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Mobile phones

Level Contributor
111 posts
18 reviews
Mobile phones

I understand that my ATT iphone won't work weill in Ireland.

I also don't want to pay the crazy fees to get international coverage.

Are the moblie phones you can buy any good?

How is the reception?

We don't plan to talk on them daily just need them for any emergencies and for communication with the aging parents back home.

We would like to purchase one before our trip so we can leave the # with family.

Please advise on what phone to purchase.

Western Ireland...
Destination Expert
for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
Level Contributor
20,256 posts
76 reviews
1. Re: Mobile phones

No problem getting hold of an unlocked phone off ebay or similar but I would wait until you get here for the sim card.

I use and recommend Tesco Mobile. Phones start at about €20 for a basic unit and €10 top up. So €30 gets you sorted for a couple of weeks. Calls to US landlines are currently 1cent/min.


Level Contributor
3,297 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: Mobile phones

You don't need to get a phone before you travel - you can text your number to your family when you arrive if you get a Tesco phone as Tony suggests. Coverage here is generally quite comprehensive with the occasional local weak spot - more in rural areas than in towns and cities.

Level Contributor
258 posts
9 reviews
3. Re: Mobile phones

I agree with Tony. I have a phone I purchased at Tesco. The minutes I purchased last summer are good through 2014. We have used the phone three times now and will be bring it with us this June.

Level Contributor
2,060 posts
4. Re: Mobile phones

Meteor shops also stock phones for 20euro just in case you dont see a tesco straight off.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
8,228 posts
45 reviews
5. Re: Mobile phones

We bought a Mobal.com phone for around $30. There are no use contracts and you pay as you go for any calls you make/receive.

For us, it is more of an insurance policy should we have a breakdown or emergency while in Ireland.

Here is the link to their info page: www.mobal.com/international-cell-phones/ .

p.s. I should add that I had one of these phones back in 2006 when we spent 2 wks in the UK and it worked perfectly. Because the phone belonged to my employer, I had to buy my own phone for this upcoming Ireland holiday.

Saint Cloud, Florida
Level Contributor
874 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: Mobile phones

Is it true that my AT&T iPhone won' work in Ireland? has anyone had any direct experience with this? I think getting a international roaming plan for a month would be just as inexpensive as buying a phone and paying for the minutes, if my phone will work.

Whitney, Texas
Destination Expert
for Ireland
Level Contributor
16,771 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: Mobile phones

yes your att phone will work...i didn't think it would but when i got off the plane in dublin i turned mine on just to see if i could get a signal...wah lah, it asked me if i wanted to change the time to current time, i said yes...i had a full signal at all times and once i think it was the phone provider on the screen change...just once i think....but even though folks knew i was gone, they tried to call me just the same...i didn't answer the calls beause it was a work phone and i was scared to death the calls would cost the moon....

you might just check and see what att charges for texts...this past year i forwarded my phone to my boss when we got ready for take off and then i still got about ten text messages while in ireland ....so that means the calls went to my boss but i could still get text messages....i didn't answer the text either...lol....

some wonderful friends took us to tescos and we bought a phone for 20 euros and 20 eruos worth of time...the reception was good and at the time calls to the u.s. were 2 cents per minute...glad to hear from tony they are now 1 cent.....we still have minutes left from the trip this past year but will check with someone smarter than me to see how much time we have left and buy more if needed....

Saint Cloud, Florida
Level Contributor
874 posts
8 reviews
8. Re: Mobile phones

Thanks Oma! I thought it would but after the OP I wasn't sure. I have all ready checked on the $ for an international roaming plan as well as text and data.

Connecticut, USA
Level Contributor
514 posts
9. Re: Mobile phones

Hi Karen---I believe that you and I discussed this several months ago on this site.http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k4805042-Cell_Phones_one_more_question-Ireland.html#35898726

Hopefully the link I pasted will function.

We add some sort of international plan to our AT&T iPhones each time we leave the country and I had the original 1st G iPhone until I finally got the new one this fall. (Verizon iPhones did not have GSM and therefore could not be used in Europe.)

The rates and included bandwidth vary by country, but I am fairly sure we paid $50 for 50MB of data, plus 99 cents/ min of phone calls and a flat $10 for 100 texts. I only texted within Ireland with family members. Texting seems even more popular in Ireland than in the U.S.

As with all things cell phone related, everyone seems to have a different payment plan so worth investigating. We traveled to London and then Ireland on the same trip, so it was easier to have our own phones working as soon as we hit the ground in London so that we could contact the car service. On an earlier trip to Ireland, I just borrowed a top-up phone from my aunt, but we have become too connected to our own phones now.

Saint Cloud, Florida
Level Contributor
874 posts
8 reviews
10. Re: Mobile phones

Hi Noreen- I do remember discussing this question before and even before that I was pretty certain my phone would work. I will add the international roaming, data and text plans shortly before I leave. And the international calling about a month before so I can call and confirm my reservations at a less expensive rate.

I don't know why the OP thought their phone wouldn't work in Ireland and just wanted to double check that they would.

Thanks K.