I have posted in the past about travelling in Europe, about comms and about mobile routers. Last year I opened an account with the Spanish provider Yoigo, who were charging €10 a month for 1gb data. Due to my misunderstanding of top-ups, I finished up paying €20 per month for 2gb. I cancelled my contract last September.
So, I was looking around for options. I considered an Orange contract in Spain, but I didn't really want a contract, as it would be a waste most of the time.
I went into a Three shop to check that I could buy a PAYG Sim, and use it in Spain as it seemed to good to be true. I was assured I was fine to do this.
Looking at the options, £20 PAYG Broadband for 3gb seemed a good deal - so I bit the bullet and bought a SIM (this is now £20.49). Before I left, I tried it in my ZTE MF60 Mi-Fi and it worked fine. I also had an old T-Mobile dongle that was unlocked, and it worked fine in that, attached to my Zoom mobile router.
Off I toddled to Menorca, tried it in the Mi-Fi, it connected to Movistar, and off we go. There were one or 2 problems where some devices couldn't connect, but it worked for the Surface and my phone, so I was happy. The dongle in the mobile router seemed to work much better.
I kept a close eye on the data. Three have a web page that will show you how much data you have left - which is great. Something to watch is that you need to register your credit/debit card in the UK so you can top up abroad. I added £10 to my account, just to make sure I was OK. To get an extra 3gb currently costs £15.
When keeping a close eye on the data, it seemed I was using more data than I should be. There were 4 of us connecting, using a variety of phones, and iPads, but no-one appeared to be doing anything out of the ordinary.
Then it hit me - so here are a couple of things to beware of to save your data, certainly on Windows Phone.
I had automatic update of store apps, upload of pictures and podcasts set on, but obviously set to only use Wi-Fi. But obviously the Mi-Fi and router ARE Wi-Fi devices, even though they are using 3g (in may case) or 4g. To save your bandwidth, ensure you turn these options off!
I was also away for 'patch Tuesday', but I had already turned off auto updates, but I missed a trick on the phone auto-uploads.
I was very impressed with the service, coverage, speed and cost of the service. Kudos to Three!
It does beg the question though - why don't the other providers do this????