I unlocked my iPhone last week and as I had no other micro sim card lying about the house, I set off on a quest to get some free sims from the different network providers. I initially hadnt thought about switching from my current provider (Vodafone) but the offerings from some of the other providers looks a lot better. But it usually all comes down to the same thing: how good is the network coverage where I live?
So to begin I tried to order free micro sim card online from each of the other providers. There are two providers that insist you pay money upfront, PostFone and 3 Mobile. €10 or €20 etc. depending on the package you want to go for. So that was them ruled out. I had tried the mobile broadband offering from 3 Mobile before and the network coverage at my house rendered it useless, so I wasnt going to be paying upfront for something that may not even work. Take note 3 mobile. Also I dont know whose network PostFone use so I wont be opting for that choice either.
Next up to be ruled out is eMobile. I tried to order a free micro sim card from their online store but always on the last page I get an error message stating that my session has expired. While they do have a pretty cool onlince chat feature, the customer support agents did not seem to understand the problem. I was asked to refresh the page and to try another browser by two different customer support agents. The last one did offer the telephone number for their sales team, but I have yet to call.
So I was able to order free micro sim packs from O2, Meteor, 48 Months and Tesco Mobile and I will update how I got on with each one below:
From O2′s online store I ordered this sim only plan
I received the sim pack yesterday in the post. I switched the sim cards and I was able to confirm that my iPhone had in fact been unlocked; I got a confirmation text from O2 about the plan that I had chosen. But then the same O2 problem occurred as before when I used to be an O2 customer. The network coverage where I live is basically shit. It might work outdoors, or pressed up against the glass patio doors or hanging out of an upstairs window, but essentially there is no coverage inside. With all of the talk surrounding new 4G networks I thought that things may have improved. but alas no. Same old, same old. 4G? Not even 3G coverage. Not even adequate 2G coverage!
I am not expecting anything from Tesco Mobile as they use the O2 network, see above!
I was also previously a Meteor customer so at least I will be able to access the network. I think.
I was correct. My Meteor sim pack arrived yesterday in the post, coincidentally from the the same place as the O2 sim pack was sent. Radius Communications in Ballywaltrim Business Park in Bray, Co. Wicklow. So I switched over to the Meteor sim and I had the same network strength as per my Vodafone sim. I think that Meteor have a roaming agreement with Vodafone so this was to be expected. I was able to receive texts and phone calls on my Meteor number no problem as as they appear to have a better option than Vodafone it looks like Meteor have jumped into an early lead.
I know absolutely nothing about this network, so I am looking forward to testing out their micro sim card. A bit of research led me to learn that 48 use the O2 network, so not looking good there. Which is a pity.
I got the sim pack from 48 months, but its a standard sim card, not a micro sim. So that wont work, didn’t matter anyway as 48 uses the O2 network.
Last but not least is my current provider: Vodafone.
Vodafone’s price plans for pay as you go are shockingly bad. Needless to say I will be switching from my current provider so long as one of the others network is accessible from my home.