Il Diario di Tinton











{2012-09-18}   Vodafone UK

Personal experience using a prepaid SIM in London.

I paid 10£ for 500MB of data and 300 text messages in the UK. However:

– Internet is by default content filtered. The user must ask to deactivate content filtering, which can take upto midnight. I was unable to access Fring.com.

– Was not able to WiFi tether. Personal Hotspot mode on iPhone is not allowed at all, apparently, for pay as you go cards.

– 3G network works pretty well around London. Coverage is present pretty much anywhere, however not always very strong. I often worked with 1 or 2 bars. Sufficient.

– I was about to buy a mobile wifi hotspot, however I was told they are all lock to provider. So I decided not to get it.

– when I first purchased the SIM, the clerk made a mistake and topped off the 10£ to another phone number. Before leaving the store, I was told it would take some time for the top off to go through, because they had a problem with the top off system. This was not true. In reality the clerk had topped off a different number. I could have checked the number by dialing *#100# on the phone to make sure it matched the number on the receipt. I had to return to the store to get it fixed.

– Even though the sim card is immediately active, the freebee promotion or offer takes a few hours to activate. Once topped off, Internet must remain off, otherwise the user will eat off the top off credit.

– both Fring and Skype are heavily firewalled: while they work, on the 3G network, packets are dropped at a very high rate, making the voice communication practically useless. I tried to make test phone calls on both networks and the quality was identical, even with speed test results of 1Mbit up and 3Mbit down.

– international SMS are very expensive, around 30p each.

– phone calls are about 26p/min, also very expensive.

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