Devices Operators

Unlocked by 3 MiFi unit and now I’m flying

I picked up a sim card from Vodafone the other day. But I couldn’t really use it until I unlocked the MiFi unit. Thank you to the many readers who suggested an array of sites to help unlock Huwaei devices.

I’m delighted to say that Paul Shadwell’s fantastic guide worked perfectly for me. I paid €15 for the site credits mentioned in Paul’s post and boom: My MiFi was unlocked in about a second.

Thank you Paul and thank you Mr DC Unlocker.

The next problem is figuring out how to top-up the Vodafone sim card for tomorrow. But right now all my devices — 2x laptops, iPhone, HTC HD7 and BlackBerry — are now connected using HSPA+. Love it.

No thanks, by the way, to Vodafone. It’s a flipping arse having to dance around with Vodafone Spain because Vodafone UK hasn’t got it’s act together to offer decent roaming rates.

I want to be clear: £2 for the first 25mb is simply brilliant, Vodafone. Absolutely brilliant. I love it. But after that, the £1/meg policy begins to become punitive. I think it’s a simply fantastic deal for consumers just ‘using their phone’ but for anyone wanting to do a little bit more. You know, perhaps 50-100mb, it begins to get highly expensive. When Vodafone Spain is able to deliver service to me for €4 for ‘unlimited fair use’ per day, why can’t Vodafone UK do the same. Or call it €5 per day? Or even €10?

Fundamentally I’m delighted by Vodafone but this disparity between ‘markets’ (i.e. individual operating companies) is very silly. I know *why* it’s the case — but as an end consumer, I don’t care. I shouldn’t have to care.

And from another fundamental point here — am I right in saying that, really, the reason I have to go and buy a different sim card from Vodafone Spain (when I already spend hundreds a month with Vodafone UK) is ego.

Not my ego.

It’s the ego of the Vodafone UK Chief Executive and the Vodafone Spain Chief Executive, right? It’s them putting their arms across their chest and saying NO, ‘this is my game’, right?

Am I right? Help me out. It’s the individual operating companies behaving like kids in the Vodafone Global playground, right?

Surely ‘Global’ would love to be able to offer a unified international roaming framework across their operating companies to prevent their customers having to sod about with sim cards to get reasonable rates?

Or is Global quite content because each operating company is extracting significant cash out of it’s consumer base and winding them up at the same time?

The real problem from the end-consumer perspective is that I have next to no loyalty when it comes to crazy international roaming prices. If you assume — for the sake of argument — that my time is worth £50 per hour, I estimate I’ve expended about 6 hours dicking around researching, visiting, translating, bargaining, experimenting and so on. Include the €15 unlock fee for the MiFi and the money I’ve handed over to Vodafone Spain (€20 so far), I think I’ve probably ‘spent’ about £400 of value.

This is silly. But it’s a measure of just how much I feel about the issue. I’ve only actually paid out about €50 euro. Which, by the way, is about the cost of uploading 20-odd decent photos if I was paying Vodafone UK £1/meg.

The other arse is the chap sitting next to me using Vodafone UK. His company is paying for his data bill. So he doesn’t care. Neither does the company. He’s probably using about 400 meg a day — he’s doing a QIK right now and he’s uploading what looks like a directory full of high-res images through his Vodafone UK dongle. That is nice, NICE revenue for Vodafone UK.

So, I think, alas, this situation isn’t going to change overnight.

Given that you have to opt-in for Vodafone’s £2 for £25mb package, isn’t it fair to say that all those people actually CARE about Vodafone’s roaming costs. Ergo go one step more and charge them £2 for 25mb blocks. So if you use 100mb, you pay £8. Not £77.

Meanwhile all the companies paying silly amounts of money for their roaming data will continue to do so until their global services contract renewal. At which point it’s all about the talents of your sales chaps.

Meanwhile, what about the end consumer, Vodafone? 😀

You’ve 100% delighted me with the £2 for 25mb roaming option. Now, double it. Lock-it in. Stop me looking elsewhere. Bill me £2 per 25mb for all my usage.

Or even better, why not reflect the Vodafone Spain rates? Ok. I know. Dreaming.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

5 replies on “Unlocked by 3 MiFi unit and now I’m flying”

I feel the same, i had a text last night saying i nearly hit my 25mb for the day, then 30 seconds later a text saying i have nearly gone over by 5MB i think

Keep in mind that there is another Big Ego in play here – the head of the CMT, Spain’s equivalent of OfCom. In fact, most of the key players in the CMT are, unsurprisingly, and officially, ex-Telefónica (now Movistar) employees. Vodafone Spain has a very rough deal on things like interconnect fees as a result.

Try getting a SIM from Just €0.59/Mb anywhere (most countries anyway) 

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