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THOUGHT: What does Vodafone think their customers uses GPRS on International Roaming?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Friday, 09.08.02 - 11:11:00 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 7208x
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As you know I was in Paris yesterday and again I tried to use my Vodafone D2 SIM card with my non SIM-Locked xda for GPRS roaming. While it doesn't worked 2 weeks ago, when I was in Paris; yesterday it worked - at least on a route of around 4 kilometers. :-(
When I've arrived at CDG airport I took a Taxi to downtown Paris. On the Taxi I've tried to dial-into the SFR GPRS network and what a surprise - it worked! I was connected to SFR GPRS using my Vodafone D2 settings - great, I thought! Finally the summer started, even for Vodafone.

Well at least it was on one part of the city highway only. When I'm reached Paris, GPRS was forbidden for me, doesn't matter which device I've tried. Well, back in the Taxi, it worked again - in the same area it does before but not on the airport anymore! I had a 2 hours stop-over on CDG and was not able to connect the Internet, not for E-Mail nor for Web...

Ahhh - sorry? Vodafone? Can you hear me!? What do you think where your International Roaming customers wants to use GPRS? Maybe on the city highway also (if you are in a Taxi) but for sure mostly on the airport and in cities like Paris!

Well, how we should talk about future technologies like MMS if the operators (it's not only Vodafone, it was just an example) are not able to enable GPRS International Roaming - 1 1/2 year after the introduction into the networks! Maybe the operators should do first their basic homework's before they try to launch new products... :-(

Cheers ~ Arne


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Posted by Anonymous on 09.08.02 - 00:00:00

Here in the Netherlands we have Vodafone GPRS roaming in NL, B, F, GB and I. Strange that you in Germany are supposed to roam in France while we are not in Germany. Indeed, a lot to be desired!

Posted by Russ on 09.08.02 - 00:00:00

Well if roaming works there is still the cost !

In the UK I get 4MB inclusive for about £15 a month. With anything over that costing me around £4 per MB !!! Then of course you can add in the cost of international roaming, in the UK according to O2 I can expect it to cost me an EXTRA £7 per MB, for the cheapest countries O2 has roaming with and £21 per MB for the others. Plus their are minimum call charges per day ranging from £1.38 to £4.13. ! This looks expensive to me and may be in danger of defeating the object of GRPS.

In the UK I'm inclined to consider GRPS for use in emergencies only as 4MB is only a few days of Mazingo/Avantgo downloads and a few emails for me ! Abroad I may even try sticking to GSM at 9,600kbs. I'm sure it works out cheaper - come to think of it's probably cheaper to use GSM full stop, at home,  if you are over your alloted GRPS inclusive MB's.

I feel this is an issue we should take up - I now have a great mobile PocketPC - but can't use it to it's full potential because of the very high costs !

p.s. the web site for O2 UK GRPS international costs is at: … /gprs.html
I see France isn't even on the list ? and Spain is level B (expensive) whislt Hong Kong is level A (cheaper) ?

Posted by Leon on 09.08.02 - 00:00:00

Russ: good point. I took a look at the prices for Dutch customers: EUR 12 or EUR 13 per MB!
No happy surfin'! GSM might be an alternative, indeed. … p;cnid=399

Posted by MadAxeMan on 11.08.02 - 00:00:00

I agree also. These tariffs need to come down massively. Unfortunately I can't see this happening for a year or two, until the uptake increases competition.

Posted by dunee on 15.08.02 - 00:00:00

Hmmm... Vodafone Hungary started GPRS about six weeks ago, which is free to use until October 15 and will cost around HUF 3000 (~USD 10) per month. Yes, it is a flat rate. No, I'm not kidding - no megabyte costs. Yes, I do have a subscription smile

The service has been sort of flaky in the first couple of weeks, but when it worked, sustained speeds were around 35-40kbps. Guess they are still testing network load and creating a market before they begin charging customers.

Anyway, my reason for posting this (besides bragging about how cheap my GPRS is) is that Vodafone Hungary offers GPRS roaming. Yes it does. But I don't think I will ever use it - one single day of use costs HUF 12,500 (that's fifty bucks! Or euros, if you prefer). I just had to have GPRS disabled on my account for the next week so if my girfriend pokes around, there is no way I will be charged this outrageous sum. Hey, that's how much I pay in a month!

Anyways, looking at Vodafone's homepage gives the following countries where I could use GRPS roaming:

Greece - Vodafone
Spain - Vodafone
Italy - Vodafone Omnitel
UK - Vodafone
Germany - Vodafone D2
France - SFR
Switzerland - Swisscom
Portugal - Vodafone
Denmark - Teledanmark
Sweden - Vodafone
Finland - Radiolinja
The Netherlands - Vodafone
Ireland - Vodafone

See at the bottom of

I guess these are the networks where external users can also access GPRS, so you could accidentally end up roaming abroad - provided  they have not plugged in the holes. I don't know if your telco would charge you for roaming, unless they warned you beforehand. Which Vodafone Hungary did, so I'll skip fooling around with GPRS during my week in Paris (hey hey!)

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