PAYG Internet charges are coming down. Though they are not as fast as HSDPA dongle products seemingly, they do potentially offer great value to get you on the Internet when you're out and about.

Operators in England seem to go out their way to make this particular product obscure. Worse is that in some cases, you don't get the special rate unless you call up in advance and register for it. Very weird. I hope I'm wrong.

I had to spend a lot of time just to find out that:

Orange

http://www1.orange.co.uk/service_plans/payasyougo/extra_internet.html

  • £1 bundle, for all day mobile access
  • £2.00 daily capped rate, so you never pay more than this a day (contract?)
  • £5 for a week of anytime mobile internet access (contract?)

  • It's not clear if you have to register in advance for this service or not.

  • It's not clear what the usage limit is.
  • It's not clear what happens if you exceed the "fair usage limit"

Vodafone -- Pay as you browse - 25MB

50p a day

Subject to a 25MB daily data limit.

O2

Interesting mail how O2 blocks mobile Internet

Virgin mobile (uses T-mobile)

http://www.virginmobilepeople.com/30p/

30 pence per day for 25M and after than if I understand the pricing correctly, you're charged at 'normal' rates. Whatever they are.

Three

http://www.three.co.uk/Pay_As_You_Go/What_it_costs

50p per day.

Roaming

This weekend I'm going to France. What will any of these PAYG SIM cards cost to roam in France is anyone's guess. I've use H3G in Europe whilst travelling a year or two ago... I never received a bill. :) This makes me suspect their billing networks are up shit creek.

Difference between this and mobile broadband for laptops

This 'mobile Internet' offered by these sorts of SIM cards seem to use APN configured to be:

  • Slower then the dongles performance
  • Use a content transformation proxy with mangles images

If you know better, please let me know!

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