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Wednesday, 23.05.07

Who Calculated these UMTS Tariffs?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:08 CET under Wireless - Mobile Networks

It's not a secret that the carrier of my choice is O2 (Germany). Maybe it's because its innovative Genion product, maybe it's because I worked for O2's forerunner VIAG Interkom for 3 years, maybe it's just because I like the whole brand.
Anyway, as happy as I'm with O2 (Germany), as frustrated I was with O2's data tariffs. Even in the past, when I was the responsible product manager for VIAG Interkom's WAP service, I had some hard fights with Controlling to get the WAP tariffs in the Homezone reduced and it took ages until O2 reduced their GPRS and UMTS tariffs earlier this year. Therefore I signed a 24 month contract back in 2005 with E-Plus (another German GSM & UMTS carrier) for one simple reason: E-Plus was the first carrier in Germany which offered a true GPRS & UMTS flat rate. However, signing a second contract means you get a second SIM card and so on. I prefer to have everything under one contract especially because O2 offers a service called "MultiCard" which gives you up to 3 SIM cards under one mobile number (without any additional monthly fees). This means you can use one SIM in your mobile phone, one SIM in your Pocket PC and one SIM in your Notebook. While only one SIM gets incoming calls, all 3 SIM cards can be used for outgoing calls (but not in parallel) and - this is even more important - all the SIM cards can be used in parallel for data connections!
This means I can send a MMS from my mobile phone while I surf the O2 WAP pages the same time while I still stay connected with my Notebook to O2's UMTS network. That's indeed pretty handy and smart!

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Wednesday, 31.01.07

How slow can a GPRS connection be?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:10 CET under Wireless - Mobile Networks

For the next two days,I'm at an event called "CeBit PreView" where leading IT and CE companies previewing their CeBIT news. So far so good but for sure I cannot listen all the time without working from here as well. No problem at all, thanks to my UMTS flat rate - I initially thought. Just arrived at the conference in the heart of Munich to figure out, E-Plus has *no* UMTS indoor coverage here! Sorry, but this is really in the center of Munich but no UMTS available? Okay, there is always a fallback solution called GPRS and I just tried to download a file. The GPRS speed is more then surprising:

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