Saturday, 5 September 2015

Goodbye Three…… Well not quite!

As we anticipated Three Mobile cut off the tethering on our One Plan.  We still have internet access on the phone but can’t access the internet from other devices through the phone.  The phone contract ends on the 19th and we have decided not to renew it.  Goodbye Three! 

After visiting Carphone Warehouse we now have a data SIM on a rolling monthly plan.  Neither of us are prepared to lock ourselves into a 12 or 24 month contact.   This industry is so fluid a better option might appear at any time.  We opted for the £20 for 20GB per month from Carphone Warehouse’s own network. They don’t actually have their own network…… so it’s Hello Three!  You might appreciate the irony that Three loses us as a customer and now we are back, albeit Three won’t get the full £20.  Actually the data plans offered by Three were worse than that offered by Carphone Warehouse.

When we arrived in 2011 we had an Australian usb dongle and a Zoom portable wireless router.  The mifi is the modern version of what we had back then.

Original zoom

The photo from May 2011

We needed to connect the external aerial to the dongle which resulted in us buying a UK dongle from Three.  Both the router and the Three dongle have been extracted from deep storage.  The first problem was the dongle was locked to the Three Network.  I had to hack the software on the dongle replacing it with the original generic Huawei.  This allowed the laptop to recognise the dongle.  However neither Three nor Carphone Warehouse networks appeared on the list of accessible mobile networks.  Apart from Vodafone, all the displayed networks were from Asia.  I took a guess and selected Vodafone.  Success…… The dongle recognised the Three network.  I then plugged the dongle into the router and setup the boat wireless LAN (local area network).

At the moment the router is temporarily taped to the bulkhead in the rear cabin. 

IMG_8067  The external aerial is plugged into the side of the dongle and is actually giving us a stronger signal than the phone (blue LED means high speed signal).  The Zoom router has a battery with a life of approximately 4-6 hours between recharging.  The charger is 240V so I’ll have to think about that.  For every problem there is at least one solution!

Of course this is now all old technology.  Neither the Zoom or dongle is 4G capable.  But a high speed 3G signal is acceptable.  The most satisfactory aspect is the change has only cost us an additional £5 per month.  This is the same monthly increase Three wanted to charge for the “upgraded” phone plan.    


Darren Cozens said...

Hey tom how's she looking these days

Tom and Jan said...

Hi Darren,
Things are great with us. How are things with you? We passed through Aldermaston a couple of months ago and saw Richard, James and Sheila! Your paintwork is greatly admired.

Darren Cozens said...

Yeah I'm good thanks. Glad to hear my paintwork is still loved :) was one of my favourite paint jobs

Tom and Jan said...

A good choice of colours and an excellent painter! :-)