giffgaff has recently announced that it will, on October 10th 17th, be launching it’s latest service – data only goodybags.
These goodybags will be destined for iPad, tablet and mi-fi users who like to use their mobile connection to provide internet to other devices. Tethering will be permitted with these special goodybags.
Users may be required to order a seperate SIM for their tablet or mi-fi. Once activated, three packages will be available.
500MB for 30 days: £5
1GB for 30 days: £7.50
3GB for 30 days: £12.50
These seem to be very competitive pay-as-you-go prices. The nearest competitor is 3, however they have a reputation of much better coverage and data speed than other networks.
giffgaff insist that the goodybags are sold at “cost price” – meaning giffgaff makes a loss if you use all of the data in your goodybag. A bold move – and one which could be extremely risky. giffgaff are betting on some people not using all of the data in their allowance, but I’m not confident this will be the case.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how popular the goodybags become.
To order a free SIM with giffgaff and get £5 free credit on activation, click here.
If you’ve been using 3 Mi-Fi for a little (which I have), you may have come to really like it. It’s generally very fast, and is so convenient for train journeys and travelling. However, there are a few drawbacks such as no web admin and a stupid wi-fi sleep time.
I’ve found a firmware update for the device which is by a Hong Kong mobile operator. It works on the device perfectly and is in English. It adds a few new features such as:
Web admin – you can access all the device settings wherever you are by going to http://192.168.1.1 on the device. Very handy! It also has a battery meter and signal strength meter on this.
Adjustable wi-fi sleep – you no longer have to wake up the wi-fi after 10 minutes idle. With this new firmware, you can lengthen the sleep time or turn it off altogether.
The (M) light on the device stays on permanently, letting you know whether your data connection is active or not.
It’s a very handy update that is well worth installing. However, please read the following: You do this firmware update at your own risk. GEEK! will not be responsible for any damage to your device or it’s functionality. This is ONLY for the Huawei E5830.
Here’s how you do it:
Download this firmware update. It’s 30MB and comes direct from the Japanese operator. Don’t worry, all the files are in English. I seem to find this server is pretty slow, so get a coffee while it’s downloading.
When it’s done, power down and disconnect your 3 Mi-Fi device from USB. Hold down the internet access button on the device followed by the power button, together, for at least 5 seconds. You will see the signal light and battery indicator come on and they should stay on. Once you’ve got the lights, remove the battery.
Replace the battery, reconnect the device to your system and then run the file you downloaded.
The setup file will detect your device. It asks you to remove the SIM from the device, but I didn’t and don’t think you need to. Once you’re happy and the system is ready, start the updating.
It will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to install. During the install process, do not remove your device from the USB connection or turn it off – you will brick the device if you do.
Once it’s finished copying, the device will reboot and the setup file will confirm the successful installation. None of your settings should have been lost and you should be able to connect right away.
Now you’re done. The “3 Wifi Manager” will still work with your device but for most settings I would now use the web admin (http://192.168.1.1 – the default user and password is admin – the device will ask you to change this when logged in).
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I recently ordered the 3 Mi-Fi Pay as you Go. Well, today it has arrived! And here’s my review…
First of all, it’s very light. No heavier than my mobile phone (Nokia 3120 Classic). It’s a tiny bit longer than a credit card but not as wide. Very small.
On the device, there are 3 switches. The first one powers the device, the second turns wi-fi on/off and the third turns data on/off. I’m not going to go into tonnes of detail – if you aren’t sure how to use on call 3 or browse the web – there are tonnes of guides. GEEK! tells you the thing you won’t see on other sites.
Here are some important things you may want to know:
The SIM on the £49.99 single PAYG Mi-Fi comes with £1 credit on it. This isn’t much, but it gives you enough to kick you off. I’m not sure how much data that actually is but I’ve browsed quite a few sites on it without topping it up and I still have £1 on it.
How it charges is a little odd. When you’ve got it plugged into a PC, you can turn it on and it will still charge – even put wi-fi on, but as soon as you switch data on it will stop charging. It continues to power itself by USB but will not charge when data is active.
You have to use My3 to check your balance online. According to 3, I can still do this from my Mi-Fi connection even when my credit is out but haven’t tested it as yet. I will confirm when I can.
The microSD slot on the device only shows up on USB. It is not shared over wi-fi.
Those are some facts you may want to know. If there’s anything else you’d live to know, email me.
Overall, I’m really happy. It works very well and is so convenient. It might be quite expensive in terms of bandwidth, but prices will decrease with time.
If you need mobile interet on your devices easily, this is what you need.
I’ve recently been considering the concept of Hutchinson 3G’s (3 in the UK) mobile wireless broadband service – dubbed “Mi-Fi”. It has really interested me because of it’s convenience. You simply slip in the SIM card and off it goes. It works as a portable wi-fi router, and can connect up to 5 devices at any given time.
On the pay as you go plan (which I’d prefer), you get the device for £49.99, together with all the kit and caboodle you will need to go with. You then pay for bandwidth separately and is priced as follows:
£10 for 1GB
£15 for 3GB
£25 for 7GB
Pretty expensive in my opinion – but that’s mobile broadband for you.
I think it would be really handy for me as I spend a lot of time in cars, on trains and in public places so it would be pretty convenient for me. I just need to justify whether the cost balances out the convenience.
If anyone has Mi-Fi, could they post a comment to let me know how they get on with it? It’d be nice to know what people think of it.
If you’re a big reader of the news from the rather large tech world, you may well be aware that UK mobile operator 3 (Three) are planning to launch a very cool new level of mobile internet.
They are dubbing it Mi-FI, but it is basically your own battery powered router for your 3 mobile broadband package.
It is [apparently] very simple to use – you just slot some batteries in, together with your 3 mobile broadband SIM, and then switch it on. From what GEEK! understands, it will then find the nearest internet connection from available GPRS, EDGE, 3G, and HSDPA connections in your area. As soon as it can connect to a network mast, it will start firing out a Wi-Fi connection that all of your Wi-Fi enabled devices can connect to.
The device itself will be available over the internet from September 17th and will be in 3 stores across the country from September 18th.
As for pricing, see below (quoted from ISP Review)
•‘Broadband 5GB 1 month’ is a one month contract which includes 5GB of data for just £15 a month. With this deal the wireless modem costs just £69.99.
•For an upfront charge of £99.99, Mobile Wi-Fi will also be available as a ‘Ready to Go’ kit. The deal includes a wireless modem and 3GB worth of data which can be used over a 3 month period. After the data has been used up, the modem can be used on a Pay As You Go basis.
So there you have it – looks exciting in my opinion. I wouldn’t say it was brilliant value, but if you’re a frequent user of mobile internet it is probably well worth the cost. I’m looking forward to seeing it in 3 stores.