Uki Mobile offers a pre-paid eSIM for visitors to the UK. The Uki Mobile plans start from US$5 (~£4) for 7 days usage, with 4G coverage from O2 & Three UK networks.

If you’re travelling to the United Kingdom, there are a number of different ways to use your phone when you’re there.

If you’re using an eSIM-ready phone (such as the iPhone 11, the Galaxy S20, the Pixel 3 or later devices), one of the easiest and most convenient ways to stay connected is using a Uki Mobile eSIM. This starts from US$5 (approximately £4) for 7 days of use, with access to 99% population coverage on the O2 UK and Three UK networks.

There’s no need to be a UK resident to get a Uki Mobile eSIM and it’s available on a pre-paid basis, with no long-term agreements. However, one disadvantage is that you won’t get a UK phone number on the eSIM so it isn’t possible to use it for calling or texting. In addition, you won’t get 5G coverage or European roaming.

As a special offer for April 2024, you can get a 10% discount on all Uki Mobile eSIMs when you order through this link and use the KEN10 voucher code at checkout. This offer is available to customers who are new to Airalo. If you’ve used an Airalo eSIM in the past, the KEN5 voucher code will give you a 5% discount instead.

In this article, we’ll review the eSIM plans from Uki Mobile. We’ll start by looking at the plans available and how you can get them through the Airalo app. We’ll then compare it to other prepaid SIM cards in the UK, before looking at the coverage available.

Plans From: US$5 (~£4) for 7 days
Best Deals:
Compatible Devices:
  • Apple iPhone 11 and newer
  • Samsung Galaxy S20 and newer
  • Google Pixel 3 and newer
  • see more…
Coverage: 99% population coverage
(4G coverage from O2 UK & Three UK)
Voucher Code:
  • Save 10% on all Uki Mobile eSIMs using KEN10 (new customers only)
  • Save 5% using the KEN5 voucher code (existing Airalo customers)

Uki Mobile Plans

If you’re travelling to the UK, there are three different ways to use your cellphone whilst you’re there:

  • You can roam through your domestic cellular provider. If your domestic network provider offers international roaming in the UK, you can use that service to stay connected on your trip. Before you depart, check to see how much it will cost to roam in the UK. Often, this might be prohibitively expensive unless your provider has special roaming deals for the UK.
  • You can buy a local UK SIM card to use on your trip. You can order a physical SIM card from a UK provider such as giffgaff. They offer free international delivery but you’ll need to wait up to 5 business days for your SIM card to arrive. You’ll then be able to choose from a range of 30-day plans from £6 (approx US$7.50).
  • You can buy a local UK eSIM, if you have a compatible device. As long as you’re using a compatible eSIM-ready device, you can buy a pre-paid eSIM for the UK. This can be a faster, hassle-free alternative to getting a physical SIM card as you’ll get instant online delivery direct to your phone. At present, you can choose a Uki Mobile eSIM (via Airalo) or a Lyca Mobile UK eSIM.

The following table shows the eSIM plans that are currently available from Uki Mobile (these are also sold under the Nessietel brand for visitors who are travelling to Scotland).

NetworkMinutesTextsDataPlan
Cost
NoneNone1GBUS$5.00
(~£4.00)
valid for 7 days
NoneNone2GBUS$7.50
(~£6.00)
valid for 15 days
NoneNone3GBUS$10.00
(~£8.00)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone5GBUS$15.00
(~£12.10)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone10GBUS$22.50
(~£18.10)
valid for 30 days
NoneNone20GBUS$36.00
(~£28.90)
valid for 30 days

See all Uki Mobile eSIM deals →

As a special offer for April 2024, you can get a 10% discount on all Uki Mobile eSIMs. Simply enter the KEN10 voucher code at checkout. This offer is only available if you’re new to Airalo. If you’ve used an Airalo eSIM in the past, the KEN5 voucher code will give you a 5% discount instead.

With Uki Mobile, there are no long-term commitments and there’s no need to be UK resident. However, it’s worth bearing the following things in the mind:

  • You won’t get a UK phone number on Uki Mobile. On Uki Mobile, you’re getting a data-only eSIM, as opposed to a fully-featured eSIM service with calling and texting. If you’d like to make or receive phone calls or SMS text messages, you’ll need to use a different plan.
  • You won’t get 5G coverage on Uki Mobile. On Uki Mobile, you’ll have access to 4G coverage from both the O2 UK and Three UK networks. However, you won’t get 5G coverage on your eSIM.
  • You won’t be able to use your plan outside the United Kingdom. International roaming is not available on Uki Mobile. This means you’ll need another plan to use your phone outside the UK (such as in the Republic of Ireland and in the rest of Europe). For instance, you can get the Eurolink eSIM if you’re travelling to multiple European countries. Alternatively, there’s inclusive European roaming on both giffgaff and Lyca Mobile.

Alternatives to Uki Mobile

Lyca Mobile eSIM

If you’re looking for a more fully-featured UK eSIM plan, you could consider getting a Lyca Mobile UK eSIM instead.

On Lyca Mobile, you’ll pay as little as £1.99 (approximately US$2.50) for up to 30 days of use in the UK. You’ll also get a UK phone number included on your pre-paid eSIM, with unlimited UK minutes and unlimited UK texts as well. You’ll get 4G & 5G coverage on the EE network, with inclusive European roaming so you can use your Lyca Mobile plan across other EU destinations.

The following table shows some of Lyca Mobile’s UK eSIM plans:

Network Minutes Texts Data Monthly
Cost
Lycamobile Unlimited Unlimited 5GB £1.99
valid for 30 days
Lycamobile Unlimited Unlimited 20GB £5.00
valid for 30 days
Lycamobile Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited £10.00
valid for 30 days

Order Lyca Mobile eSIM (free) →

giffgaff SIM Card

Alternatively, if you still have a little bit of time before your trip to the UK, you could consider getting a physical SIM card from giffgaff instead. It will take a couple of days for it to arrive in the post (approximately 3-5 working days in Europe, and 5 working days in the rest of the world).

The advantage of getting a physical SIM card is that it’ll work in any unlocked GSM-compatible mobile phone. On giffgaff, you’ll also get a UK phone number included, along with 5G coverage on the O2 (Telefónica) network and inclusive EU roaming (up to 5GB per month).

The following table shows the one-month Pay As You Go plans that are currently available from giffgaff:

TariffMinutesTextsDataMonthly
Cost
£6 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited1GB£6.00
£8 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited4GB£8.00
£10 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited15GB£10.00
£12 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited25GB£12.00
£15 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited30GB£15.00
£20 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB£20.00
£25 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited80GB
+ Always On
£25.00
£35 GoodybagUnlimitedUnlimited150GB£35.00

Order giffgaff SIM card (free) →

If you’re staying in the UK for an extended amount of time, you can upgrade to a golden goodybag. On golden goodybags, you’ll get more data included but you’ll need to set your plan to automatically renew each month.

One limitation of giffgaff is the more limited range of payment options compared to Uki Mobile (Airalo). On giffgaff, you’ll need to use either a Visa or Mastercard bank card to purchase your plan (you can switch to PayPal once you’ve set up and activated your SIM card). With Uki Mobile (Airalo), you can pay for your eSIM plan using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, UnionPay, PayPal and Alipay.

If you want to use dual-SIM functionality on your phone, this may also not be possible unless your device has two physical SIM card slots. Many devices (including the iPhone) support a maximum of one physical SIM card and one eSIM.

Uki Mobile Coverage

On Uki Mobile, you’ll get access to 99% population coverage across the UK. This is provided by the O2 (Telefónica) UK and Three UK networks.

You’ll be able to use your Uki Mobile eSIM in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, the Uki Mobile eSIM won’t work in the Republic of Ireland. You’ll need a different eSIM for the Republic of Ireland (or you can get the pan-European Eurolink eSIM instead).

On Uki Mobile, you won’t have access to 5G coverage in the UK. If you’re looking for 5G speeds, there’s 5G coverage from EE on Lyca Mobile’s UK eSIM. Alternatively, there’s 5G coverage from O2 on giffgaff’s physical SIM card.

Check Uki Mobile Coverage Map →

More Information

For more information about Uki Mobile, see the Airalo website. You can also read our full guide to eSIMs on UK mobile networks.

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