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wco81 (Offline)
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Default Any recent A1 B.free Internet experiences? - 02-08-2017, 04:15

Any problems tethering?

Or adding credit online and a bundle with more data?

It may be possible to order the kit online and send to an Austrian hotel but I'm not sure if I can charge it to a non-EU credit card.

Same issue with adding credit to get more data.

Going to drive into Austria from Germany and the first 4 days will be staying at a Tyrollean village and the SIM shops are quite a distance away, though supposedly you can get A1 prepaid SIM packages at some grocery chains and post offices.
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 02-08-2017, 15:22

I had no problems using my A1 B.free Internet SIM in Austria in June. I don't recall trying to do tethering in this trip but I know it's worked in the past.

I add credit using https://www.onlineaufladen.at/?lang=eng. It works fine with a Canadian credit card from within the EU. However they require that the card is registered with Verified by Visa.

They also use geolocation to block users from North America. However I have circumvented that restriction in the past using a free VPN service, e.g. TunnelBear.

I ordered this card online from Canada several years ago and had them send it to my hotel in Austria. There was no problem with that but that was quite a while ago. I've since added credit to this SIM every year, usually online from Canada or Austria. I've also bought vouchers at A1 shops. Other than the issues above the SIM itself has worked flawlessly.

I'll be back in Austria in a couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to trying out the new EU-wide surcharge-free roaming from Munich airport.

As you said, it's also possible to buy this SIM at grocery stores and post offices. I've never done that but I don't see why there would be any problems. If you plan to do this you might want to ask your hotel keeper for advice/help. Unlike in Germany you don't need to be a resident, show ID, etc. It should be a simple transaction. I don't recall what I had to do to activate the SIM but the hotel should be able to assist if you don't know German.

You can monitor your data usage using either A1's website or their Mein A1 app. Again it's all in German, except for this summary: https://www.a1.net/bfree-prepaid-local-sim. BTW the Mein A1 app can't be downloaded from the Google app store in North America. But you can download it and sideload install from https://mein-a1.en.aptoide.com/

Have a safe trip. What village are you going to visit?


Phones: OnePlus 5 Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo AT A1-B.free
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 02-08-2017, 18:47

Thanks, I'm going to Lermoos.

The hotel says groceries and petrol stations but I'm not sure if he's talking about this specific brand.

Have you been topping off a few Euros to keep the SIM active or are you renewing a data bundle, like the 10 GB bundle is 15 Euros and they said it auto-renews if they find enough credit on the SIM?

I'm on iOS and I see that the app. isn't available in the US App. Store. Oh well.

I see that there are MVNOs that use the A1 network, like YESSS, which you can order online. However, it's not cheaper and I just used an MVNO in Spain where the coverage and speeds were great but then I drove across to France or used it in Amsterdam on the flight back and it only roamed in 3G with no tethering allowed in France.

So I'm inclined to try to use a big carrier, especially if there's no great price difference.
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 02-08-2017, 21:31

Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
Thanks, I'm going to Lermoos.
Nice area. Be sure to go up to the summit of the Zugspitze from Ehrwald (the next village to your east.)

Quote:
The hotel says groceries and petrol stations but I'm not sure if he's talking about this specific brand.
A1 is the largest carrier in Austria. I'd be surprised if you couldn't get their SIMs in Lermoos.

Quote:
Have you been topping off a few Euros to keep the SIM active or are you renewing a data bundle, like the 10 GB bundle is 15 Euros and they said it auto-renews if they find enough credit on the SIM?
I usually visit Austria at least once a year. A1 is the only carrier that offers 12 month SIM validity which is an important feature for me. That's also why I need to add credits from Canada.

Quote:
I see that there are MVNOs that use the A1 network, like YESSS, which you can order online.
Yesss and the other MVNOs are cheaper if you only need 30 days of validity. I pay a premium (20 for 5GB per year.) But if you only need the SIM for a single visit you might as well go with A1 directly.


Phones: OnePlus 5 Nexus 5
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 02-08-2017, 22:10

I visited Zugspitze as a day trip out of Munich, went up and down the Eibsee cable car, which appears to be out of commission this summer.

I'm thinking about a Z-ticket, which includes one round trip on the Tiroller Zugspitzbahn, but not apparently a trip down to the Zugspitzplatt.

However, the weather forecast will have to be promising before I get that, though I also want to get not the smaller cable cars like Grubigsteinbahn so I'll probably get it anyways.
   
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wco81 (Offline)
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Default 06-09-2017, 15:28

Ok, Spar in Lermoos didn't have the B.free Internet starter kit. I tried a gas station and they told me I would have to drive 20km to Reutte.

Tried M.Preis store in Lermoos and they had it.

Worked as soon as I put it in. Good, not great LTE speeds. Maybe 30-40 Mbps was the fastest I saw.

Now in Munich and it connected first to Telekom.de 3G.

I tried rebooting and now it comes up as O2 de 3G. About 8 Mbps. And it keeps going from 5 bars to no service.
   
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bylo (Offline)
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Default 07-09-2017, 16:28

An update.

1. It seems my old SIM expired on 11Aug17 even though my credits were valid to 26Aug17. As a result when I arrived at MUC on the 17th I had no service on A1. (Good thing I printed the rail tickets to get to Innsbruck rather than relying on my phone.)

2. When we got to Innsbruck I immediately went to the A1 store near the railway station. There they explained what happened but they couldn't explain why it happened, i.e. how the two dates got out of sync. They sold me a new SIM and set me up (again!) for B.free 12months. At least now my SIM expires the same date the credit expires, 17Aug18.

3. Today we hiked up to Breslauer Hut from Vent. On the way up I lost contact with A1 and started to roam on Vodaphone IT. (A bit surprising since we were at all times several kilometers north of the border with Italy.) In any case roaming worked, albeit at only Edge speeds; "glacially" slow but adequate. I got a text from A1 along the way advising me that I was roaming and that it was free.

4. I expect the same seamless and free roaming when we cross back into Germany in a week (or again in Italy should we venture south for a day.) All in all a smooth experience once I got a working SIM.


Phones: OnePlus 5 Nexus 5
SIMs: CA Fido/Fongo AT A1-B.free
R.I.P.: UM UM+
   
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