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petkow (Offline)
Senior Member
Prepaid Pioneer
Posts: 696
Join Date: 01 Aug 2006
Location: Madrid

Default 15-09-2009, 11:23

I often get asked the same questions about sporadic internet useage in Spain by PM. As I was replying to one of these today, I realised it would be more sensible to post the answer in the public forum! In any case, others who are more qualified can refine my explanations, especially when it is about generic stuff like how to reflash a 3G modem etc.

Firstly, the question was asked if once a dongle is configured for use in one country it can be used with another SIM elswhere. My answer was:

You will be able to use your 3G Modem dongle back in the UK after setting it up for Spain. In any case to be able to use the UK dongle in Spain in the first place, you will need to "reflash" the device. What this means is that you need to go to the dongle manufacturers website, download the generic software and replace whatever software that came preinstalled on the device with this. If this all sounds too technical, there are places on the web which explain it step by step.

You will then need to manually configure the APN (acess point name), username and password for the service you intend to use in Spain and also for the one in the UK as a separate profile. It's actually easier than it all sounds, as any one provider (e.g. o2, Vodafone, T Mobile etc.) uses just one common username, password and APN. user Inquisitor maintains a Wiki on everthing to do with 3G Modems. He also has much more experience and knowledge with how to set these up. His wiki is at: 3G modem wiki Home - 3G modem wiki
Secondly, I had been asked advice on prepaid data plans and on what the catch is with Simyo.

You could consider any of the following:
Simyo Data plan
Blau Bimgo

Masmovil has an English language website, and English speaking customer service. Depending on how little you may use it, they do data at 3c/MB. The Blau deal is 21,50 Euros a month but only for the months you use it.

Personally I use an o2 UK Modem with a Simyo card in it. This is cheapest as it works out at 5 Euros a month.

Generally, Simyo is the cheapest prepaid data plan, but the limit is 500MB per month! For most innocent web browsing this is actually plenty. After this you get charged at 9c per MB, which is not exactly bad either!

The biggest problem with Simyo is that you cannot buy it in a shop. You have to buy it online (here) and get it posted to you in Spain, and you have to be phsically there to receive the package.

Also, they are a low cost provider and their customer service centre is slow and appaling, should you ever have any problems. Think of them as the Ryanair of the mobile phone world.

I personally haven't had any significant problems, but another user has PM'd me about problems relating to porting numbers onto their network, slow communications and a very late refund. Also their customer service centre does not speak English, unlike or in some rare cases Yoigo!
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