak times.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a way of communicating via your computer and most internet cafés will have at least one such system installed.