If you are moving to London then one of the first things you’ll want to know is how you are going to be able to call home. You’ll want to get a landline installed into your new London apartment as soon as possible , and you’ll also want to get connected to one of the mobile phone operators in the United Kingdom. It might seem strange, but there are a number of differences between telephony in the UK compared to the United States or Canada, and you’ll be better prepared for living in London if you get your lines of communication open as soon as you get there.
Mobile Phone Operators in London
If you are going to have a mobile phone contract as part of your employment package then that is great. If you are going to buy one then, the prices of contracts can be exorbitant. You might get the latest smart phone when you sign, but you’ll be tied to the contract for at least two years. It is far better to get a pre-paid or pay-as-you-go Sim card and use it in your own phone. Most phones that come from the States or Canada will be able to work on the British mobile network. You may have to get it unlocked at a mobile phone store here, but if you have a Quad-band phone then you should be able to buy a Sim card and load up on credit and you’re ready to go.
There are four major mobile phone operators in the United Kingdom: Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange and O2 and a number of smaller providers. If you are on a pay-as-you-go option you will be able to choose which operator you prefer. They offer specials on different tariffs, depending on your usage type. Check out the local websites for the mobile phone operators and you’ll find one that gets you connected and keeps you connected.
If you want to get a landline installed in your London flat, you’ll have to contact British Telecom (BT) to install a line. They may ask you to sign a contract with them for a certain amount of time and after that you can swap to another provider. Some providers will be able to buy the line from BT and charge you accordingly if you want to go that route.
There are over a hundred fixed line and internet line telephone providers. You can really shop around to get the best deals on international dialing and tariffs so that you can call home whenever you want to. To get connected you’ll need to have a proof of address (for two years) and a bank account to set up the direct debit order for monthly payments. As far as you can, get your new employer to assist you with all of these details before you move, or use one of the superb relocation agents that will be able to organize your move to London professionally and efficiently, leaving you time to get to know your new city.