Will your mobile phone work in the UK or do you need to buy a new one? This page covers some basic information about using a mobile phone in the UK.

When you get here, you may wish to use a UK SIM card in your current mobile phone or you may wish to sign up for a mobile phone contract in the UK - a new contract may include a new phone handset. Many mobile phone shops in the UK can advise you on mobile phone contracts or sim only deals. 

When signing up for contracts in the UK you may be asked to supply your passport or another form of photo ID. 

Is you phone Locked or Unlocked?

A locked phone can only be used with a specific network and you may not be able to use a new SIM card in the phone when you arrive in the UK. It is sometimes possible to get phones unlocked, however, this is not possible with all models. 

If your phone is unlocked, you can use a UK SIM card in it on your arrival. SIM only phone deals are available across the UK.

Using your current phone in the UK

If you are arriving in the UK from Asia or the USA you should consider getting a new phone contract and a new phone as these countries operate in a CDMA band, which is different to the UK. If you arrive from one of these areas and your phone does work, it may be very expensive to call home or even call local numbers.

UK SIM Cards are available at all high street mobile phone shops, it's best to shop around for the best deal. 

Mobile phone coverage in the UK 

UK has 4G or 4G+ mobile coverage, some larger cities have 5G connectivity. Isolated parts of the UK may only have 2G or 3G coverage. 


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