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Tobiashomer (Offline)
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Default 23-09-2010, 22:38

correction--just bought an unlocked e Huawei E585 from amazon.co.uk, went to Vodafone and bought a 20 dongle with 3 GB of data, inserted the SIM and it worked right off the bat, just as advertised. But when I go to Greece will I have trouble substituting a Cosmote or Wind SIM card?
   
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Tobiashomer (Offline)
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Default Mobile Internet in the Ionian - 11-03-2011, 08:53

I have determined that Cosmote is good for 2G/3G coverage in the Ionian, but can I buy one of their data SIMs on the internet and activate at a point of sale in Greece? I will be away from large towns mostly but will pass through Corfu (on Easter Monday) and Preveza (on Sunday 1st May); otherwise can get to Lefkas/Nidhri. Grateful for any advice.
   
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DaveRo (Offline)
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Default 11-03-2011, 10:05

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashomer View Post
I have determined that Cosmote is good for 2G/3G coverage in the Ionian, but can I buy one of their data SIMs on the internet and activate at a point of sale in Greece?
I wouldn't recommend it. Buying a SIM and activating it is something all phone shops are used to doing. Trying to activate one you'd already bought would cause you problems IMO.
Quote:
I will be away from large towns mostly but will pass through Corfu (on Easter Monday) and Preveza (on Sunday 1st May); otherwise can get to Lefkas/Nidhri. Grateful for any advice.
Corfu has many phone shops - I bought my first Greek SIMs there - though Easter Monday might be a problem. Preveza also has several - though they're not so used to foreigners there. Parga might have a OTE or Germanos shop.

I've not used a dongle outside the UK so I can't answer your earlier question, though I don't see that there should be a problem provided you have the generic Huawei 'mobile helper' program.
   
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Evan (Offline)
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Default 11-03-2011, 13:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashomer View Post
I have determined that Cosmote is good for 2G/3G coverage in the Ionian, but can I buy one of their data SIMs on the internet and activate at a point of sale in Greece? I will be away from large towns mostly but will pass through Corfu (on Easter Monday) and Preveza (on Sunday 1st May); otherwise can get to Lefkas/Nidhri. Grateful for any advice.
Yes you can buy and activate it on the point of sale however it is recommended to check their availability, given that those are small cities and possibly the Cosmote or Germanos stores don't have all the available products. However, since you already have an unlocked USB modem, most of the stores will have the 20 SIM Pack (as opposed to the 50 Full Pack).

Sundays, Easter Monday, 1st May are public holidays in Greece, so I'm afraid you won't find any open Cosmote or Germanos store. Try to go on Saturday or Easter Tuesday. Cosmote has 11 points of sale in Corfu, 7 in Preveza and 3 in Lefkada. Have a look on the Cosmote data overview here.

And since you want a data SIM and not a normal prepaid SIM, do not buy a SIM starter pack from a kiosk or a mini-market. Those places only have normal prepaid SIM starter packs.
   
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Tobiashomer (Offline)
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Default 12-03-2011, 15:54

Evan and Dave, thanks so much for very helpful input. when the Web works well, it works great (provided there are people of good will out there).
   
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Evan (Offline)
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Default 14-03-2011, 12:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobiashomer View Post
I have determined that Cosmote is good for 2G/3G coverage in the Ionian, but can I buy one of their data SIMs on the internet and activate at a point of sale in Greece? I will be away from large towns mostly but will pass through Corfu (on Easter Monday) and Preveza (on Sunday 1st May); otherwise can get to Lefkas/Nidhri. Grateful for any advice.
I forgot to add that I was for 3 weeks last year in Parga and Lefkada and traveled by the coastline in-between. Most of the cities and popular beaches have 3G coverage from all three operators or at least two of them. Outside of the cities or popular beaches the situation varies, with Cosmote and Vodafone providing 3G coverage, but not both of them at the same location.

In Lefkada, most of the western and southern part have 3G with all three operators. The eastern part (e.g. Nidri), Comote (and Vodafone) have 3G.

In Parga, all three have 3G. In Sivota, Vodafone and Wind.

From Parga to Preveza, Vodafone has 3G until the village called Vrachos if I remember correctly.

From Preveza to Lefkada is mainly Cosmote.

In general the 3G coverage varies due to the mountainous terrain. Of course, if you are traveling those places by boat, I suppose that you will have better 3G coverage at the sea than on the land.
   
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peterh337 (Offline)
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Default 12-06-2011, 07:36

I've just done this COSMOTE SIM-only deal, in Kavala, Greece.

It is quite a process, with your passport having to be photocopied and some forms filled in including your father's name, etc. Looking at the pile of these in the shop, somewhere is a little Greek man (or a woman) with the wonderful job of filing these away in some giant EU-funded warehouse

You pay 20 euros, of which 5 "disappears" (see below) and the other 15 appears as a credit which you can spend on bandwidth.

I put the SIM card into an E585 3G/wifi modem. Despite assurances from the shop that the card was ready for use, it asked for an unlock code. The E585 has no keypad... so I put it in my phone, and entered 12345 which amazingly worked. Using the phone's Security menu I disabled the asking for the unlock code. Then I put it back in the E585. Somewhat to my suprise, the auto-APN function worked fine and it found a network (Cosmote).

But it didn't work. Email (POP3) didn't do anything. I tried WWW and got redirected to a Greek Cosmote web page. This has an English version but it was non-obvious what one should do.

So I took it back, in the E585, and with a laptop, to the shop where they helped me to set it up.

The Cosmote website shows a 15 euro credit (as I mention above) and this gives you two options: a 1 day pack and a 10 day pack. There is also a 30 day pack but as this costs more than 15 euros it is grayed out.

So I clicked on the 10 day pack, which was what I wanted in the first place...

Then it worked OK. Excellent speed, and a good signal in the E585.

As far as anybody knew, the SIM remains "alive" for 6 months, during which you can top it up with a 15 euro scratch card, which I also bought at the same time as I will be back in Greece in 3 months' time.

The 10 day option was shown as 2GB on the pack but is actually 3GB. The Cosmote website shows your account number, how many days (out of the original 10) you have left, and how many GB you have used up.

The scratch card reveals a number which is entered into the Cosmote website. Unfortunately, the website URL no longer works, from the UK. I don't know if Cosmote block access to it from a non-Greek IP range, or if they block access to it from a non-Cosmote 3G IP range, or if the website has just died

I don't know why the companies make this so complicated. Why not just have a website where a credit card can be used for the topups? Perhaps they are trying to support the phone shops by forcing the sale of scratch cards.

Incidentally, FWIW, I tried using the SIM here in the UK but clearly it has roaming disabled because it won't connect to any network here. This is reasonable, although similar data packs bought in Croatia and S. Africa did work over here, for a while. The S. African one actually worked for about 6 months, at 0.02 per MB Clearly their billing software didn't anticipate that And you could top it up via a website.
   
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greektourist (Offline)
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Question 15-06-2011, 14:32

Here are my needs:
I am going to Greece for a 15-20 days and I need a prepaid SIM card for: Every day internet usage with a smartphone, and international SMS and calls occasionally. I intend to use it mostly on Corfu, but also across the country.
I read all the forum topics and all the operator websites.
I decided to buy: Wind Prepaid SIM card - I guess it is F2G and activate Mobile Internet 100 Data plan that gives me 200 MB (it is enough for me) for 5 .
Do you think that this is smart option for me, and are there any hidden catches?
Secondly, where do you advise me to buy the mentioned card. Perfect place to buy and activate it would be any gas station on a Highway near Thessaloniki. I wonder if any of Greek friend can call and confirm if I can make this purchase at Olympus Plaza gas station near Polykastro (GPS coordinates: 4058'9"N 2237'11"E or in other format: 40.969755,22.619323 ). If not, where should be the best place to buy it in a relation from Polykastro to Kozani via Egnatia Odos.
I wonder does Wind has good signal on Corfu? I do not have needs for 3G signal all the time, but...
Thanks in advance
   
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fsotirop (Offline)
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Default 04-03-2012, 20:53

best 3G network coverage in Greece is on Cosmote network.
   
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DaveRo (Offline)
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Default 05-06-2012, 22:10

I include a link to current Cosmote & Wind data packages on my sailing blog:
Greek internet weather
   
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