Buying a Mobile Phone in Ireland
Mobile phones (or cell phones) can be bought very cheaply in Ireland.
There are phone stores everywhere, highly visible and on the main streets of all towns and cities and in shopping malls. Vodafone have a store in the arrivals area of Dublin Airport.
Buying a phone is easy, it takes only a few minutes with no contracts to sign and there are no difficulties for overseas customers.
Call are paid for by buying call credit in advance. This can be done at automated machines, which are ubiquitous – in stores, petrol stations, rail and bus stations etc.
And buying is phone is, surprisingly, likely to be cheaper than renting a phone while you are in Ireland.
Buying a Cell Phone in Ireland: Options & Costs
There are four major phone networks in Ireland, O2, Vodafone, Meteor and 3.
No matter which you chose, what you need is a pay-as-you-go phone, this is one where you are not billed but instead buy call credits in advance whenever you need them.
To make it a fair comparison we assumed the following:
- You will be in Ireland for 7 days
- You will make two calls a day on your cell phone to Irish landline numbers, say checking with your hotel and booking a restaurant. A total of 5 minutes talk time daily.
- You call home to America on average once a day for about 5 minutes each time.
- You receive 2 calls a day from the USA. A total of 5 minutes talk time daily.
These are exactly the same conditions as we applied to phone rental, for ease of comparison. All the phones below come with sim cards, batteries, battery chargers and so on, there is nothing extra to buy.
€1 call credit applied automatically, €10 extra when you register online.
€1 call credit applied automatically, €5 extra when you register online or in store
|Network: 3 Ireland|
€5 call credit applied automatically
* Although this phone is more expensive than the others, it is a bluetooth enabled GSM phone so you should be able to use it on your return to the USA, with a change of SIM card. It also allows you to login to and use your Skype account or login to Windows Messenger without any charge, which may save significant money for some people.
Advantages of Buying over Renting
- It’s cheaper for most people
- You OWN the phone. This means the cost does not increase if you need the phone for additional weeks and it will still work if you or anyone you know returns to Ireland in the future.
- Even if you cannot use the phone when you go home, you’ll have the camera, the games, the MP3 player, the FM radio and so on that come as standard with all of these phones.
Disadvantages of Buying over Renting
- You have the hassle of finding astore and buying a phone on arrival
- The battery will not be charged, so you’ll be without a phone until you have time and opportunity to do that.