Monday 11 February 2008

"Mobile Internet"

It's in quotes for a reason. Vodafone do not provide the service that I need and I want to figure out what my options are. They charge me €5 per megabyte to use the only service that I can find that they provide that works for the connectivity that I want to use and I find that to be exhorbitant*.

They claim to offer a 500Meg per month "Mobile Internet" package for €9.99 per month which would actually suit me perfectly for now but their "Mobile Internet" requires me to use their live.vodafone.ie GPRS APN and that does not allow me to access any of the services that I want. I would expect something being described as "Mobile Internet" to allow me to get to http://www.google.com , for example. On my Windows Mobile 6 based Blackjack it doesn't work and whatever it actually does do is not Internet connectivity of any sort in my book. Their isp.vodafone.ie APN does work (more or less) but that results in the aforementioned €5 per megabyte charge.

So what are the alternatives? A quick search through the competition has demonstrated that none of them clearly provide a service that is obviously a genuine mobile internet data connection (for a phone that is) and those that appear to provide something are not obviously cost effective.

I'd love to see some evidence that there was genuine competition here. Since the market is heavily regulated (necessarily in my view) and the primary area of competition is for their voice and text products I would actually have expected that data would be one area where there would be genuine differences in the scope and cost of the services offered. I honestly thought when I opted for Vodafone that that was what their €9.99 bundle meant but I have been very severely disappointed by that. So if anyone reading this has any suggestions, or better yet some hard data from experience, please post a comment.

* I initially had this phrased differently because I have handed over the best part of €300 to Vodafone over the past three months for a total of around 60Meg of data that I believe should have cost me no more than €30 and that upsets me no end. Clearly I should have paid more attention to the terms and conditions but lads, I hate getting screwed and the way this was pitched means that I was screwed as far as I'm concerned even if you are perfectly protected by your very comprehensive terms and conditions. Congratulations on the €300 win but for me when I feel that a company screws me I get heavily encouraged to never give them any more business.

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