Mobile Phones are a fact of student life, and as everywhere there are a multitude of tarrifs, companies, and deals out there. Whatever you do, take your time deciding the best deal for you. And if you ever get too frustrated by the whole thing, just come and stare at the smiling anthropomorphic mobile phone here who is bound to cheer you up.
LEBARA is probably the most competitive top-up option in terms of offers and deals, they can be found in most corner shops or vendors along main streets, the closest one to SOAS is along Tottenham Court Road. You can also have a chat in Carphone Warehouse on Tottenham Court Road, who act for all of the phone companies mentioned below. Even though it may seem tedious, its always worth going into the shop, taking away literature on the three best deals, and checking online to see if you can get them any cheaper. Alternatively if you have done some research in advance, going into the shop knowing what you are talking about can only get you a better deal (Carphone Warehouse website).
Asking for a ROLLING PLAN from Phone Companies – the main ones being Vodaphone, T-mobile, O2 and Orange – is worth looking into as they give you good deals e.g. 300 mins and unlimited texts for 10 pounds a month. This also doesn’t tie you to a contract which, if you’re traveling abroad during your course, is more costly whether you choose to use it while abroad or not. (I warn you the charges for using a contract phone abroad is painful). Always think about data usage these days, pick a top-up deal that gives you decent data as well (though bear in mind that you can use SOAS wifi with your phone to stay connected at this end). The sim deals by Giff-Gaff are new in the market, but they look pretty good: http://giffgaff.com/
For those of you who are keen on getting a contract, you will not be allowed to do so unless you have at least 3 months record of having a bank account – many of you will have only just done so or haven’t even started. Companies ask for such details as proof of being reliable, a credit check. To work your way around this there is a loophole of contacting the companies that do do the credit checks via your respective company of choice and explaining to them your situation as an international student. The two main companies are listed below however, it is a tedious operation.