[ALUG] 4G data

Martin Collins mailinglists at collins-email.co.uk
Thu Nov 16 23:28:10 GMT 2017

I feel your pain Phil. As an ex Merchant Seaman I had the same problem, 
and after moving house twice in the last two years I was in a similar 
predicament whilst waiting for Internet and phone to be connected.

My solution lately has been a "my-fi" dongle with a Three data sim from 
Amazon. ID mobile does do data sims on 30 day contracts as an 
alternative. ID mobile is the carphonewarehouse using the Three network. 
They were rubbish to deal with so be warned!

There are data sims out there that last for 12 months but they can be 
hard to find. Even when searching Amazon you have to be careful and read 
the description properly to make sure you are buying one that lasts for 
12 months from activation. They are usually more expensive for the same 
amount of data than ones that only last 30 days from activation. Also 
it's normally cheaper to buy several sims and just throw empty ones away 
rather than top-up once you've used the data.

Something like this: 

Hope this helps.


On 16/11/17 20:47, Phil Thane wrote:
> Hi,
> Not really a Linux question, except that it'll be mostly Linux devices that
> use it...
> A few years ago when 4G was being tested in pilot areas, but not on the
> Llangollen canal, I wrote a piece for a canal/river boat magazine about using
> the internet afloat. At the time I borrowed some demo kit from suppliers and a
> boat from the Llangollen Wharf for testing and for photos. One option was a 3G
> USB dongle for a laptop, another was a 3G modem/router to create a WiFi
> hotspot. Or just use my old 3G smartphone and either a USB or WiFi 'tether'.
> Now down south I've got my own (very old and very cheap) boat and 4G is widely
> available. So should be great eh? Well not so much. As far as I can find out it
> is impossible to buy data only SIM cards with data contracts that last until
> the data is used. You have to buy 'bundles' of data/phonecalls/text and they
> expire after 7, 14 or 28 days. When I'm not on the boat I don't use 4G at all.
> When I am going away on it I have to guess how much data I might need and load
> up the SIM. Last time I did that the boat broke down, we came home early and
> £20 worth of data just expired at the end of the 28 days.
> With my old 3G phone (on PAYG) it simply used the same account for texts,
> calls or data - and I only enabled 3G when I really needed it. But it seems
> none of the phone providers will offer 4G that way.
> I can't see there's any technical reason, it's just that phone providers are
> conniving bastards. Does anyone know of one that has broken ranks with the
> cartel and will offer me what I want?
> --
> Phil Thane
> www.pthane.co.uk
> phil at pthane.co.uk
> 01767 449759
> 07582 750607
> Twitter @pthane
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