If I bought an unlocked iPhone 5s in the USA, will it work In the uk with a uk sim?

I am going to the USA this summer and I saw that their iPhones are a lot cheaper than they are here. So I was wondering, if I got a fully unlocked iPhone 5s over in the USA, could I use a sim on O2 uk in the phone when I came back over here, or would I have to use a us carrier?


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  • Best Answer:

    On 3G, it will work fine in the UK. As far as 4G LTE goes......

    The unlocked US model GSM 5s A1533 should, from what I've read, work fine on Three and O2 LTE in the UK. This phone can use the 1800 and 800 MHz bands, amongst others.

    Three UK use 800 and 1800 MHz, O2 only use 800 MHz.

    However, Voda use 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz, whilst EE use all three bands.

    My conclusion is that the A1533 will work all over the UK on O2 and Three LTE (when they get full coverage rolled out!), and only in some parts of the UK on Voda or EE.

    Generally speaking, the lower the frequency the further the range but lower the speed - so 800 MHz is ideally suited to rural areas. The higher frequency 2.6 GHz will have shorter range but allow higher speeds / more users, so better suited for cities. So if you buy the A1533 for LTE use in the UK you might not get EE or Voda LTE in the cities.

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  • According to the LTE page, the A1533 will not work in the UK - you'll need the A1457.

    I don't know how you get to pick a particular model though.

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