More geekery

Over the weekend I went in search of a solution to the problem of what to use with my N800 when I’m not within range of a suitable WiFi hotspot.

The obvious answer is, of course, a 3G phone to use as the net connection. Of course, as the N800 is quite a size it would be an advantage if the data connection slave, sorry phone, was small and light as well so it could be buried in clothing and not be a nuisance. Also there’s the problem of finding a phone contract which has a reasonable cost and a large enough data quota.

The package I came up with to fulfill these specifications was a Sony Ericsson W880i phone (it’s tiny! and 3G!) along with a T-mobile Flext-25 contract (£25 per month for 18 months) with the Web’n’Walk Plus data package (£12.50). This is the cheapest phone+data contract on the market at the moment. You can have the Flext-20 (£20) tariff with the standard Web’n’Walk package but this doesn’t allow the use of the phone as a Bluetooth modem, which makes it useless for my purpose. Still, a 3 gigabyte (yes, you read that correctly)  usage limit for £12.50 from a mobile phone company is still a good deal and unheard of before now, it makes mobile Internet use practical. The same amount of data with Orange would cost you in the region of £10000!

Anyway, before I carry this set-up around with me I have to transfer my mobile phone number from my Orange account over to the T-mobile one. I’ve requested a PAC code, which will probably take until the end of the week to arrive in the post, and then it’s another 5 working days for that to be activated at the T-mobile end. Once that’s in place I can swap the SIMM between the Treo (for light-weight, compact networking and easy texting) and the SE-W880+N800 (for high speed, full on mobile networking and a nasty numeric keypad for texting) depending upon the situation.

There is only one problem with respect of the SIMM swapping, however. The SE-W880’s SIMM slot is a beast to get the SIMM out of, it really is. You need to use a pair of small-nosed pliers to grab the edge of the SIMM to withdraw it. They obviously thought you’d never want to do this.