One problem with contracting is that you’re never in one place long enough to sign up to long contractual agreements with broadband providers, and hotel wi-fi is expensive.
My latest assignment is 242 miles from my home which is a little uncomfortable to commute every weekend, so I’ve sought a suitable rented property on the edge of the Peak District. Lovely. The only thing is with such remote locations, the broadband services are generally rubbish. A check of the postcode on Virgin’s website already alerted me to the pee-poor-promise of 1.6Mbps for £23.99 per month. Ouch. I needed to consider alternatives.
I already have a smartphone. Being more practical minded than fanboy, I’ve opted for the Motorola Razr MAXX. It isn’t up for debate. It’s the biggest battery of any smartphone on the market and that alone makes it the best. The rest is all BS so take your S3’s and your iPhones and do one. It also comes with a neat little Motorola HD Dock (purchased separately for £23) which allows me to use it with my 24″ monitor, and Motorola bluetooth keyboard and mouse (also purchased separately for £23) and use Motorola’s WebTop, effectively giving me PC functionality.
The best bit though is my careful choice of mobile contract. I’ve gone with a £25/mo deal with Three called The One. It’s their flagship deal apparently, and I think I’ve got the best option of the best deal having opted for the 1 Month SIM Only version (with micro sim for my handset) for the ultimate flexibility in the future instead of being locked into a 2 year contract. The only 2 year contracts I’m interested in signing up to are the ones where I’m the one getting paid.
In return for my hard earned. I get…
2000 minutes talk time
5000 3-to-3 minutes talk time
5000 text messages
All-You-Can-Eat data with Internet Tethering included.
You have to be careful though. This plan DOES include tethering, whereas many others – even with the same provider DO NOT. You have tethering capped at 1Gb, or have to purchase a Tethering addon to go with your AYCE data addon. Having done some reading around, it really only seems to be this package that is inclusive of tethering, which means I’ll avoid the necessity to pay for phone or broadband services to the residence, saving money (£25 with virgin broadband in my non-cable area).
I checked my area for coverage and it seems OK. Even though 3 boast 80% coverage in the UK, you still have to check, right down to the street level.
This combination of mobile handset, optional gubbins and 3’s tariff is as good a setup as I can find for a contractor potentially on the move every six months.
More info here…
UPDATE: I’ve been using my mobile phone for a couple of weeks now as my one and only source of internet. It has impressed me immensely. I have found that the best way for me to use it is to use USB Tethering to my Desktop (much more reliable for multi-part downloading of larger files, such as tv episodes and .iso images) and simultaneously enable Mobile hotspot to allow additional devices such as PlayStation 3, laptops, other mobile phones to use the internet services by Tethering over WiFi. This is great, as my most intense usage is usually a combination of playing GT5 Seasonal Events on the PlayStation while I wait for downloads to complete on the PC. OK, so it all takes a little longer than it did at my main residence where I have 30Mb/s cable broadband, but it really isn’t bad.