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:

Unknown 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 (, 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...