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Best iPhone 5 PAYG nano-SIM options for traveling to the UK

If you’re visiting the United Kingdom with a GSM unlocked iPhone 5, your main options for Pay As You Go SIMs are limited to two of the five major networks. At the time of writing, only Three, T-Mobile and O2 offer nano-SIMs on Pay As You Go (pre-paid) deals.

Read on for a breakdown of what you can expect, as well as a few other options you may want to consider.

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Reminder: the iPhone 5 needs a new Nano-SIM card, it will not work with your existing SIM

If you managed to survive this morning’s pre-order and grabbed yourself a shiny new unlocked iPhone 5 direct from Apple, you need to start thinking about SIM cards. The iPhone 5 doesn’t have the traditional, ubiquitous Nini-SIM card like the iPhone 3GS, it doesn’t even have the relatively new Micro-SIM card like the iPhone 4 either -- it uses a brand new SIM card which is called the Nano-SIM.

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European carriers reportedly placing nano SIM orders in anticipation of iPhone 5 launch

Last iMore heard, the iPhone 5 was still on track for an October, 2012 release, and since Apple has succeeded in getting a newer, smaller nano-SIM standard passed, Europeans carriers are now reportedly placing orders for the tiny new chips in anticipation of the launch. The Financial Times says it's because carriers don't want to get caught flat-footed again, the way they were when Apple switched to micro SIMs with the original iPad and later, the iPhone 4.

One informed person said that the major networks were keen to be ahead of demand this time, however. He added that the iPhone 5 was likely to be similar sized as the iPhone 4 although slimmer and with a fully metal body.

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Nano-SIM standard decided by European standards institute

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has announced that they have decided on the next generation of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards. The original iPhone (and many other phones) used mini-SIM cards. The iPad and iPhone 4 were among the first devices to use the much smaller micro-SIM standard. This new nano-SIM design will be 40% smaller than current iPhone micro-SIM cards, measuring 12.3 mm wide, 8.8 mm high, and 0.67 mm thick. 

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BlackBerry maker RIM meets Apple half-way on nano-SIM design

RIM recently proposed a new nano-SIM card design to counter one proposal made by Apple to the the European Telecommunications Standards Instititute.

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RIM complains about Apple stacking vote for nano-SIM standard

Despite offering to license the nano-SIM standard royalty-free, Apple is getting flak from RIM for recruiting additional proxies in the voting process. Nokia had made similar complaints when Apple initially made the proposal to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

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Apple pushing nano-SIM standard on Motorola, RIM and Nokia

Apple is butting heads with RIM, Motorola, and Nokia over the next evolution of SIM card sizes. After paving the way for the micro-SIM format, which has since been adopted by Nokia for their Lumia series, Apple is now putting pressure on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to recognize their nano-SIM format as the next industry standard.

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