Thursday, August 04, 2011

UK Public Wifi - A Disappointment

So I just spent two and a half weeks of vacation in the UK, touring South England (all from Oxford via Stratford-upon-Avon to Bath, Cornwall, South, Kent, and then a couple of days in London) with only my HTC and the company SIM card in it... which allows me to data-roam only up to 20MB... (company policy) and I can't even top that up, although A1 would offer such a service. I did not really mind this, because I really was expecting to hit a public open Wifi spot every odd day.

Well, I did not... or hardly ever!

Many times pubs, hotels and other places (like Pret-A-Manger, Starbucks, ...) actually advertise "Free Wifi available" but you end up with a pay-version, like BT-Openzone and others. I only found two (2) truly open, public, free Wifi spots (one in a totally loveable B&B near Bath, the other in a bar in St.Ives). Thank you, guys.

This both surprised an disappointed me.

Next time, I should get a local (i.e. UK) prepaid SIM card with  a cheap data plan or pay-as-you-go data... in Austria I would do this with Bob for 4 EUR per 1GB/month... much cheaper than adding the one-time A1 roaming-option to my SIM card from 10-100 EUR), although this offer is quite OK (if you need to keep your own SIM/number in your phone).

For two weeks it would be at least cheaper than getting Wifi from 3 or so different providers, and always available...

1 comment:

astifter said...

The iPad I have has a "3" SIM and since they are an international company they offer free data roaming "3 Like Home" in various contries (http://www.drei.at/portal/de/privat/service/3_like_home/3_Like_Home.html), especially in Britain and Ireland.

On our last trip over the Canal it was really a pleasure because the iPad proved to be the perfect "travel-information-device".

Maybe they have SIM-only solutions too... Should be interessting of one is to plan a trip into the supported countries...