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Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)

Tootler 12 Feb 09 - 02:57 AM
The Barden of England 12 Feb 09 - 07:01 AM
The Barden of England 12 Feb 09 - 07:06 AM
andrewq 12 Feb 09 - 07:14 AM
Tootler 12 Feb 09 - 09:32 AM
Newport Boy 12 Feb 09 - 01:24 PM
oggie 12 Feb 09 - 04:26 PM
Mrs.Duck 12 Feb 09 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,PeterC 12 Feb 09 - 06:25 PM
Tootler 17 Feb 09 - 06:31 PM
Austin P 17 Feb 09 - 06:41 PM
Tootler 18 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM
Tootler 18 Feb 09 - 06:26 PM
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Subject: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 02:57 AM

I am due to go to Austria next month and was considering getting a pay as you go mobile broadband dongle to plug into my netbook instead of relying on access to - usually expensive - wifi or equally expensive hotel network links.

I would appreciate any recommendations and also comments on experiences of anyone who has used this technology.

I have an Acer Aspire One netbook running Linspire Linux Lite so any suggestions need to be capable of running on Linux


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:01 AM

I suspect that a UK 'pay and go' dongle is going to cost you SERIOUS money when going on line in Austria. My pay monthly with Vodafone would cost £5 per MB abroad, and pay as you go is not an option abroad with them. As for the rest I'm pretty sure they're much the same. I suspect that a hotspot may be a much better idea, and a lot cheaper in the long run.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: The Barden of England
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:06 AM

Just checked with 3. They seem to be somewhat cheaper, either £1 or £2 per MB (which in my view is still prohibitive), but I'm not too clear if that includes Pay as you go dongles. It may be well worth while contacting them and asking.
John Barden


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: andrewq
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 07:14 AM

3 is probably your best bet...

Austria is one of the countries that has a "3 Like Home" arrangement, so you pay the same for usage for most mobile phone services (including data) as you would in the UK.

"3 Like Home" applies to Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy and Sweden. The terms and conditions are on the 3 website.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 09:32 AM

I had recently heard about the "3 Like Home" Arrangement, but did not know the name of the service or the provider. Thanks, I'll check it out.

I saw a snippet somewhere recently which suggested that mobile broadband was actually cheaper than wifi hotspots or many hotel rates which is partly why I thought I might go that way. Also it gives you a bit more flexibility - as long as you can get a signal, of course :-|


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Newport Boy
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 01:24 PM

If you look fairly respectale, you could try expensive hotels. DeVere's Cameron House on Loch Lomond give guests free wi-fi access from the lounge. I used my Aspire One there last October.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: oggie
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 04:26 PM

Make sure you're wireless enabled and keep checking for unprotected hubs. If the UK is anything to go by you'll find one in every street.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 05:43 PM

Geoff the Duck on a borrowed computer ...
I know a lot of people here throw their hands up in horror whenever the name is mentioned, but it may be worth checking out McDonald's Burger shops. Ones in the UK have free wireless access available. I've not used it myself, so don't know the details. For Austria, try HERE...
Alternatively a web search may locate you other alternatives including libraries or other public institutions. This link might be useful http://www.wififreespot.com/europe.html.
Quack!
Geoff.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: GUEST,PeterC
Date: 12 Feb 09 - 06:25 PM

For PAYG mobile you have to buy the dongle separately, usually at a premium.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:31 PM

I had to go into town today so I had a wander round the mobile providers.

As the post above says, with most providers you buy the dongle, then pay to add your download allowance. Typically at around £15/GB. Then there is a catch, with all except Vodaphone, your allowance only lasts for 30 days and you are then timed out and lose any unused "units". Vodaphone also had the cheapest dongle and the initial purchase included 1GB of downloads. 3 Was cheapest to top up. In effect for most operators PAYG is not really that at all, but a form of short term contract. A big con in my view.

With 3 you can use you PAYG units in any country where 3 has a presence. With all the others you can only use your PAYG units in the UK. The man in Vodaphone recconed that this is because the UK is the only country where PAYG is a significant part of the market. My own view on this is that it sounds doubtful, after all many of the mobile operators, Vodaphone included, have a presence over much of Europe so I can see no reason why PAYG units cannot be used wherever the operator has a presence as with 3. I suspect it has a lot more to do with it being difficult to apply the outrageous charges they make for using your mobile in Europe - once your units are payed for, that's it!

Overall I think the mobile operators are trying to discourage PAYG - they want everyone on contracts - more lucrative - and they can cane you for use abroad.

I believe the EU is taking a look at roaming charges within Europe and there is talk of forcing operators to reduce their roaming charges across the EU. It would be a good thing IMO. I am not convinced that the operators incur significant extra costs through enabling roaming - the high charges are just a device to make more money.

Overall, I will have to rely on wifi hotspots and/or hope the hotels have lan networks - many do these days - and hope usage charges are not too high.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Austin P
Date: 17 Feb 09 - 06:41 PM

My halfpennorthworth:

From my experience with PAYG clients (I do this stuff for a living).

* 3 Mobile: AVOID AVOID AVOID - just google "3 fraudband". Works in some areas but largely just dreadful, slower than 56K dialup.

* Vodafone: Works fine, BUT 1 Gb per month download limit. Pathetic.

Don't even get me started on roaming charges ...

Moral: Stick to Wifi until the market matures.

AP


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:15 PM

Moral: Stick to Wifi until the market matures.Moral: Stick to Wifi until the market matures.

Pretty much what I had concluded. Like I said, a big con!!!!

IMO they want to discourage PAYG and get everyone on contract - more lucrative.

I won't encourage you to start on roaming charges, though I do detect the potential for a good rant ;0

Mind, wifi is not all it's cracked up to be. I've abandoned it for home use.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Mobile Broadband recommendations (UK)
From: Tootler
Date: 18 Feb 09 - 06:26 PM

Just followed up your google suggestion. Makes interesting reading, though I suspect boredom will set in after a few pages and there are pages of it.


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