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The Internet (or telecomm) and its (or their) discontents

August 3, 2011

One reason the posting on this blog has been so sporadic is the difficulty I’ve had getting 3G support for the iPad. I have to maintain the blog on the iPad because Internet terminal access, usually found in Internet cages and the like, won’t let me upload photos from my camera because of security concerns. Once we arrived here, we got a crash course in mobile device connectivity.

Peggy had been told that her AT&T-equipped cell phone would work fine in Europe, but it didn’t, because Europe works on different frequencies than the US, for the most part, so unless you have a multiple-band phone, you’re SOL. So we both got new cheap phones, and SIM cards for blauworld, a carrier that works throughout Europe. As for the iPad, nothing works throughout Europe, and I’ll have to get a new SIM card and and corresponding prepaid support for each country we visit.

I’m told that this is far cheaper than dealing with roaming charges from any one carrier, so that’s what I’ll do. Since both the cell phone and 3G plans are prepaid, they have to be replenished periodically. This is done by purchasing a voucher at the local technology store (Saturn is the big name here in Berlin) and entering the code on the voucher on your cell phone. For the iPad, there’s the extra step of taking the SIM card out of the iPad and putting it into the cell phone for the voucher code entry, and then back to the iPad.

I tried to find this on the internet prior to our departure, but all I saw was a lot of griping about how AT&T is ripping everybody off, etc., but no specifics on what to do, so if this is helpful to anyone else, beautiful.

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