Purchasing “Prepaid SIM” service at the Airport

December 1, 2009 at 2:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments
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Purchasing “Prepaid SIM” service at the Airport
Example: London Heathrow

An easy way to obtain inexpensive cell phone service in a country is to obtain a prepaid card at your port of entry, such as the airport. At London Heathrow airport, Vodafone has an excellent retail shop in Terminal 5. Unfortunately, Heathrow is a sprawling airport and Terminal 5 can be a (short) train ride away from your arrival terminal. For example, if you arrive from the US in Terminal 1, you can take a free train to Terminal 5 by following the signs to the Heathrow Express and taking the free leg to Terminal 5.

Vodafone Shop at London Heathrow: Terminal 5

Location: Terminal 5, Before Security
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 22:00
Telephone: +44 (0)7826 952 062

The store is situated between the UK side of departures and customs and is therefore open to both air-side passengers and land-side airport staff and visitors. The Terminal 5 Vodafone store at Heathrow airport replaces the Vodafone store in Terminal 1 with an even more comprehensive line up of products and services.

Within Heathrow airport, the location of Terminal 5 is shown in the following diagram:


Dialing an International Number (when travelling)

December 1, 2009 at 1:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Q: How do you dial local, international numbers as well as call back home?

Unlike dialing at home, as a world traveler you need to learn to indicate the country as well as the number that you wish to reach. Just dialing a 7- or 10-digit number like you do at home (e.g., 5025551212) will not work; you need to explicitly indicate the country or else you may end up communicating with someone new and unintended.

Recommended: Universal, Cell Phone method

From a mobile phone, you can unambiguously dial any phone number by using the “+” character before the destination Country Code. Since the Country Code for the U.S. is “1”, dialing U.S. numbers from your cell phone simply requires that you first dial “+1” and then the 10-digit U.S. number (e.g., +1 5025551212). From a cell phone, the most difficult part is finding the “+” symbol on your cell phone keypad. This usually involves pressing or holding the “*”, “0” or “#” key multiple times.

Cell Phone Example: to dial the USA number +1 (502) 555-1212, from a Nokia cell phone, press the “*” key twice to get the “+” symbol, enter the rest of the number to get 15025551212, and then hit “Send”.

This universal method is simpler than the following method since you do not have to remember or use any country-specific access codes to indicate that you are dialing an international number.

International Direct Dialing (uses country-specific International Access Codes)

Alternatively, you can also dial an international number from any phone (fixed or mobile) using that country’s International Access Code. Unfortunately—since the access codes vary by country—the number that you dial depends on the country that you are in! From Western Europe, you can dial U.S. numbers from any phone by first dial “00 1” and then the 10-digit U.S. number (e.g., +00 1 5025551212).

Example: Example: Dialing the U.S. from a phone in Europe
Using this method to dial a U.S. number from the UK,
you would dial 00 1 5025551212:

How the number is composed:

Number Comments
00 00 is the International Access Code used to dial outside of the UK.
1 1 is the international Country Code used to dial to U.S.A..
502 502 is the local area or city code used to dial to Louisville.
5551212 555-1212 is the local number you desire to reach.

To practice this method of dialing, try this site that clearly explains international dialing and provides the dialing instructions from anywhere to anywhere.

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